Saturday, May 7, 2011

More TV

We called the estate agent (that's what they call realtors around here) about the TV antenna. She wasn't very encouraging, but the very next day the landlord sent an antenna guy around. So now we have a nice, new digital antenna on the roof.

Since this is Hi-Def digital TV, the fact that American TVs use NTSC and Aussie TVs use PAL no longer matters. Except. Apparently, the American Hi-Def standard is also different. I plugged the PS3 directly in my Samsung, and everything worked fine. Until I put in a DVD. Then I got "Mode not supported."

Hmph. I guess I need my converter box after all. It's also a TV tuner, with nine different standards... but none of them are Hi-Def. Seriously, the brand-new international tuner box I bought last year will be obsolete next year.

We went down to JB Hi-Fi to get a tuner box and possibly a DVR, so we can record the Daily Show and watch it later (like, the next day. Just to be ironic). This time, instead of buying anything, I poured out my tale of woe to the poor clerk. As soon as I said PS3, he took his hand off the $400 box and sent me to the game section.

The clerk there sold me a Sony PlayTV rig. It's a box the size of a cigarette box and connects to the PS3 via a USB cable. That's right, every DVR box has a dozen connections on the back - HDMI, Co-Axial, Component, maybe even Optical, and all you need is USB. It's all just data, people! (By people I mean electrical engineers, an admittedly unusual use of the word.) He said it was only $140. Sara took one off the shelf and said, "But this one is marked $124."

He took it, scanned it, frowned, and said, "Don't tell anyone else." While he corrected the prices on the rest of them, we went to check out. He found us in the checkout line and warned me that some people had complained of reception problems, so that might be an issue.

Man, I love that store.

Anyway we now have 27 channels... and nothing on. The Daily Show stopped being shown on ABC and went back to the Comedy channel. Half the rest of the channels are repeats (the networks are hogging bandwith for future expansion) or sport. Aussies are nuts about sport.

And I have to change channels through the PS3 controller. It's so complicated it might as well be its own video game. But it's not at good game. There's a lot of dull repetitive grinding, and the winning end-game cut-scene is "MasterChef" boiling leeks.


  1. Convert to internet TV. Netflix, amazon instant, and hulu take care of all of my tv needs. the only thing I can't get is new hbo because hbo wants like 70 a month. netflix only wants 8 for 1000s of programs.


  2. We had Netflix in the USA. We're signing up for the local equivalent here because we can't even find video stores. Our Aussie version is kinda lame - only 500 Blu-Rays in their whole catalog, and no down-loads.

    Also, my idiot PS3 won't play Hulu on my TV, and it won't play Hulu from over here. Curse you fiendish Americans! :D

    On the plus side, we watched Castle last night, so if I left the room during the commercials (to avoid the accents), it was just like being at home.*

    * We have the live TV recording thing where you can skip the ads... we just haven't figured out how to use it yet.

  3. I thought the internet was international....huh. i just learned something new. I think in a couple years, everything will be on the net. I think that probably sounds awful now, but its not THAT long.

  4. We can't watch Hulu, or a lot of "official" YouTube content either, down under.

  5. A couple of years! But I want it now!


    Ya, it's amazing. Everybody's all up in China's business for restricting the internet, and yet Hollywood gets to slap all sorts of local controls on it and nobody notices.

  6. You can't get free Hulu, but you can pay for Hulu Plus