Monday, March 3, 2014

What to do

A couple of weeks ago, my DVR went from highly unreliable to completely useless, but miraculously came back to life after some serious pretend-repairing and looking at it very sternly.

Now, the unit's remote control has followed the recorder's example and, after a few days of constantly deteriorating performance, is now refusing to work at all. No amount of feeding it posh top-brand batteries with fancy words like performance and extreme in the name, gently stroking the buttons, creating an intimate atmosphere by holding the bloody thing really close to the recorder, or waving a stick at it while shouting "Remotus Reparo" seems to coax it back to life.

To make matters worse, the recorder itself features only the most basic set of controls. There's the Power button, a pair of buttons to change the TV channels (up / down), and volume control. That's it. So, without a working remote, it's possible to watch live TV via the recorder, but setting up new recordings, or accessing any of the recorded content, is out of the question.

So, there's the option to buy a new remote control. That's AUD 50 (or thereabouts) on an accessory for a fairly old-ish DVR that, while it's essentially working again, hasn't been quite the same since that near death experience (channel changes take about 4 times as much time as they did originally, and a few channels can no longer be recorded properly), and may die for good any day.

Or I take the hint and spend money on a brand new recorder, probably from a more reliable manufacturer, consigning ye olde Topfield to the council's next available bulk garbage collection, all because of that pesky remote.

What to do, what to do … I'm open to suggestions.

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