I just want to watch tv!
November 26, 2010 7:14 AM Subscribe
Help me fix my parents' ridiculous TV/DVD/Internet set-up. There are wires and boxes everywhere and they've paid for all this stuff, but they can't actually do what they bought it for.
posted by unannihilated to Technology (41 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm about as proficient with technology as most technology consumers in their 20s are, but since I don't own a TV, satellite, or free-standing DVD player, this is all new to me.
Here's what they've got:
Satellite TV service from Direct TV
a big screen TV that is not HDTV ready
a DVD player and recorder (HDMI)
high-speed internet from Verizon
Netflix (now downgraded to the streaming only account since that's what they mostly watch)
Here's what they can do:
watch VCR tapes
watch streaming Netflix movies on the computer
record tv shows to DVD
record tv shows to VCR tape
use the computer in other parts of the house (it has to be connected to the modem)
connect other computers to their wireless network (it wouldn't let me previously when I put the key code in, and now they've accidentally thrown that away so I can't try it again. I couldn't even connect when I connected to their modem physically.)
watch streaming netflix movies on the TV
It seems to me that they should be able to do all of those things. The wireless internet thing I realize is sort of a separate issue, but I included it in case it impacts the watching Netflix on TV business.
Some notes from my mom:
They used to be able to use the internet in other parts of the house but now can't.
The guy who set up their TV/DVD/satellite told them that because their tv is not HDTV ready they don't have enough "red, white and yellow things" (input/output outlets, it looks like. I see an actual spare cord sitting there) to connect the TV to the DVD recorder. The connections I can see now are:
satellite box output to TV input (red, white, yellow plugs on both ends)
DVD player output to TV input (red, white, yellow plugs on both ends)
satellite box output to DVD input (red, white, yellow plugs on both ends)
VCR out to TV (one black cord with hexagon plug)
VCR in to nothing (one black cord with hexagon plug -- guessing that's why they can't record to VCR)
TV audio out to nothing
They are not super tech savvy so it needs to be a system they can use when I'm not around. Would also prefer they not have to buy a bunch more stuff/services if possible. (But I'd consider buying it for them for Christmas if it would solve a lot of these issues.)