Yeah, figured.

Friday, March 15th, 2013 03:42 pm
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
We have cable. We insisted on getting cable rather than satellite when we bought this house (lo, these many moons ago) for one very simple reason: It meant we could program multiple shows on multiple VCRs without having to plead for our signal through a separate tuner box, or be limited to whatever single channel a tuner box might be set to at any given time. Contrary to the belief of many people including a lot of those in the cable industry, it was not necessary to have a cable box if one's VCR(s) had a built-in tuner, which at that time all VCRs did. This was a deal-breaker issue for us, and is the sole reason we have stuck with our pathetic little local cable company for all this time despite mediocre service, poor channel selection, and skyrocketing prices.

Yes, this means we had analog cable. Shockingly, this was fine by us.

Well, the p-l-l-c-c is "upgrading" their network, and going all-digital. They provide a "digital adapter" for free, so we got one. I've been blowing off hooking it up because I strongly suspected it would work like a cable box and I didn't want to deal, but I was in a bad mood anyway today, so I buckled down and hooked it up.

Not only does it work just like a cable box, it actually is a cable box. "Digital adapter" my ass; when you burrow through the p-l-l-c-c's propaganda-laced documentation and get to the manufacturer's, the item is clearly identified as a "set-top box". If you're old enough to have any idea what I'm talking about in the first paragraph, you recognize that phrase; it means, yes, "cable box". Good-bye, multiple programing per time-slot; good-bye, programming one and watching another; don't even get me started on what this does to taping while we're out of town.

Good-bye, the only advantage our crappy, overpriced cable had over the other options available. (Other than inertia, that is, but since we're being forced to change anyway....)

So now we get the entirely unwelcome hassle of switching to Dish or Direct, including finding out if they even offer service in our area, the challenges of sticking a dish on the roof, hoping it won't interfere with the p2p internet antenna that's also stuck to the roof, arguing with whichever company about the viability of our not-cutting-edge video equipment, arguing about the rights of consumers to archive material for personal use, plus set-up fees, switchover gaps, etc., etc., etc. Do not fscking need this right now. Even the carrot of getting more channels (I understand there's this thing called BBC America?) is not worth the hassle of dealing with this right now. Not that there's ever a good time for more stress, but I'd like to at least finish dealing with the last load before the next one dumps on.

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