Monday, December 10, 2012

Apple TV Blues

It never fails. No matter how simple a device appears to be I will inevitably encounter a problem. Such was my experience with Apple TV this weekend.

I didn't really need Apple TV. I bought it because I thought it would be a fun gift for the house this Christmas. Buying a gift for the whole family to share is a tradition I inherited from my father when he sometimes would buy a gift that everyone could enjoy, at least theoretically. After one too many movie nights sidetracked by a malfunctioning FIOS box, I figured for a hundred bucks Apple TV would give us more options.  

So I plunked down the hundred bucks at the Apple store in The Mall for Apple TV.

“Do you need an HDMI cable?” the store associate inquired.

“No thanks, I already have that.” I was thinking that I already two HDMI cables. When I originally hooked up my HDTV, I discovered the HDMI cable I bought was too short so I went back out and bought a longer one. I decided to keep the shorter one, just in case.

I should have recognized that question as a technological red flag. I didn't and consequently I began to see why I might need yet another HDMI cable.

I was an early adapter with my HDTV. Six years ago, when we moved into our new home, I bought the biggest LCD TV available at the time. It was a 40 inch Sony Bravia and it cost me four grand. This was back before the great recession hit and many thought spending four grand on a TV was a perfectly sensible thing to do.

Today of course you can buy a bigger and better TV for about a quarter of that. Sigh.

Anyway, as I went to hook up my hockey puck sized Apple TV box to my TV I realized that it only had one HDMI port and that was being used by the FIOS box.

The solution of course was to add another piece of hardware to mix. A trip to the Best Buy store in Columbia resulted in the purchase of a Rocketfish 4-port HDMI Selector, and another HDMI cable, adding another hundred bucks to the cost of my hundred dollar Apple TV. The worst part, it includes yet another remote!

It never fails.
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