TV OR NOT TV

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I bought an Apple TV thing 6 weeks ago, I’d been thinking about it since I lost my job and it’s getting tough to afford $123.69 a month for my Directv. When I got Directv I was trying to get FIOS, but there is no FIOS in Brooklyn, so the phone company said they were offering to “bundle” my TV, phone and internet for only $79 a month. I did this because I was tired of getting chiseled by Time Warner just for cable. The $79 became $134 a month, $92 for the satellite service and $42 for the Internet provided by Verizon. We only use our cell phones so the landline was declined.

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5 or 6 years later, the DIRECTV is up to $123.69 and the Internet from Verizon is up to $52.49. And by the way, if it rains or snows really hard, you get no TV at all. Heavy cloud cover will block your satellite signal. So, cable outage or weather outage, your choice. In 7 years here on Broadway the Internet’s gone out only twice.

Apple TV sells for $99, and that’s it. But what do you get for your $99? You don’t get to watch Fargo on FX, that’s for sure.

You do get a little black box “the size of a hockey puck” as the kid at the apple store so aptly described it. And you get this remote:

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The ATV app on the phone, the lame remote on the left.

This is about the lamest, meat headed remote I’ve ever encountered in my life. You get a screen like this:

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And you have to click on one letter at a time to spell something out, and we activated the Lovely Danusia’s Netflix account it took 10 minutes just to type everything in letter by letter, since her email is 21 characters and password 10. Then it said the password was wrong. You would expect a better interface than this from Apple.

I’d downloaded the Apple TV remote app onto my iPhone, so we used this for the second try and though faster, it still said the password was invalid. She went through the whole process of changing the password, and we were on after 20 minutes worth of work. We figured that was it, the next time we log on it will be in the memory. No such luck, we had to go through the same process all over again, down to the thing telling us the password did not match. At this point I just wanted to flush my $99 hockey puck down the toilet.

I had registered on HBO GO since I still have an account, I haven’t turned off the DIRECTV yet- so we signed on and selected a Tom Berenger movie Break Down, where a chilling Busta Rhymes throws a baby out the window and orders the throat of one of his “Hoes” cut. The movie had a bluish tinge to it and I thought it was the cinematographer’s choice until we tried to watch another movie, also blue-tinged. Also the picture quality of Apple TV is not exactly HD.

So, after an attempt at watching another fuzzy blue movie I put it back on DIRECTV and watched something I’d recorded on the DVR. I’m going to miss the DVR feature on the box.

What are the other choices on Apple TV?

Here’s the screen:

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I won’t discuss them all, most aren’t even worthy of discussion.

Here goes: Netflix- I already told you about that.

Hulu plus- haven’t tried it yet but it doesn’t look promising.

HBO GO- I talked about this too.

Watch ABC. When I hook up my digital antenna I won’t need this.

Disney, Disney XD, and Disney Jr.- Not for me.

PBS- this we watched, after selecting a PBS station (Connecticut, Boston, NJ or NY) and signing on.

A&I and The History channel- Yes.

Lifetime, Bloomberg TV and Sky news- I don’t think so.

The Weather Channel was a favorite till DIRECTV got rid of it, so yes, I’ll watch.

ALL the sports channels are a no, I only watch sports if the Yankees are in the playoffs or in the Series, despite my momentary lapse last week for the last Rangers game. Red Bull sounds interesting if they have the air races. There’s nothing like watching a plane fly fast.

There’s a bunch of other stuff I’ll never watch, Crackle, Vevo, Korean TV, etc. I’d watch the Smithsonian channel.

The thing of it is, even if you want to watch any of these channels you have to deal with that stupid remote, and scroll through tons of uninteresting crap till you find something worth watching. A lot of the things you come across on the History channel, for instance, are 2 and 3 minutes long. You have to keep picking things to watch. Maybe Apple TV is designed to get people to stop watching TV; it’s such a chore. I’m certainly finding hard to cancel the satellite and the choices of a million things to watch, in un-blue tinged HD to boot!

But it always comes down to the money, which I haven’t got a lot of nowadays.

I’m glad I like to write, right now the TV’s off and I’m entertaining myself by trying to be entertaining to others. But then again I do like the mind-numbing stimulation (isn’t that an oxymoron?) that the brightly colored screen in front of me provides. And that satellite remote is a hell of a lot easier to use.

I will cancel the DIRECTV; I don’t have a lot of choice in the matter. I waited until Fargo was over, and I’m prepared. I have a good digital antenna I brought a couple of years ago for the bedroom TV, it’s been sitting in the closet since. Now I just have to get off my ass and up on the roof to install it. At least the wires are already there; I’m going to use the cable from the satellite dish to hook it up. I’m sure they’re not taking the wire; they probably won’t even take the dish. But I know they want their DVR box back. Stay tuned.

 

About xaviertrevino

I like to write, take things apart and put them back together, turtles, and my lovely wife Danusia.
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