Getting a PVR


Slow to catch up with television technology, we just rented our first PVR. I drove the old basic non-HD converter to Rogers at Clarkson Crossing and after very long wait in line while customers either worried about or argued over their cellphone charges, my converter was swapped out for a Cisco Explorer 8642HD that can record up to 20 hours of TV.

I drove home and hooked it up. HDMI, good. Goes to Input 5 on the Sharp LCD TV. Power cord into outlet, yes, power cord, power cord. I wasn’t given a power cord. Nice.

I drive back to Clarkson Landing and have another wait while a customer worries about her cell-phone plan then mention to the lad serving me that he forgot to give me a power cord. “Oh, my fault,” he says with no remorse at all reflected in his face and he goes into the storeroom and brings me a cable, ending with the inevitable “Have a nice day.”

Back home. Power cord into outlet. Bingo.

The HD channels come in crisp and clear making me glad already that I moved up to HD from Standard. Enough for one day. We try out the recording part by setting the unit to record the movie True Grit, the John Wayne classic, showing on one of the movie channels.

The next day I tried hooking the unit to play through my VCR/DVD-RW unit to see if I could record a recorded show in case I wanted to see it again after removing it from the PVR’s hard disk. I cabled it correctly, but all I got on Line 1 and 2 was a blue screen, no image. The only way I could get the image to play through was on the co-ax, which degrades the image. Not a big deal, but irritating in a technology kind of way.

Last night we watched True Grit, fast forwarding through the commercials. It showed remarkably well for a movie made in 1969. Everything seemed to work fine. We set up a Poirot and a movie called Red: Werewolf Hunter with Felicia Day for recording and we’ll likely watch them this evening.

I don’t know why I resisted getting a PVR, but I’m glad I finally decided to give it a go. It’s quickly going to become one of those technologies that you can’t live without.

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