Posted on January 30, 2013
“So ma’am,” says the nice young Audio/Visual guy…”this remote is for your Direct TV, this remote is for the Apple TV, this remote is for the Denon receiver, and finally this one is your Samsung TV remote.”
Four remotes to operate ONE Television! (OK, and the music in the house…but still…really?).
“Oh no. This just won’t do!” I say. Already I am having a flash back to over a year ago when I flew to Northern Virginia to babysit my adorable nephew while his mamma (my sis) flew to Budapest to see her husband who was enjoying a weeklong conference there during his Afghanistan deployment. It was day-one of my duties and three year-old Alexandre was set to watch the Monsters Inc. movie with his Zia CC. We were both excited! Only two remotes; so simple, right? Well, one wrong button pushed and….you guessed it. A blank television screen. I sat on the kitchen floor for over 45 minutes trying to get the damned movie to display. What were we going to do for five days without Tom and Jerry and Dora The Explorer? Alexandre was certainly a good deal more patient than his Zia; while I fussed, fumed, and fumbled with the remotes he was content, practicing his downward dog pose (really he was playing with a toy truck sending it flying between his legs); only occasionally would he ask “where’s the movie Zia CC.?” My sis had left three pages of detailed notes for the week but nowhere were there instructions for operating the silly T.V. Most likely she assumed that a wise and educated women such as I (not to mention ten years older) would know how to operate a T.V. and DVR. Silly sis!
Seriously. I miss the dinosaur days. Well, not quite back to the dinosaur era but in today’s terms, I’m entirely certain that wishing for a television with a single on / off switch and a dial to tune to stations would qualify. Sigh…..
So, we have this lovely house with speakers in various rooms. We should be able to enjoy music piped throughout the house. That is the goal. Since moving to “middle earth” I cannot find a good local radio station. I’m not trying to offend but the DJ’s here are THE worst I’ve ever heard from anywhere I have lived (and, I’ve lived in a lot of places). In fact, if I could even find a radio show anchor worth his/her salt on a country music station I would even listen to that station. Cringe! Yep…that’s how bad local radio stations are here! In California (and during my 14 years in Northern Virginia) I listened to adult contemporary/pop music stations every morning just to enjoy the entertaining morning shows. The rest of the day, I’d listen to classical music. Once we started subscribing to Sirius radio, I had an additional classical music source that was terrific. Life was good.
Then middle earth. My satellite radio reception is terribly spotty, really quite unreliable, in my new location. I miss my classical music station terribly; and, I’m sure if my poodle could talk, he would agree! You see, I leave classical music on for him to listen to while I am away from home (I’d like to think he is partial to Vivaldi). Yes…Location is everything in more ways than one. My house is surrounded by tall trees not to mention a covered brick patio that restricts the signal from the southern skies. I’ve been relying on iPod music and recently, Pandora radio on my iPad in just one room of the house. I know!! It’s terrible, isn’t it?! Totally unacceptable!
So…..not one, but four remotes. Ay ya! I tried to listen intently to the young AV guy, doing everything in my power to appear tech savvy and totally comfortable with his tech lingo; He may as well been speaking Chinese. I tried to keep calm and focused but my eyes were glazing over fast (I am used to that…I live with a physicist after all). I’ll admit that I was getting slightly annoyed too; how infuriating as he made it appear like a two-year old could do it! Ah…but he was quick to point out that it would be far easier to have a single remote. Well, why didn’t you say so!
How much for this universal remote device? $1100.00. I’ll confess “Holy Shit” rolled right off my tongue before I could stop it. I can see why hubby wouldn’t even discuss this with the AV specialists.
“Did you even ask the guys what was so special about this $1100 remote, “ I had asked hubby after the AV guy left. “Is it made of gold or something, for heaven sakes!?” No, he did not ask. I did however. AV guy said they programmed the device exactly for our needs. He had a sample remote with him and yes indeed…one, two, three easy.
Later in a call to my Southern Californial friend Lou where I bent her ear for a moment or two about the general stubbornness of the opposite sex (that would be my husband) I learned that their remote was over $2,000. Really?? I’ll take that nice bit of info to my hubby and he’ll see what a steal we’d be getting with a universal remote in middle-earth land!
I’ll admit though, at the moment I am experiencing ten degrees of bliss. Vivaldi is now streaming through the house. Poodle puppy is curled at my feet and for the moment, four remotes is not in my consciousness….