It’s been about 4 weeks since we ditched the cable TV package and bought a mid range, mid price set top box from Argos. More than enough time for the new system to bed-in and outlive the initial honeymoon period.
Sure we can record one channel while watching another. Sure we can even record two different channels at the same time while watching one of them. Or we can even record stuff while watching stuff we’ve already recorded. And the rather capacious harddrive means we can store entire series and entire film oeuvres and still have room for the odd sitcom or two shoehorned on top.
Long live the great god Technology.
Except the reception is patchy and intermittent. This despite blowing the best part of £200 on a brand spanking new TV aerial and “booster box” – apparently the latter was necessary because our house is in a “slight dip” which is further aggravated by the presence of a 3 storey apartment block a couple of roads away whose sole purpose in life (aside from acting like a Chav hatchery) is to block out the TV signal that legitimately should be ours.
But here’s the thing: the reception seems to go at more or less the same time every night. 8.0pm approaches and the picture pixelates and the sound pops and jumps like that annoying comedian from the 70’s who’s main shtick was to pretend to have a dodgy hearing aid and would thus speak like this: “-llo can y- h- me? I’m h-ing tr-ble w- my h-ing ai-“
Yeah, right, ‘cos the ol’ voicebox is controlled by a device you plug into your ears, isn’t it, you st-pid b-st-d?
We’ve tried turning it off and on. We’ve tried changing channels. We’ve tried blowing onto the box in case, you know, it’s overheated playing back The Sarah Jane Adventures to the kids (well, Rani is a bit of a babe).
But all to no avail.
Reception is scrambled.
So something must be occurring around the same time every night and interfering with our TV reception. My money is on the students next door. I daresay 8pm sees them opening their coffin lids to finally start their day and all logging-on en masse to Windows Messenger and Facebook to see if anybody actually gives a shit about their status (“drank 8 bottles of tiger beer last night am well wasted”).
I can’t think what else it can be.
Either way if my Freeview box can’t cope with a little bit of interference then the great god Technology is dead and buried in my book. I mean, we never had reception problems like this when I was a kid. We only had 3 channels and they all worked fine. The only time the TV would go on the fritz was when a seagull would sit on the TV aerial or there’d be a thunderstorm somewhere in the Birmingham area.
Freeview? What a misnomer. It’s anything but free and half the time you can’t view anything.
Still, at least I can record static and white noise from 2 different TV channels whilst watching a digital snowstorm on a third.
Every cloud, eh?