Techno Bollocks

Last week I was questioning whether new technology is all it’s cracked up to be. It wasn’t a luddite whinge. I genuinely do doubt that digital tv or radio is better than analogue. For sure they cram in more channels, but three questions:

  1. How many do you really, really want to watch/listen to?
  2. Why do you get jerky pictures out 0f synch sound with digital?
  3. And why, if it’s so crap, do we pay so much for the privilege?

We have had all of the above problems so that in the end I put in a call to Virgin, mainly to stop Mrs P throwing the remote through the tv screen.

The blokes in Virgin t-shirts turned up this morning at 8am on the dot. They plugged a meter thing into the box and a conversation began in the real world, dipped into conspiracy theory, then dropped into techno-babble. It went thus:

“Hiya,” (Bloke at door taking his shoes off. “Got a problem with yer box?”

“Yep,” I said, slurping tea and explaining the above. “We’ve had this one for ages and it’s rubbish. A friend of ours said we should ask for one of the new silver boxes.”

“Nah! They’ve dumped Samsung. What you’ve got is a 5300. They’re still installing these yer know.”

Me: An 8am baffled look.

They connected an impressive looking bit of equipment to to the box, made some teeth-sucking noises and mumbled things like “too low” and “look at that” before asking:

“Does the freezing happen in the evening?”

Me: “Yes it does!” I said, in the same way you do when your doctor tells you to repeat particularly painful movement and then asks you if it hurts.

Them: “That’s the street lights,” they explained. “Y’see our cable is here and the light cable is there and when they switch ’em on it interferes with our signal.”

Me: Baffled.

They disappeared outside (in their boots) to check the mains green box before coming back to say that all was well, but then the real babble followed:

Them: “You’ve got one of those special thick cables. Can’t understand why they put a low tap on it though.”

I’m nodding sagely while wondering WTF are they talking about.

It may be sorted, but why do I wonder whether that the next techno-geek will tell me: “You’ve got one of those thin cables. Can’t understand why they put a high tap in. The pictures all bash into each other and get mixed up. That’s what’s causing the freezing.”

As I said, Techno Bollacks.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

4 comments… Add yours
  • Jennyta 26th October 2007

    It sounds like a good basis for a comedy sketch. I understood that the freezing thing had something to do with the amount of bandwidth the provider of the channel buys and the number of people watching the programme. Hey, what do I know!

    Reply
  • Mosher 28th October 2007

    That’s my main whinge about digital (from old fashioned aerials). If you have a bad analogue signal, you get a programme that ghosts, hisses, is a bit fuzzy or something… but you can still *watch* it. The same weak signal on digital is utterly unwatchable.

    As for the other stuff like HD, I figured that one out. You need HD on digital to get a picture quality equal to that from a decent, sharp analogue picture…

    Reply
  • Son of Groucho 28th October 2007

    I’m hopeless with these modern televisions too.

    Reply
  • Yorkshire Pudding 28th October 2007

    I hate to get personal but you are starting to sound like a grumbling old man… I should know because I entered this state several years ago!

    Reply

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