Not totally dead. Just dead enough to be completely useless.
A thin line of video, intensely bright, beams out from the middle of the screen.
Now when turned on, it sits there, perpetually in that moment I remember from childhood when you turned an old fashioned TV off and the picture first collapsed into a narrow, horizontal band before shrinking into that small, glowing dot in the center of the screen that would take minutes to fade.
And in the grand old tradition of television from my childhood, I pounded the TV on the side. The picture flickered to full size, recognizable for a fraction of a second, before returning to is thin line. No luck there.
Okay, the TV was 15 years old. A 32″ JVC unit, it was the first big thing my wife and I purchased together as a couple. I knew the TV couldn’t last forever, but now the time has come rather suddenly and I miss it already. And I will miss it even more soon I bet.
Not that I hold great affection for this TV. It is just a TV, chosen years back for its size, price, and plentiful inputs.
No, it is what this TV stood for, that is what I will miss.
And what did this TV stand for?
It was part of a complete entertainment unit that was perfectly balanced and worked well together. It was a harmonious union in which each component was within the capabilities of all the others.
Now, however, a new TV will need to be purchased, and soon to avoid domestic unrest. And that new TV will, no doubt, break up the harmony of the system, highlighting the deficiencies in the other components.
And that TV stood for something else. That TV is a milestone, a marker on the path of life, indicating that last point in time when I felt competent in my knowledge to make an intelligent choice when purchasing a TV.
And think of how much television technology has changed in the last 15 years. The uncaring mind boggles when suddenly faced with that. We had a VCR hooked up to this TV initially, as we did not have a DVD player yet.
I built my own computer, can get invested in the level of video card or processor technology, but televisions? I just don’t care that much. And so I am way behind the curve.
But now I must make a choice, one that will affect my family, and our finances, greatly. Sure, the TV might not cost that much, but if standard definition programming looks like crap on it, which I find is the case with many of the LCD screens I’ve seen, then there will become demand to invest in high definition. More money for equipment, more money for the people at DirecTV.
I have to figure this out by Friday.
That is the target date for a new TV purchase.