Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Media Maven

Cool stuff is usually wasted on me. I'm not quite a Luddite, but the simpler the better.

I'd drive a Porsche just a tad over the speed limit, and not at all if it was a stick shift. I use about 10% of the capability of my Blackberry and my computer. I have no curiosity beyond e-mail, and I use a cellphone and the little camera for exactly those purposes---calls, texts and photos. Never gonna play Brickbreaker, use the calendar, V cast apps or Slacker Radio (whut?), Voice Notes Recorder, etc...

When I bought my house, the sellers "left behind" a Bose surround sound system which seemed pretty cool. I looked at the pile of cords (cables, whatever!) thinking they'd just get attached to my TV, but a friend's 18 yr old kid told me I was missing the receiver and the speaker selector. So all I got was a pile of cords (cables, whatever!). Oh well, at least the speakers were all there, with corresponding volume knobs strategically placed around the house.

It's all wired into one discreet corner. I came up with a great idea for the TV. I didn't want to put it over the fireplace, I don't have a wall unit, wasn't going to get one either, so I bought an artist's easel. I know--pretty neat!

The cable guy came and said this was the first time he'd ever hooked up a TV to an easel. I told him I wanted the smallest digital cable box possible, and that I never figured out how to program a VCR, so there is no chance I will need or use a DVR recorder. The fewer components, the better. I barely watch TV--maybe 5 channels out of 100's...but I do want those 5 to look sharp and to sound great. The picture was indeed sharp. Check that off the list.

My grill/appliance guy sells TV's but I already have one. He recommended a home entertainment system guy, and he came over with a receiver, a subwoofer and a speaker selector. I asked him for small, dark and handsome. And for "cord management" so that my whole "mimimalist easel idea" was not going to be compromised. All the boxes fit neatly under and behind the easel and the cords live inside a mesh sleeve. So far so good!

But then...the pile of remotes and instruction manuals. Nothing makes me glaze over faster. Well, maybe talking politics.
Gah! Remotes, manuals and schematics.

"All these remotes to listen to a CD, watch the news, cooking shows and some movies? Not happening. Not happening. Too many steps." I pleaded and he came back this week to program everything into a universal remote. It looks important. It's got some heft, it has a digital display, but it's surprisingly easy to follow and I'm totally in charge! One zone for video and TV, and another zone for music to be heard out in the yard, or on the front porch, or above the tub in the master bath. Hello, Mr. Bubble!

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