Andrea here, channeling my inner Grinch today. Along with shopping for family and friends this holiday season, I decided to give myself a present—a new smart TV! My current TVs are, umm, not very smart. And after yesterday, I’ve decided neither am!
A very nice team from the Geek Squad at Best Buy showed up—because I wasn't so dumb as to think I might be able to set it up and program it myself, even though I’m fairly good at figuring certain tech things. They bring in the humongous box and eye the current TV in my living room and ask if I want them to haul it away. I explain that no, would they be kind enough to carry it upstairs to the bedroom, where an even older TV is the one that should be recycled. They smile cheerfully and say “No problem!”
Up we go. They regard the older TV. “”Wow, says one of them. “I used to sell TVs, and like that’s one of the first flat screens ever made. It’s from 2004, right?”
“Yup,” I reply.
They chuckle and switch the sets (and bless them, they program the remote as I upgraded my cable boxes in preparation for their visit.) "Okay, all done."
Back we go downstairs. They have the new TV unwrapped, assembled and ready to program in about five minutes. We enter the WiFi code, go through a few more tech steps, which take about another five minutes, and lo and behold, the home screen shows the Roku choices! We click Netflix and test a program. Perfect! Then we check the cable box icon and on come the regular channels from my cable provider. Beautiful picture, but no sound.
They begin fiddling with the cables. I walk away to double check the old TV upstairs, which is of course working perfectly. Twenty minutes later, still no sound. They come up and switch the cable boxes, just to make sure it’s not the box. No luck. They finally test the audio output with a CD player they have in their truck, and the sound cable seems to work fine.
They finally scratch their heads and say they think I need to go get a fancier cable box from my cable provider. Okay. My cable provider has a retail store close by so I agree that I will go and do that. They show me where the cable should go on the new box and take their leave.
Off I go to the cable store. I explain about my new TV not having sound and that the Best By techs thinks I just need an upgraded box. The guy shakes his head. He can’t give me an upgraded box. That has to be installed by a company technician. So I ask him to schedule an appointment for me. He gets on the computer . . .
Five minutes later, he’s still clicking away. Then he calls his supervisor, as a certain code isn’t working. They both get on the job. Click, click.
As the supervisor is typing away, he says, “Oh, by the way, if you get a new fancy box, they will have switch your router and modem. You see, it's all in one device in the fancy new box.” An evil smile. “That means if your television has a problem your internet will go out. Unlike now, where every device is separate.”
I groan. “But I don’t want to change my router and modem. They work perfectly!”
He nods. “Neither would I.” He keeps typing, then looks up again. “Sorry I can’t schedule an appointment for you anyway. Our codes aren’t working.”
Oh, wonderful. The tech store’s tech isn’t working. They then convince me to try a new normal box in case the old one was broken.
No luck. So I begin to google. I can’t accept that the regular cable box can’t run a smart TV. I’m the last person in the world without one. There are all sorts of suggestions on the internet. But after shutting down the system and re-booting, I just didn’t have the stomach to start trying the rest of them. By this time it’s late, and I’ve wasted half the day on this. Also, I paid a lot to have installation, so I am going to go back to Best Buy and ask them to help figure this out, as the Geek Squad left me with a TV that is not fully working.
Then I shut down my computer . . . and went upstairs to read a book!
What about you? Have you gone to battle with supposedly smart tech and been soundly defeated? I don’t have have Alexa or smart light switches or any of the other bells and whistles that most of my friends have. And now I know why!