Sunday, March 20, 2011

The TV’s In My Life

My parents got their first TV a year or so before I was born. When I was a kid, I used to sit on a hassock in front of it and watch the cartoons on Saturday mornings. If she had time, my mom would watch a couple of soap operas or game shows in the daytime while she was sewing or doing other stuff near the set. Dad would watch the sports on the weekends if he wasn’t working in the fields or doing other farm work. I don’t recall a lot of arguments over what we would watch in the evenings – after all we only had three stations to choose from! We didn’t get our first colour TV until the early 1970’s. I was in junior high and my mom was working at the school. Dad and my brother had been shopping that day and wanted to surprise us, but when we came home that evening we noticed part of a large folded box sticking out of the rafters in the garage as we drove in! The men thought they had it up all the way, but it had slipped a bit after they’d gone back in the house. I think they were a little disappointed that they didn’t get to surprise us when we walked in but it was the thought that counted! I got my very own TV when I was about 13. My dad had won $3,000.00 in a local area lottery and gave each of us four kids a couple hundred to do with as we pleased. I spent part of my share on a 13” black and white portable TV for my bedroom. I didn’t abuse the privilege of having my own set, but I sure loved being able to watch the stuff I wanted to watch! That set lasted me for several years. I eventually replaced it with a slightly bigger 15” model which I kept till the late 1980’s. In 1987, I finally bought my first colour TV – a 20” RCA. If I recall correctly, it cost me almost $500! That was a lot of money at the time and I debated about spending that much, but was really tired of watching everything in black and white! I had a bit of trouble with the picture tube in the first few months but it was repaired under warranty and actually lasted till the summer of 2002, when it died. TV’s had changed a lot in those preceding years. My eyes had also changed and I wanted a bigger screen to see things a bit clearer. Since, the 20” died rather quickly, I didn’t have as much time to research a new one this time. As a result, I only looked in a handful of stores over a couple of days before deciding on a 32” Sanyo. It had a great picture and the sound quality was also very good. The downside, was that the thing was big and very heavy. It also cost close to a $1,000.00! Ouch! That was a LOT to spend for a TV. Add on to that, the fact that I would also need a new stand to put it on and this was a major investment for me! The stand I picked out weighed almost as much as the TV and was a pain to put together – in no small part because it was a blistering hot August day and I had no air conditioning! It took me several hours, but I did it on my own and had it ready when the TV was delivered a few hours later. Despite the weight, the Sanyo was a good TV and I was pleased with the quality and performance – until last summer. Every once in a while, the picture would go a little jaundiced. It would correct itself fairly quickly but it was still a bit annoying. Gradually, it started doing it more often. Once every couple of weeks, eventually became once a day and then it started doing it several times a day. As time wore on, the picture wouldn’t correct as quickly or as well. The jaundiced would switch to a flickering blur of blue as it tried to correct then go to black screen for a few seconds before the picture would come back. The sound was never affected through any of this though. At first, this routine would result in a fully corrected pic, but over time the effort to recover, became harder and it often took two or three attempts over a few minutes to get decent colour again. Sometimes, I even had to turn the TV off for a few seconds before I could get it to work properly. It was definitely time to start looking for a new TV! dn Next: Finding a new TV.

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