When we moved here nearly 30 years ago, there was a satellite dish in the backyard — you know, the big, 6-foot-diameter metal ones. Wow, I thought, we can finally watch sports! Up until then, we could only get four channels.
The previous owner warned us it had a few issues. Turns out that if you liked hockey from Boston, it was good. Otherwise, it was worthless. The satellite was rusted shut in one direction, and the only station of note it got was from Boston.
So much for that. After I nearly knocked my head off mowing around it, we cut it up, and my TV technology went for scrap. Finally, after realizing it wasn’t too smart to drag little kids 30 miles just to watch the Purdue-Indiana rivalry basketball game with a relative who had ESPN, we decided to get our own satellite.
Besides, I figured out one channel showed “The Lone Ranger.” And it was only $35 per month. Well, they dropped “The Lone Ranger” about six weeks later, and now it’s over $100 per month. But we’re more than hooked on all kinds of sports and movie channels — yes, even the Hallmark Christmas movie channel.
When we tried to get another Hallmark channel, we found out we didn’t have receivers capable of high-definition TV. Finally, we opted for the upgrade.
Wow! You don’t know what you’re missing without HDTV. Someone said you could even make out blades of grass on the football field, and sure enough, you can see blades — unless they’re playing on fake grass. You can even see sweat beads on basketball players. Maybe some things you don’t want to see.
But we got more than just HD with the upgrade. Now we have a built-in DVR, because our old external one conked out a long time ago. We can record shows and get shows “On Demand,” whatever that means. At least that’s what my kids tell me. I’m lucky if I can turn everything on and off.
Our oldest daughter, Allison, came for a visit. She has all these gizmos already. “Look at this, Dad,” she said. “This show has already started, but I’m going to go back to the beginning, and we can see it from the start.”
“No, you can’t do that,” I said, eyes wide open.
“Just watch! And when we get to commercials, I’ll just zip through them!”
If I knew how to spell “shazam,” that is what I would’ve said!
She did it alright. It was disappointing when we finally caught up with the live broadcast and couldn’t zip through commercials!
“I don’t see how that works. I just don’t get it!” I said.
“Don’t try to figure it out, Dad,” she advised. “Just enjoy it!”
That’s probably good advice. For someone who watched “The Lone Ranger” in his childhood on a black-and-white Philco, a big old set with tubes, this was a little far-fetched. We didn’t even have color TV until 1963, when my grandpa bought it for us to watch the Rose Bowl parade. That was the big selling gimmick back then. Ironically, I’m not sure I’ve ever watched the whole parade ever since.
But I sure like this new satellite upgrade and its gizmos — just so I don’t think too hard about what’s happening. And as long as someone else is around to run it for me!