As seen on TV
I actually opened up the back of the TV cabinet and successfully installed The Wife’s new Amazon Fire TV device.
What, you ask, is Amazon Fire TV?
I have no idea. But that’s not the point. The point is I actually hooked up a digital device and it works! This is an unprecedented event in my home. For those of you under 35 this might seem like bragging about exhaling, but that’s my brontosaurus parked outside, so cut me some slack. Having grown up with rabbit ears and 5 channels, I still struggle to remember what button I have to push to get CNN. The successful installation of anything in this digital age is a triumph for this analogue man.
With Amazon Fire TV we now have access to an additional 4,000-plus channels, apps and games with 250,000 episodes of television and moves streaming in 4K ultra HD. It’s a veritable orgy of entertainment options.
Of course, we already get 3,999 of those channels via our Time/Warner subscription and umpteen thousand more through the Apple TV device one of the Kids gave us two Christmases ago.
Throw in a Blue Ray DVD player and the McIntyre household is ready to hunker down for those rainy El Nino nights should we ever actual experience a rainy El Nino night.
Of course, out of the 4,000-plus channels now available for my viewing pleasure, I actually watch a total of four; CNN, the History Channel, the MLB Network, and whatever channel “Hoarders” is on. The rest of the TV universe is invisible to this cornucopia of communication did not come without complications. For starters, each of these devices has a separate HDMI cable that has to plug into the back of the television. But our television only has two HDMI ports. This means ol’ Man McIntyre ends up kneeling on the hard tile floor with a flashlight, entangled in a rat’s nest of cords, plugging and unplugging cables while The Wife shouts helpful suggestions like; “It’s still not working!”,”Do you know what you’re doing?”, or “Maybe I should call one of the kids?” And I considered “calling one of the kids”, just don’t ask what I considered calling him since he’s the one who gave us the damn thing. However, my manhood had been challenged and I was determined to soldier on alone.
After using the hedge clippers to chop through the bramble of wires I finally managed to hook up the right cables and this only after three trips to Fry’s! That’s a new personal best since I always buy the wrong version of anything electronic.
After scraping knuckles, smacking my head on the cabinet and dropping the flashlight repeatedly I had the last laugh when — magically — everything worked!
With the push of a button The Wife can now flip from cable to DVD player to Apple TV to Amazon Fire TV and back again.
Unfortunately, I will be unable to share in this bonanza of entertainment because it now takes six remotes, SIX, to work the television; two remotes to turn the thing on and off and make it louder or softer, one to switch between devices, and one remote each for the Blue Ray player, Apple TV and Amazon Fire. Of course, at any given time three remotes are lost between couch cushions or accidentally tossed into the recycling bin after being scooped up in a stack of newspapers.
So while The Wife wallows in TV nirvana surfing from HBO (the East Coast feed) to “This Week in the Ukraine” I’ll be in the bedroom with a book, two cats and my clock radio, yes, AM only.
Doug McIntyre’s column appears Sundays. Hear him weekdays 5-10 on AM 790 KABC. He can be reached at: Doug@DougMcIntyre.com.