Saturday, April 22, 2006

Dear Charlie:

So I left the football game early.

Yup, Ms. Stay-'Til-the-Last-Moment left a perfectly fun and enjoyable football game at halftime...because it was simply too hot. In APRIL. It was too hot for football in APRIL.

What is this world coming to??

I don't handle heat well at the best of times, and if this is a sign of the summer to come, I'm gonna be spending a lot of time indoors, and that does not bode well for The Geeb's state of mind. I like being outside!

Plus, I'm having bizarro trouble with my new DVD/VHS player. My old one was perfectly serviceable, but it was past its prime. Some discs would continually skip -- some coding issue, I'm guessing -- and some wouldn't play correctly. The options would mess up somehow.

So, it was time for a new one. Got the same brand, just a newer model. Paid less than half the price I paid for the other, but that's mostly because DVD/VHS players were fairly new and rare when I got the first one.

Yeah, that's how old that one was. Heh. I keep things a loooooong time.

Anyway, the new one is okay -- now that I figured out how to set the display aspect to the type of TV I have -- except for...well...the lines.

The narrow, vertical, kinda staticky lines allllll over the screen.

They come and go, and they aren't so bad on the viewing surface, but they're annoying as hell in the black bars above and below. I don't do fullscreen anymore, so there's always black space above and below. Except's not black so much as black-n-grey striped.


I called the place where I bought it. Best Buy has been very good to me, service-wise, so I had no fear of calling for info. The guy was very helpful and suggested that the connecting cables -- those red, white, and yellow A/V cables -- might be old and corroded. He asked if I was having any audio trouble. No. How does the VHS play? I put in a tape. No problem. Yup, it's the video cable -- the yellow one.

Now, funny story, when I got the old DVD/VHS player, I had to buy those cables separate -- the yellow video cable separate from the red and white audio cables. My TV's a bit old, so the video input jack is waaaaay down below. There's probably two and a half feet between the DVD/VHS player jack and the TV jack. Plus, I have a killer theater surround sound system which sits another foot and a half above the DVD/VHS player on another shelf. Combined cables simply didn't reach the separate locations. So, I got separate ones back then and haven't had a single problem with them since.

The cables that came with the new DVD/VHS player were all bound into one handy package, so I kept the old set of two and gave the new one away to a work friend who had a sudden and fortuitous need for a DVD player.

Now, the guy on the phone said that my old audio cable was probably just corroded or twisted inside or just plain too old, so I should try disconnecting one of the audio cables and plugging it into the audio jack. Um...the red and white cables are connected with maybe three inches of reach between them, max. Can't reach. Dammit.

So, I went and got a brand spankin' new video cable. $30 bucks to get it separate, but it's supposed to be the best thing out there and a huge improvement in the video quality, blah-blah-blah.

Not so much.

Still got the lines. I don't know what to do now. I can hook up speakers and components like a pro, but I'm kinda worried that maybe the TV jack is...old. Stripped, maybe. Or even corroded. The audio lines are fine. No static, no buzz.

I can't afford a new TV! Good grief!

So, I may just have to get used to the lines until I can. The Best Buy guy offered to exchange out the new DVD/VHS unit for another, saying that the new jack might be bad, but...I doubt it. Why would the two audio jacks be fine but the video jack be screwed up? It's possible, of course, but....

It's probably my old TV. It's a good 5 or 6 years old, and there's lots of new technology out there now that may well be backwards compatible, but...well....

Sometimes new stuff just works better with new stuff. Which is why I didn't want to get new stuff!


I'll just make do, unless anyone has any suggestions?

[Edit: Um...weirder still, it seems to only do this with my Firefly DVDs. I haven't tried Serenity yet, but I'm kind of afraid to try. What's the deal? The DBZ movie didn't have any problem, but that was full screen. I have a widescreen movie in right now, and it's not doing that weird stripey thing. Someone please tell me it's not just my Firefly stuff!]


At 4:46 PM, Blogger Devgel Zo said...

I remember an email back in 2004 about your dislike about the heat and your AC being busted...

Well, that's global warming for ya!

Personally, I like the cold because I look good in coats and scarves. I like dressing up and cuddling up.

Pity about not having a warm body to cuddle up to though. Oh well.

I love fiddling with gadgets and stuff and can usually fix problems but your tv sounds...unwell. The fact that different dvds have problems says 'region code' or 'ntsc/pal' issues to me but I'm pretty sure your dvd player can play across all six regions. Mine can because its fairly new so yours should be able to. Those lines are strange but I don't think I could put up with them messing up a favourite show.

Hope that helps a little!

PS: Give the cook a chance! XD

At 7:05 PM, Blogger GutterBall said...




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