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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Summing up A/V in one scene

Posted on October 11, 2012 at 5:45 PM

We were watching TV last night and the opening dialog from the show Up All Night was just so full of spot-on, brilliant amazingness that I had to share it for all to enjoy.

So, I’ll set the scene; married couple Reagan (Christina Applegate) and Chris (Will Arnett) are sitting on their couch eating and watching TV. (I think it is an episode of Real Housewives of Something-Something they are watching.) When – poof! Suddenly the TV goes out…

Please to enjoy this dialog from the episode, “Swingers”:

Reagan: What’s happening, honey? Where’s TV?

Chris: Calm down.

R: What’s going on?

C: I’ll check this bad boy out. (Gets up and walks behind TV)

R: Just reboot it, honey.*

C:  All right give me a second. (Stares blankly at the back of the TV)

R: Just try. Just reboot it. You have to reboot it.  

C: Honey, you’re saying words that don’t mean anything.

R:  Try blowing on it. Like, you know, like you used to do with old Nintendo cartridges.**

C: (Leans around corner and gives weird look)

R: Just do it...

C: That doesn’t work, babe. (Blows vigorously on cable line) ***

R: (Looking at coffee table) Why is it that we have so many remotes?!**** I mean, when did we have a Laser Disc player?! *****

C: All right, well, TV’s out. So, now what are we going to do?

R: I guess we could try and eat without TV...?

C: Yeah. Like animals.  

* It’s so incredibly awesome that a primetime TV show has – with one single phrase – completely encapsulated the current state of cable TV viewing technology. The modern day cable box – while pretty awesome on paper, what with its multiple tuners and hard disk and DVR capability – is really a technology Jenga ready to seize up and collapse at any given moment. I am mostly convinced that Scientific Atlanta and Motorola source out only the VERY cheapest D-grade parts for their boxes – preferably ones that have been refurbished out of other, already broken components – to insure that the device has a JUST enough working potential to operate long enough for the cable installer to put in the box, say, "Whelp. Looks like she's workin'," walk jauntily back to his truck, and then drive away. (Please refer to item #4 on my tech troubleshooting basics blog.)

** This. Seriously. Just…this. Sure, there is no rational reason in the Cosmos why blowing on a Nintendo (or it's predecessor in awesome, the Atari 2600) cartridge would make it work. But, By God! It did! And sometimes a vigorous blowing was that razor’s edge that you were balancing between being able to play hours of Metal Gear or Track & Field or having to go outside and ride a bike, so blow we did!

*** But don’t be ridiculous. Unlike Nintendo/Atari games, blowing on your cable line will produce no positive results and just prove that you don't know what you're doing. (Polishing a DVD/Blu-ray though CAN have positive effects. Have you ever seen some of the gunk and smudge that's on a library or Red Box disc? You should probably handle those things while wearing a bio-hazard suit.)

**** At current count, my living room system has the following remotes:

Pioneer Plasma TV

Marantz Projector

Panamorph Motorized Lens System

Draper Projection Screen

Draper Screen Masking

Kaleidescape Blu-ray Server

Yamaha 5 Disc CD Changer

Marantz Preamp-Processor

DISH Hopper Satellite System

Pioneer Laser Disc

Fortunately, the actual remotes are all safely ensconced away in a box. (A nice wood thing that looks like a big, hardbound book that I’m sure we paid an exorbitant price for at The Bombay Company.) The actual system is controlled by a single Control4 remote. (Or iPad running the Control4 app). This single remote also does my lights, HVAC, and shades. In an interface that's easy enough for my mom to use. (A gasp in amazement at that phrase would be appropriate at this point.) It is, as the English like to say, brilliant. I can’t recommend a smart remote control enough. Even if it’s only a $75 Harmony, invest. You’re worth it. Or the lack of your spouse nagging you will be worth it. But, definite worth involved.

***** Oh, Laser Disc player. You’ve been turned into a punch line. But a pretty damn funny one at that. Respect, old fella. You brought me a lot of years of enjoyment, and watching Speed on you literally changed my life. May your discs always be double-sided, CAB and scratch free!

Categories: October 2012, TV, Electronics

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1 Comment

Reply Joel Hagen
11:35 AM on October 12, 2012 
Love this blog. And the end of that dialog describes wife and I to a T. I grew up on watching tv while eating so it's hard to even eat unless a tv is on, which is weird to wife.