Tuesday, March 31, 2015

System Integration

Yesterday I was cast back to a now sadly-familiar role: the family's systems engineer. My mother had reported that her ancient (CRT) TV had now evolved to sound only .. and indeed it was so. I didn't waste too much time with the old (2003) Sky STB, once turning off and restarting everything had failed to turn things around.

My first ploy was to attach her old aerial coax to a spare Freeview digibox I happened to have. This gave perfectly adequate reception for the channels she's interested in, but could I get that Flipper to control it? In despair I called digibox tech support: I paraphrase.
"Yep, the device you're dealing with is a cheap Chinese import we sell. We've never had any luck getting third party remotes to work with it. We don't know the codes and in any case you're wasting your time."
I was perseverant with the Flipper, manual in hand, but success eluded me. It was time to visit Currys/PC World. The tech assistants were entranced by my Flipper booklet.
"Hey," called my guy to his boss, have you ever seen anything like this?
These are folk who don't get out of bed for anything with less than 200 controls; the Flipper - with its minimalist on-off, channel +/- & volume up/down buttons - entranced and mystified them. The Samsung TV seemed most likely to be Flipper-friendly and so - eventually - it proved.

Samsung delivers the goods
I am so bad at manipulating physical reality, and tend to panic and hyperventilate when presented with two pieces of plastic and seven cross-headed screws. I did, however, finally get the stand assembled and connected to the TV.

Ab initio configuration is so much better now - no more diving through five layers of incomprehensible on-screen menus aided by a bulky manual written in microscopic font. So after no more than 90 minutes I was able to call the Sky people and close down her contract.

They were good about it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. Keep it polite and no gratuitous links to your business website - we're not a billboard here.