I watch in awe as Steve scrambles up the ladder, a coil of wire tossed over his shoulder. In seconds he’s got wire strung everywhere. Then he’s drilling through my 60-year-old brick, making a damn good mess. Steve pauses while another truck drives up, a man gets out and sprints toward him with a large box. A few minutes later, I’ve got a nondescript gray panel box attached to the house right next to the electric meter. What’s going on here? Well, it had to happen sooner or later. The Huffy family has gone digital. I’ve invited Steve the cable guy in to make a mess of my home, otherwise known as bringing the Huffys into the 21st century. Yup, digital cable is finally here.
So, why now ? I contend it had absolutely nothing to do with the miniature crisis that occurred when the cable company discovered the glitch in their equipment that had allowed us for years to watch an extensive list of cable channels for free. The day the cable died was no small matter at our house. Personally I was ready to go the distance – to tough it out with only the basic networks and a horrendous selection of religious and shopping channels, in order to avoid the additional expense for a slew of channels, most of which we would not use. After all, I’ve got Hulu, ABC.com and Netflix – I should be able to make this work. But turns out that someone at my house who shall remain unnamed, believes himself to be a personal friend of Jennifer on the Weather Channel. Turns out another household member, also nameless, cannot live without ESPN. And ESPN 2 and ESPN classic, and ESPN, the movie. But really, this loss of my family’s favorite channels had nothing to do with it. It’s just that being the technologically advanced people that we are, the Huffy family wanted to stay on the cutting edge of cable TV technology, and join the masses who already have fancy cable.
So now, after inviting Steve the cable guy into our home for an entire Saturday afternoon, we have the latest in cable technology. Except for HD, which we’ll leave for another time, because as long as we keep on using the TV we got in 1987, there really is no point.
Now we have cable channels we’ve never heard of, and certainly will never watch. And the channels have their own channels too. There’s a channel guide channel and a channel just to tell you how to use the channel guide channel. Then, there is the remote. I swear that right before Steve brought over this remote, they were using it at NASA to launch the space shuttle. The remote has an instruction book that rivals most dissertations. There’s so many buttons, gadgets and functions on it that we had to have a tutorial just to be able to turn it on.
Then, there’s the other remotes. The remote for the VCR. Yes, despite being technologically advanced, the Huffys are one of the two remaining families in the country that still uses a VCR. The other family lives atop a roadless mountain and haven’t been able to get out to pick up the TiVo that they ordered.
Then there’s the TV remote. Technically we no longer need the TV remote, because the cable remote is also programmed to operate the TV. But, if we want to watch something we recorded on our antique VCR, we need the TV remote to physically change the TV channel to 3, instead of digitally changing it like the cable remote does. At least, I think that’s how to do it. It might be easier to just walk the four steps to the TV and physically change the channel by, gasp, pushing the channel buttons right on the front of the TV, that have previously been untouched by human hands.
Well, Steve’s gone, the cable is working, and I’ve wrangled the remotes and matched them up with their respective devices. I think we’re ready to go. The tech-savvy Huffy family has arrived. But it’s comforting to know, in the unlikely event that if I can’t figure out the fancy new cable, I just have to give Steve the cable guy a call and he’ll talk me through it. Now, if I can just figure out how to program his number into this landline.
© Huffygirl 2011