My telly has finally gone bung. Finally? Well, it is a family heirloom. It was our family’s first colour television, purchased in 1978. It has seen seven different locations, and had to be tuned to different broadcast transmitters four times (Sydney, Port Stephens, Sydney, Armidale – and those little wheels it has for tuning are murder on the fingers after about 5 minutes). It was put into semi-retirement well over ten years ago when it moved to Port Stephens, but was put back into regular use by me when I moved out of my parents home for the second time, six years ago this month. Mum and Dad had to replace this television’s replacement a couple of years ago.
This TV was really something. It had a remote control! And I still have the remote (left), despite it not having worked for at least the last six years. A whole two buttons! One for volume (I think all it actually did was mute the volume) and one for the channel. It wasn’t infrared like modern remote controls – it used a sound frequency. So whenever Mum did the vacuuming while we were watching TV, the set would randomly change channel. I used to be able to make a “shh” noise with the same effect (like the remote, the receiver of this signal had stopped working too). And the front of the TV has some really neat channel buttons. They didn’t move when you pressed them, they operated something like those touch lamps. Occasionally, they wouldn’t work unless you simultaneously put your finger on the channel button, and jumped into the air so that you were not electrically grounded.
I’ve been expecting the TV to catastrophically fail one day. In truth, it hasn’t exactly done that. On Monday night, the picture went severely out of focus. After it had been switched off for a while, it seemed fine. Then last night, while I was looking down at my knitting (I’ve started the flower basket shawl), the channel suddenly changed to the channel that is the default when it is switched on. I suspect the power supply is probably going (the recent hot weather wouldn’t have helped). I couldn’t see any point in delaying the purchase of a new telly any longer – it has given absolutely no trouble in the last six years, so I assume it’s present problems probably indicate it has little time left. After more than 27 years faithful service, it owes nothing.
So, having looked at a few options in the shops yesterday, followed by internet research, I went out today and purchased a replacement. It has enough inputs that I don’t need a switching box, or to channel everything through the VCR to the TV as I had to with the heirloom (it had only an aerial socket – things started getting complicated with a DVD player. Then I added a digital STB and a DVD recorder…). It has a ‘proper’ remote control, with oodles of buttons (I couldn’t find the mute control when Mum phoned earlier and ended up muting the STB to the same effect). And I finally found a use for the TV controls on the VCR’s remote control I’ve had since 1998 – despite it’s age, setting it to the TV’s brand actually worked. With all these remotes, and no switching box, I might never need to leave the sofa again! Somehow I doubt this new telly will last anything like 27 years. If it did, I would be 60. Ye gads!
Oh, and happy 1st blog birthday to me!