When M’hijito was last over here trying to figure out why my TV won’t get the newly fully digitized version of the local PBS station, no matter how much rescanning we commit, he speculated that by keeping the Radio Shack TV antenna inside the ugly TV armoire, we can’t extend the antenna’s VHF arms long enough to pick up the new, weaker signal from Channel 8. He realized that if he held the antenna up in the air and canted his body at a 75-degree angle in front of the set, gadget and corpus together worked to bring in a signal. Alas, though, this was not a practical, permanent solution…
He speculated that with a long enough coaxial cable, we might get it to work by putting it on top of the ugly armoire, except that my house being a bit on the vintage side, the armoire clears the unstylishly low ceiling by only about 22.5 inches, not enough to fully extend the rabbit ears and aim them up, down, around, and beyond. Besides, I have a set of puck lights up there that I don’t especially want to take down.
So I was somewhat annoyed: except for My Name Is Earl and House, I hardly ever watch programs other than those on PBS—and not much of those, either. I just don’t have time, unless it’s something I really enjoy. I’m certainly not going to pay for cable service to get high-definition delivery of shows that I don’t have time to watch and, in general, don’t care for. IMHO, cable is worthwhile for people who a) have plenty of time to sit in front of the idiot box; b) enjoy watching sports on TV; c) enjoy watching movies on TV; d) have kids who need an electronic babysitter; or e) some or all of the above. 😉 I don’t seem to fit into any of those categories.
This morning in a moment of idle boredom, I came across a hilarious video showing how to make a DYI television antenna. Wait! thought I: back in the Cretaceous, I used to be young and clever, too…and I never took “no” for an answer when it came to gadgetry. Trouble is, I’m just not thinking like a person who’s young enough that his voice hasn’t quite changed.
If the antenna works but can’t work inside or on top of the armoire, why does it have to be inside or on top of the armoire? Why can’t it be someplace else?
So I dug out an old, dusty TV table (so aptly named!), dragged it into the TV room, unhooked the co-ax cable and fished it out of the hole in back of the armoire, reconnected it to the antenna, and set the thing up on the table next to the armoire. It’s just flicking hideous, of course: ugly armoire, ugly antenna, ugly TV table. But who cares? No one ever goes into that room but me and the dog, who seems to have little aesthetic sense.