Ugh – A/V apocalypse at Casa del Bartlett

Here at Casa del Bartlett, the audio/visual apocalypse is upon us.

A few weeks back, my trusty 27″ JVC television that I bought in 1995, right after I graduated from college, finally went to that big electronic graveyard in the sky. For the second time in its life, the tuner went out; having already replaced said tuner once, and had no less than three repairs done to fix the power button (which has always been a flimsy and shatter-prone piece of garbage), I decided to retire the TV to the basement, where it can live out its days playing DVDs in front of the treadmill.

So, we’re in the market for a new TV, and had planned on spending some hard-earned tax-return goodness to finance the purchase.

Cue tonight. Six years ago, I bought one of these: a Sony DAV-FC7 5-DVD Dream System which, by all available indications, is a total piece of trash. It worked great for a long time (and, in all honesty, I’ve used the hell out of this thing), but about a year ago the speakers started to hum when it was set to the Video 2 inputs (regardless of whether anything was connected to the Video 2 inputs, audio or video) and a lesser hum from Video 1, even though the DVD player still worked. Well, shortly thereafter, when playing back DVDs, the system would either freeze completely after about 90 minutes, a problem which could only be resolved by turning the system off and back on, or drop the sound from the DVD, which could be remedied by switching chapters (although a sound drop typically meant a video freeze was coming shortly).

Well, tonight, it just refused to play discs of any sort altogether. DVDs were met with a “Can’t Play” message on the main console, as were audio CDs and a lense cleaner disc I tried.

So – we now need a new TV, and our home theater system has now blown out as well. I spent the better part of a half hour getting our Playstation 2 rewired to bypass the theater system entirely and run directly into the TV, so at least now Helen can watch her movies – sparing us from yet a third chapter in the AV Apocalypse which surely would’ve been the most bloody of all.

But we’re left with a janky little 26-inch TV in the living room, have a now basically useless home theater system and we’re hoping the seven-year-old Playstation 2 holds out long enough to serve as our emergency DVD player until we work all this out. Mel’s mom couldn’t figure out how to push a button to get the DVD player going before when she was over to watch Helen; she’s screwed now that she’ll have to use a PS2 controller to navigate a DVD menu.

And, just to add icing to the delicious cake, it takes two hours to get to the nearest Best Buy.

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