Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Old Dude Meets TV Decoder Box

Perhaps you have already seen the video, touting how come next February, all TV broadcasts will be in High Definition Digital signals only, and if your still using an old analog TV, you will need to obtain a decoder box to convert the HD signals into analog, so you can see the picture. In this short video they imply how simple it is to connect the decoder box. THEY make it look like a less than five minute exercise. yeahhhhhhhh righttttttt, as if ANYTHING the government gets involved in, is ever so simple!!

Yesterday I acquired a TV decoder box. Being an old dude, and not a expert in electronic hookups per se, still had seen the video how complex could it be to install. Plug the lead from the antenna on the roof (currently plugged into the VCR, and plug it into the decoder box. then take the cable that comes with the box, plug it into the TV out jack of the converter box and plug the other end into the jack of the VCR which previously had been the antenna jack .

Great, easy took me longer to pull out the VCR and the TV Console to be able to reach the Jacks . I step back turned it on and-------YIKES!! got nothing but a major snow blizzard on all channels----and so it began----Old Dude Vs The TV Converter box.

I was of course disappointed, it should have worked, but obviously it wasn't , whats a boy to do now? Well first off I went and got a cold beer. and then (glad no one was around to see), reached for and opened the converter box manual to read the stupid installation instructions. The silly three step start to finish instructions make no reference to how to install the decoder box with a VCR ---(and I HAVE to have the VCR functional, or otherwise I would not be able to make use of my large video cassette collection, nor the on going parade of Netflix discs of current and oldie favorites, not in my collection.)

Fact, the old installation worked, signal came from antenna to VCR and then there were cables going to the TV ---Logic dictates that the signal from the antenna must now go first to the new decoder box, then to the VCR----a second cold beer was downed as I scowled at the VCR, the decoder box and the TV----maybe I should work on getting the new decoder remote up and working. maybe the remote had to be in the mix somehow for everything to work. To do this I had to install the AAA battery in the remote. So slapped the batter in, and damn nothing, so reversed the battery, still nothing. The remote must be defective is my first thought---but wait maybe the battery they had included was just a bad battery---so I rummaged around the house and learned we had nothing in the house utilizing a AAA battery.

By now, totally frustrated, help myself to another beer,and getting to look closer at the battery they had sent with the box noticed that the stupid thing was encased in a thin shrink wrap---a pen knife and careful surgery finally got the shrink wrap off the battery. AHA, old dude is now making progress. Now I noticed also included with the decoder box was a second cable, this one with three color coded jacks on each end yellow, white and red---subsequent investigations showed me the VCR and the decoder box both had similar coded jacks -----with my heart beating a mile a minute, tears in my eyes with relief, I dutifully applied the coded cable to the the two boxes, and now with my new remote turned on the TV, the VCR and the decoder box---and that's when the LP returned from the computer in the other room, took in the disarray of the den, open boxes, plastic envelopes ripped open, instruction pages all over the place, the TV and VCR pulled out of their shelves ----then he saw the TV was operating properly, insisted I give him the new remote, ---and then instructed me to put the room back together properly, while HE ran through all the new channels the decoder box allowed us (I think we added about 15 new channels than we had before)

Anyway what started out as a five minute exercise the old dude suffered, an hour and half with---but the result was good, and hell not only did I have that satisfaction, I also had managed to give myself a good buzz. (and as Dana would say, "life is good")


  1. I am glad you finally figured it out!!

  2. YEaH! That is why I have a teenager around. He can fix anything, glad you finally got it all straight!

  3. Hey, we aint got no blinking at 12Pm vcrs, or other appliances here at Matilija either---teenagers know things---but they don't know everything---but us old dudes do, (at least the teenagers worry that we do---never let a kid intimidate ya.)

  4. Next time get the buzz on BEFORE you tackle anything that needs directions. Then, by the time you realize it ain't gonna work, you're already out cold and life is good again!

  5. so, all you did that was different was to plug in the RCA cables from the VCR (IN) to the decoder box (OUT)? The antenna cable still went to the VCR (Coxial IN) and then VCR (Coxial OUT)to the TV (antenna IN)same as before? I might as well read the instructions for all the good your info did me. Sorry from one old dude to another.

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