This is the long and annoying story about how I came to have HD Cable.
Many years ago, when cell phones didn’t have cameras on them, I purchased a very nice, 36″ Sony television. At the time, this was a monster TV and only crazy people had anything larger. I lived in constant fear that this three hundred pound glass and plastic device might crush me or anyone visiting my house. Up until recently, this was how I watched cable TV, played Nintendo Wii, and rocked out on my Rock Band Machine (also known as an XBox 360).
My brother, who lives in a mansion with his wife and tiny little dog (who looks even smaller next to the house), purchased a television and replaced his 50″ Sony rear projection TV. I have seen his new TV and it’s as large as the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey, except instead of being full of stars, it’s full of pixels. His old TV was in good condition and he offered it to me on the cheap. And knowing that I would rather have someone come get my three hundred pound television because it was good, rather than have to lug it to the dump, I decided to “upgrade” to a larger, more highly defined moving picture thing. Arrangement were made and I secured a truck to move the larger television to my house. I inquired about twelve able-bodied men seeking adventure and fortune to go on this dangerous mission, but Enterprise (the rental company) had no one willing to risk it. Something about wives and children and bad backs. So, I opted for the help of my father and brother. Despite the trouble of having to keep the TV upright at all times and it being pretty heavy, I reminded myslelf that I wasn’t moving my old TV and it made the work easier. After a single, short three hours or so, the new, larger, more highly defined television was in my living room. We hooked it up to the cable and I saw what I have been told is ugly, analog television on a screen that was surely straining it’s best to not take offense.
The very next day, a co-worker showed up to take my old 36″ TV away and have it threaten his wife and friends with a good crushing. And had that been the end of it all, I could have slept easy knowing my Rock Band Machine would soon return from Ye Olde Microsofte Repaire Centre and I would play Rock Band 2 with my new amplifier and speakers (a whole other story) and even larger screen. And even better, I was told the images would be of definition so high, I would be amazed and hand out cigars at work and everyone would envy me.
That last part was true. Rock Band 2 was, and is, awesome. But when I went to watch cable TV, I got nothing but snow. The new TV insisted that there was “No Signal”. I took my smaller TV from upstairs and hooked it up to the same cable and showed the larger TV that there was signal. It didn’t believe me. I consulted with experts on the internet (of which there are millions). I consulted with my brother. I plugged the cable into any of the ports on the pack of the television to which it would attach. People even offered me VCRs so I could watch TV. Maybe I seem old fashioned by not having HD TV, but I am NOT going to hook up a VCR in the year two thousand and nine. No way.
I tried everything and still, “No Signal”. I gave up.
And two days later, when my lovely and smart and attractive girlfriend came over, the TV decided that there was a signal. And we watched cable TV and everyhing seemed to have gotten better. For days this charade went on. The television pretended it was fixed and I watched boring and silly shows for about five days. And then the TV either felt it had enough, or maybe that I had enough and it was back to “No Signal”. No popping noises or sparks or anything. Just snow and static. I remembered what I had done before and I skipped to the end. The “giving up” part.
I called Time Warner Cable. And when I say I “called” them, I mean I started an online chat with a sales-person. This person told me I needed digital phone service. He was a liar. But I still listened to him talk about pricing and digital cable. I made sure they were not going to send people to my house, which the cable company seems intent on doing even if you are a good customer and don’t owe them money. I “upgraded” to digital cable, which is the only kind they sell tuners for, and picked up my digital cable channel changing device from a local cable store.
And now I can watch cable in a miriad of screen sizes ranging from “horribly squished” to “so clear I can see everyone’s pores”. I also have so many channels that I often make a base camp around channel 100 and plan my ascent towards channel 200 after a good nights rest and a meal of hot dogs and peanut butter crackers. I hear there are music channels in the 900’s, but frankly, I’m pretty sure that’s an urban legend.