Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Wherein We Get An Upgrade

The basement project continues. The new flooring is now clean and shiny, and the huge pile of stuff in the middle of the room has been dealt with. There are still hundreds of books stacked in the storage room that need to be put back on the bookshelves, but the majority of the difficult work is behind us. The spillover into the family room has also been cleared out and those two boxes of exposed stash have been put back into hiding.

As I surveyed the new and improved rec room two things became apparent. The first was the old futon couch we purchased in 1993, the one that used to fold out into a bed but now has the broken frame nailed together making such a maneuver impossible, had seen better days. On Monday Jay, Alexandra and I went to a furniture store to shop for a replacement. We were looking for something economical (after all, it is just going in the basement), relatively animal proof, and comfortable. I am happy to report we found just what we were looking for. And if one was to believe the pricing at the store, which would in my opinion be a clear sign of gullibility on the part of the person who held such a belief, we got the couch and love seat for 50% off the regular price.

The second thing that needed to be dealt with was our old TV. It is the kind of TV that is so heavy chances are you will need to buy a hernia belt after you have moved it.




I am not sure what, exactly, contributes to that weight. It certainly isn't the screen. Something so small couldn't possibly be that heavy.




So off we went to the electronics store. Me who hates shopping and my husband who is somewhat of a recluse. We had a nice twenty something guy helping us. After the first few minutes he slowed the conversation down in much the same way you do when you realize you are conversing with someone who is not fluent in your language. Even with the dumbed down sales pitch I found my eyes crossing. Plasma vs. LED? Polarized screen vs. not? Screen size - 40, 45, 50, 55?

He showed us a smart TV. I didn't know there were smart TVs, which I guess made me a stupid customer. He started showing us some of the features of a smart TV. He lost me when he got to the part about how, for example, if we had been on a trip to Cuba we could just watch our holiday pictures right on the TV through the wireless connection. I am not sure if it was the idea of Cuba (after all, I am still an American and I think they would arrest me if I went there), or the idea of my face splashed all over a 55" screen that scared me the most.

Keep in mind my husband had been a very reluctant shopper up to this point. As we departed the house I heard him mutter under his breath that he was just looking, but he wasn't buying. That look of determined non-consumerism continued right up to the moment the guy handed Jay a pair of 3D glasses and turned on a hockey game.

Once we decided to buy, the twenty something guy had to slow down his speech even more and add in some hand gestures. He flashed the DVR remote control in front of us like a magic wand, sweeping his hand over the buttons saying, "It's just like the one for your DVD player." I squirmed as he said it. I never have figured out how to run our DVD player. I told him as much. If I watch a DVD I use my laptop. He gave us detailed instructions about which cable to plug in where, and I kept nodding my head like I got it, all the while desperately hoping Jay understood what the heck the guy was talking about. When we got to the car Jay assured me he had no clue either.

So far things are going very smoothly with the new TV. There's been no confusion about where the cords and cables go, or about how to use the remote. Of course, all of that could change once we take it out of the box.








27 comments:

  1. Good luck with your new TV... I know electronics can be a pain in the butt sometimes, but I hope you will enjoy the television and get some use out of it!

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    1. My 23 year old son just got back and he is going to do it for us. We are saved! And I am sure we will enjoy it once it is up and running.

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  2. SMART TV?? I'm dumb there, too. Though if I had a tv that let me be in Cuba, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. The renovation looks great!

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    1. I guess a smart TV is one that connects with wireless so you have access to Netfilx, Youtube and a few things like that. Who knew?? :-)

      As far as his Cuba example, technically I could go there if I traveled on my Canadian passport, as long as they didn't discover I was also an American. There are some nice resorts there that Canadians frequent. I think we would flock to anywhere they offered sunshine and warm beaches!

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  3. OOOOOoooo. UPGRADE! I bet you'll all be spending more time in the rec room now!

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    1. Well, to be honest I am not the TV watcher in the family, but now that it has been upgraded I might spend more time down there. There are some shows on PBS I would like to watch, and maybe the news.

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  4. Make sure your son types out instructions for the remote, not just tells you. Trust me on this one.

    You made me laugh out loud with the last picture and sentence.

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    1. You are so right about having the instructions written out. I am horrible with anything I am told and only ever remember what I see. You sound like the voice of experience! :-)

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  5. I am chuckling about your television purchase episode, because I had to go through the same thing two months ago! My television was about 15 years old, and was a floor model in a beautiful cabinet. I still loved everything about it, but the sound went out one night while I was watching a show. Despite the many phone calls I made, no one will repair the old TVs because they can't get the parts anymore.

    The first thing I had to do was find someone to haul away the old TV. No charities would take the TV because it wasn't in working order. I ended up calling 1-800-Got-Junk, and they were a wonderful company to deal with. They came the same day as my phone call, gave me a timeframe of arrival, called when they were on their way, and were super-friendly people.

    I then called my son for advice on what I needed or didn't need in a new TV. (Thank goodness for sons!) I wrote down everything he told me and went to the store with my notes. A knowledgeable young 20-something guy helped me at the store, and I was out of the store in 20 minutes with a new TV. Shock, shock, I was able to hook up the TV, DVD player, and the cable connection all by myself, using the Installation Manual! (I did have to call the cable company once, but it turned out that I only had one cable plugged into a wrong spot on the cable box.) The new TV works fine, but I still miss my old TV. (I have never figured out, with either the new or the old TV, how to work the DVR, though. Some day I'll call the cable company about that and give the Customer Service guys a big laugh.)

    Mary Griffitts

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    1. Your story sounds very similar! Even the part about phoning 1-800-Got-Junk. Our neighbourhood is having a huge yard sale this Sunday. Right after the sale I am having the 1-800 people come haul away all the trash that accumulated during the reno, plus anything that doesn't get sold (old TV included).

      You are scaring me about the DVR. Our twenty something assured us it would be simple. :-)

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  6. Mmm.. Downton Abbey would be fun to watch on that huge screen! Do you have sound surround, too?

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    1. Actually I don't think it would look good on the big screen. Apparently with the big screens you need a Blu-ray player. I just found this out yesterday. We don't have surround sound, but I am sure it would be nice. Do you have it?

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    2. We don't have blu ray and the DVDs play great. Since your tv is brand new, it should look even better. Dave rigged up a home theatre in our tv room and it makes all the difference.. Love it!

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  7. What was harder, swapping out the couches or getting the old tv up the stairs? We have an old heavy-weight model in our family room. It should be little easier to replace because it's on the first floor and the size will be dictated by the width of the cabinet.

    Looking at pictures on tv? Surely the kids will know how all of that works and connects. =)

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    1. That's the problem. We haven't got the old TV up the stairs yet, and I am a bit concerned about how that is going to happen. I have vague memories of two bulky guys sweating and groaning as they moved it in, and thinking at the time how in the world are we ever going to get this back up the stairs. I am surprised to hear you have one of the old heavy weights too. I thought we might be the only people left in North America with one of them!

      As far as the pictures on the TV, I don't want the kids to figure it out. Not if it is going to involve any pictures of me! :-)

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    2. Haha, well, you can edit out your pictures. But then others might feel the same way and it wouldn;t be fair to only exclude you. I'm the same way, I almost never allow myself to be photographed...that way I almost never have to look at me. =)

      About the Irish food, that was strange...it felt like she wanted me to change where I was headed that night--as if we had agreed to have dinner and were just trying to decide were to go.

      I'm following your example and experimenting with replying to comments directly on my blog. I hope people check back. I should probably do a short post letting people know I've changed my approach.

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    3. PS - It's been quite some time since I lifted that old set for dusting--I'm afraid my back will snap. =)

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  8. We still have one of those giant, heavy TV's too! We actually had no plans to get rid of it but we were given a flat-screen for Xmas a few years ago so we kind of felt like we had to upgrade. And now that we have a Wii as well, the flat-screen was the only one fancy enough to let us plug in everything we needed to. Now the huge TV is basically just a monitor for all the old video game systems in our spare room/office.

    Haven't upgraded to the smart TV yet, but considering how often my smart phone breaks down on me, I'm a little nervous about making that switch.

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    1. Another person with a heavy weight TV! At least you have found a use for yours. Our old one has no purpose, and so we have to figure out how to get it out of the basement and onto the street for the upcoming community garage sale on Sunday. It will probably be the most challenging part of the renovation!

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  9. OK. Now my inner geek is intrigued by the smart tv.

    Things are shaping up nicely. :)

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    1. Your inner geek needs to come to my house for a visit so I can get some help figuring the smart part of the TV out!

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  10. looks like a great space to fill

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    1. It definitely needs to be filled. Right now it is so empty it echoes when we talk in the basement!

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  11. Kristie, if you don't necessarily care if you sell the old TV at the garage sale, but just want to get rid of it, the Got Junk guys will go down to the basement and haul it up for you! Before they came to my house, I moved the den sofa (a hide-a-bed which is heavy) and a big sideboard (completely filled with, umm, yarn!) from my front hallway so that the guys could wind their way from the den, through the living room, and out the front door with the heavy, floor model TV. When they arrived, they told me that I needn't have moved the furniture--it's part of their job. They even dug around in my garage to see if there was anything I wanted to throw away from there.

    One of the two guys has been on three of the Hoarders shows, and when they went in my garage and saw the tall stacks of yarn and fabric plastic bins (neatly labeled, I might add), I jokingly asked him if I was a hoarder! He said, no way did I qualify as a hoarder, and I felt so relieved, LOL,

    Mary G. in Texas

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    1. Great suggestion! I just need to talk my husband into it. He seems to think we can get about $150 for that old TV at the garage sale. There is no chance, but he won't listen.

      I am glad you got the non-hoarder designation from the Got Junk guy!

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  12. Love your post! Good luck with plugging in the tv and working the remote!

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    1. Thanks Sarah! The TV is now up and running. Of course, I have no clue how to work it yet!

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