Sunday, September 21, 2008

TV Goes Pop

The fancy 26" Panasonic we bought in 2005 (see this post) fizzed into the great beyond yesterday afternoon. I hit the On button on the remote, looked over at Chiana, heard a faint pop, and the TV stayed Off. After a quick Google search, I learned this is fairly common for the CT-26WX15 model.

Well, dang.

It's our only TV and it was about 4pm -- too late to call a repair shop -- so there was some sitting around trying to decide what to do next. Outside was drizzly, we had already gone to the Greek Festival earlier in the day, so the original plan had been to catch up on recordings. We were each at our own computer in the office and I looked over at a stack of computer books.

"Which ones can we get rid of?" I asked.

So we sorted through a huge stack of computer books, I checked their values (almost entirely $0.75 each, the lowest you can price an item) and then loaded them all into sturdy bags.

"What if we take these in now?"

Jer smiled and said. "And then we could go to Chipotle..."

Our plan was set. We ended up making $8.50 for 3 full tote bags of sci-fi and computer books at Half Price Books, which we negated by picking up a Gene Wolfe book for $8.15. The book we chose is the first half of "The Book of the New Sun," since we already have the second half.

After dinner and some more window shopping, we came home and stared at the TV.

"Try it again."


Except... I keep my laptop in the living room. And it has Ubuntu installed on it. Idea! Jer loaded the MythTv frontend on it, installed MythVideo and there we were. Live TV is a little choppy, but we could watch our recordings and it was good enough to see us through. By the time that was figured out though, I fell asleep.

MythTv is what we use as our Tivo, basically. It's a free program that runs on the computer and is hooked up to cable. We have a backend server in the office that handles the recordings and a front end in the living room that is hooked to the TV. So we just made my laptop be the new front end so we can watch TV and recordings, is what I'm saying here.


I don't know if we can get the TV fixed or if we will have to buy another model but I'm pretty happy that there will be no interruption in Fringe.

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