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.