Friday, July 3, 2015

Well, The New TV Sure Is Nice...

...and I owe a lot of thanks to my wife, daughter, son-in-law for it but I really owe most of the thanks to my son whose idea it was to get me one and as I understand who put forth the lion's share of the money to pay for it. Anyway, thank you all VERY, VERY, VERY, MUCH.

I finally got it set up this evening after picking up a HDMI set-top box from Verizon yesterday. Setting it up was a bit of a pain in the arse, mind you not because of the TV but because of the FIOS set-top box. I called in to Verizon tech service to get some help and was on the phone for about 20-25 minutes before someone among the living picked up. We talked for awhile and she said she was testing this and that and asked a gazillion questions about the new box I had just picked up yesterday (I am stressing she was aware of that) and she went on and on about nothing, put me on hold, and you guessed it - we were disconnected at a few seconds under 37 minutes phone time. Due to some recent dealings with Verizon incompetence, I was fuming. So, I decided not to call right back.

I waited bit and then went online to see what I could do myself. Amazingly there under a link for support was another link for TV and when I clicked on that I saw a menu including an option to Activate Set-Top Box or DVR. Guess what happened when I clicked on it, it said I had a new box that needed to be activated. I click on the icon to activate my set-top box and within a few seconds it said the box had been successfully activated. Why couldn't he tech services rep have figured out tha this step was necessary? While necessary though it was not all that was needed and I went to Verizon chat to try to get someone to help me there. It was a task just getting to the chat screen in Verizon Support. I finally got there after about 10 minutes of answering stupid questions that had zero to do with the problem and was told I was 15th in the queue and my wait would be about 15 1/2 minutes. At about 20 minutes of waiting, with no representative engaging in chat with me, was beginning to fill the room and when I looked around, I realized it was coming out of my ars. Yes I was fuming once again.

While still waiting for a Verizon representative to engage me in an online chat, I called Verizon again This time, surprisingly enough, the automated system asked if I was calling relative to my earlier call for tech service and when I responded yes, it put me through to a live person within about a minute or less. I explained everything I could to the young lady who answered my call for help. She was quite pleasant and listened attentively, even when I interrupted to tell her a bit more and I did that twice, or was it three times. Anyway, she giggled when I finished and told me it sounded if I had done my part right. Then she got to work and did this and that. After about a good ten minutes, the box was working, the TV came I an I set it up as per screen instructions. Then I noticed the picture was not filling the screen and I wondered aloud why it wasn't doing that. She had me resize the screen under video settings for Standard Definition override or something like that and it looked great. Then I thought of something else and mumbled it to her because I kind of, sort of, figured I had been a jerk in mentioning the picture size in the first place since I had the TV tuned to a SD channel instead of a High Definition one. Yep, I went back a reset everything as it had been, tuned from the SD to an HD channel and the picture was full screen as it should be in HD. At least now though, I got some lessons on how to change the video settings if need be. When I apologized for giving her extra work, she just gave a young ladylike giggle again and said not to bother.

The one thing she explained to me about the new set-top box that makes it different from older ones is that it is apparently a cheaper model because it does not display the channel mor the time. The older ones displayed the channels as you changed them, or when the set was turned on, for at least a few seconds and then switched to the time. I was used to that but she said the new models did not have that feature. She cheered me up some on that point when she said they may still have some of the other models available and to check wit my local Verizon store. I'll be there on Sunday.

After that as all done, I asked her where she was and she said CA. When I asked where in CA, she told me San Diego. I then told her about how I used to live 120 or so miles due east of there in both Calexico and El Centro, CA many years ago and how a weekend trip to a friends house in Pacific Beach (a neighborhood In San Diego) was like going to heaven right out of hell. Well maybe not in those words but she understood. We talked a bit more about how nice it is out there and such and said our good byes. What a pleasure she was and what a difference from the first tech services person to whom I spoke was she. She, along with another nice lady I dealt with in Verizon customer service this week, actually convinced me that maybe, just maybe, I won't be dropping Verizon and going back to Cablevision as I had supposed might be happening soon.

Now I just need to figure out how to get the every feature of the TV to work. I already set the Wi-Fi connection, adjusted the picture, set the sound, set up an infrared device so the TV's remote works that of the set-top box but will probably change that to the FIOS remote controlling everything since that one is a universal remote when I have some more time and more patience. What I have been unable to get right is how to share pictures and such from my computer via the Wi-Fi connection or how to otherwise use Wi-Fi, such as to surf the net, over the TV. I also have yet to manually hook up my laptop to the television via the HDMI ports on each device. If I get that right, I may use the TV as a monitor now and then for things like a good game like Fallout New Vegas. Yeah, I know, it's dated but I love it. I'll probably try to do that stuff on Sunday, I have other things to do tomorrow on Independence Day.

All the best,
Glenn B

No comments: