My Smart TV Outsmarted Me

I’m recovering from a personal journey that tested me in ways I’ve never been tested before. There were times when I was scared, bewildered, angry and tear stained. I ranted at the world and shouted curses. Fortunately I made it out and I’m here now to share a story of grit, survival, the power of prayer and sheer tenacity.

My pilgrimage of self-discovery started out with me attempting to lower our cable bill. My goal was to get our cable bill down enough to match what we would have to pay if we cut the cord and had to pony up for additional streaming services.

I marched into the cable company ready to battle. The woman helping me was very matter-of-fact, like she had heard this all before, and pointed out that a significant chunk of our bill was for super high speed Internet.

She knew she had me. Once you have high speed Internet you’re not going back – ever. There’s a lot of things I’ll give up in the name of making smarter spending choices but two things – turbo Internet and getting my hair highlighted will never make that list.

The customer service rep did discover that we could save money just by getting an updated digital video recorder. I was enthusiastically all in on that transaction and left with a new DVR and TV remote.

Fortunately I didn’t have to install the new equipment because I live with digital natives who need to earn their keep by riding herd on any and all tech endeavors. All was well in advanced DVR land until I was home alone and had to use the new remote to interface with the television.

At first I was mildly frustrated that I couldn’t even get the TV turned on. That quickly morphed into anger because come on, how hard can it to be turn on a TV? Adding to my now boiling cauldron of rage and disbelief was that I couldn’t even figure out how to manually turn on the TV.  Apparently, our “smart” television doesn’t have a physical on/off button. How does this happen? Why are televisions being manufactured like this?

It took almost 20 minutes for me to get the blasted TV turned on because that’s how long it took for me to try almost every button and sequence to get it to come to life. By this time I was sweating, swearing, and cursing the idiots who thought not having an on/off button made a TV “smart.”

Next up, I had to negotiate how get the DVR and TV to play together. It didn’t matter what buttons I hit on the remote the DVR wouldn’t take me to the TV channels. I was positive Satan must possess these electronics.

By this time I was too deep in my misery to give up. I was going to have to do an exorcism. I fervently prayed to the cable gods to give me guidance and finally the remote now saturated with tears did its job and I was able to see HGTV on the screen in all its glory.

I had won but as I collapsed on the couch the victor my butt hit the remote and the television turned off. Nooooo!

It took a patronizing “DVR and TV remote interfacing” lesson from my son to get me proficient in the new setup. And just for the record I still valiantly stand by my statement that a “smart” TV isn’t very smart if it doesn’t have an on/off button.