Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Drug into the new Millenium by my toes...

Well, today I watched "HD" television some. Due to the 'DTV' switch, and I being, um, rural, and... Um... Cheap, uh, frugal, and that I don't watch a lot of TV, I wasn't in a real big whoopee rush about getting the "secret decoder ring" for my television, aka HD Converter Box.

I guess 15% of people with televisions don't have cable or dish or anything like that. Me, part of the few, the proud, the cheap! Heh.

Anyway, therein lies the reason for the switch. So, I went to Arkansas Mart, didn't get to look at the 2 they had for sale there, (they had none on display), and the help seemed inclined to just want me to get it and leave, so I just left. Sans converter. I wanted a Converter box with a pass through for analog, because we are in a spotty area. This means it either comes in great... Or not at all. And it's as often as not the latter. So, I talked to Dad, and he said we could do this manually, making an antenna pass through.

And they say the stuff is ALLLLLL changing in February of 2009? Horse Nuggets! I found that channels that are low power, or channels that are 'repeater' stations, i.e., if you watch channel 2 on channel 45, the channel 45 probably WON'T be changed until a later time. And some areas aren't changing at all! I saw a map of Oregon, and the better part of a third of the state isn't covered by the change. Now some of it is very rural, like the area around Harney County, but the coast doesn't seem to be covered either, if I was looking at it right. So, I wanted to make sure if I wanted to watch a station that ISN'T covered, I still could.

So, I then went to Electric Bits and Pieces, and they did have one I could look at, but told me the only analog pass through ones were ON LINE. Great... I called Dad, we discussed if the one I was looking at would work, (he was pretty sure it would), and I whipped out the handy-dandy-do-all-card our Government saw fit to provide (told ya I was cheap), and got one. (Well, I did have to shell out an extra 20, but I figure that covered the frustration of dealing with Arkansas Mart.)

So, I found out, the little box, as well as giving us extra channels, gives us Closed Captioning, (it didn't work before, for some reason.) It gives us Extended Program Guides, and different screen sizes, and probably a few other things, which I will probably find as I wander through the morass of buttons on the new remote... But, I hate to say it, it still looks like there is HOURS AND HOURS with nothing on...

But! I can still watch Perry Mason. And I hope that Paul Drake looks even cooler in HD. Stay tuned!

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