When Broken is Awesome

Ye Olde Behemoth

Ye Olde Behemoth

Early this week, our TV broke.

Now, I know some people look down on TV. Many people would tell me to read (or exercise) instead, or make a “rot your brain” comment. I could respond with an explanation of how a lot of TV is really well done now, and that watching helps me understand conflict and characterization and apply it to my writing. That’s all true. But really, the reason a broken TV sucks is because TV is my primary destressor.

I read, of course. A LOT. I’ve never been one of those authors who can’t find time to read. My goal is 100 books this year. But sometimes, reading is also work. For example, most of the books I’ve read so far this year have been critiques for fellow authors or judging for contests. Good books, for the most part, but still work. When it’s not work, I read in batches of time, those short little breaks waiting for dinner to finish cooking or right before bed. Unfortunately, most of the time when I’m reading I feel like I should be doing something else. Working, cleaning, cooking, yardwork, laundry, or even sleeping.

TV is escape from everything that stresses me. It’s guilt free, because when I do it (most of the time), it’s when my brain is too worn out to work and it’s too late to clean or exercise or whatever. It’s family time, with my husband or Number Two, who only watches one TV show. Or it’s time I get to spend with Oliver or Barry or the million faces of the incredible Tatiana Maslany.

So anyway, our TV broke. We debated fixing it again, but it’s a decade+ old and we’ve fixed it twice, so another repair is a poor investment. It’s a rear-projection TV—so, like, the complete opposite of flat screen in the way an elephant is opposite an otter. We decided to replace it, instead.

Now, we love technology, but we rarely indulge it. Like, I got my first smartphone six months ago. We’re still rockin’ the VCR/DVD combo (see photo). When we replaced our bedroom TV a few years ago, we didn’t bother to get HD for the receiver because we didn’t want to spend the money.

But this time…

Our sleek, modern new look. Can't wait to see Amellywood in ultra HD.

Our sleek, modern new look. Can’t wait to see Amellywood in ultra HD.

Thanks to my whining on Facebook, an old tech-expert acquaintance gave me some advice. I did my research, and we got a great deal on a 4k 55-inch TV (with the oh-so-necessary 24-month, interest-free financing, of course). (It had to be a minimum of 55 inches because we’re in our basement family room, which is very long and we sit about 15 feet from the TV.) This is HUGE for us, because we’re actually ahead of the 4k curve. When stuff starts being broadcast in 4k on a regular basis, we’ll be ready! Number Two was absolutely floored that we made that choice.

It took a few hours to get the corner ready. The TV was delivered Wednesday. I called DirecTV, and they offered (without the usual bribes, even!) a FREE Genie upgrade, the monthly fee waived for a year, and free Starz on top of it. (Though, alas, that will run out before Ash vs. The Evil Dead starts in October.) That all gets installed tomorrow, and it’ll almost be like we’re living in this decade! 🙂

Now if you’ll excuse me, we have like ninety-billion hours of TV that recorded, unwatchable before the new TV came, and gone as of somewhere-between-12-and-4 on Sunday. Unacceptable!

If you could upgrade something right now, cost not a factor, what would it be?