Sunday, March 26, 2006

Hunter or Gathererer..ererer...

In these modern times it's easy to forget that by nature each of us, genetically and socially speaking, once belonged to a specific tribe. Some of our ancestors were Hunters while others were Gatherers. I have no idea which tribe I would have belonged to--probably the Thieving tribe.

I say this because I have no real skill set. I would starve to death almost immediately were I left to my own devices--even if one of those devices were a machine gun. As for gathering? Just look at the pile of dirty laundry that sits in the spare bedroom. I can't even bring myself to compile it and bring it the whole 20 feet into the kitchen where the washing machine is. Therefore, my entire existence is based on my ability to steal shit and this weekend was a perfect example.

Witness our Entertainment Center:

There's nothing fancy about this. It's just a wide screen TV with a DVD player, Freeview Box and Surround Sound speakers connected together. The problem is, we had a shitty Bush brand DVD Player that was supposedly "Region Free" out of the box, which meant (in theory) that we could play the movies we bought in the States (Region 1 NTSC versions) as well as the flicks we purchased over here (Region 2 PAL versions).

Well, in theory that did work in respect to our American DVD's which played fine. However, when we put in the Region 2 DVD's, which should have played perfectly on a system bought in this country, there was a screen focus issue that made me want to vomit about 10 minutes into the movie.

To make a long story short, I ditched the Bush DVD player and bought a new Sony DVP-Ns29. I thought of buying this player a couple of weeks ago but was put off by the salesman at the Sony Centre:

HIM: This DVD player is region free... for a price.

ME: I assume that price is the one marked on the tag... 39.99.

HIM: No, what I mean is, that's the price you'll pay to the store.

ME: I know.

HIM: The price you'll pay on record.


HIM: But you'll pay ME another 20 pounds to make it work. See where I'm going with this?

ME: Yes. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have an internet connection at home that will solve this problem for me. Without you. See where I'm going with this? That's right. Home.

So I bought the DVD player at Argos then I looked up the hack on the web, went and bought the necessary remote--again from Argos-- which looks like this:

You'll notice that this thing is huge. It weighs approximately 3 pounds and actually has a built in modem--for what, I have no idea but that's what the instruction books say and I never argue with instruction books.

For once, the Internet didn't lie to me. It took a little screwing around but I managed to set up the codes and hack the DVD player so that everything works just hunky-dory.

I now have a totally Region Free DVD player which would mean a LOT more to me if I was into importing lots of weirdo foreign films, but I'm not. I'm just happy that my copy of "This is Spinal Tap" works without me going into epileptic fits.

And I'm pretty damn proud of myself. The remote only cost me 19.99 which means I saved an entire penny from what the jerk at the Sony Centre was going to charge me.

It's the principle of the thing.


Blogger Phil said...

Years ago when I was shopping for a dvd player, I came across two seemingly identical models - different brands but the exact same features - yet one was $50 dollars more.

I asked why, and what was the difference between the two. The salesman looked at them for a few seconds, then proceeded to make a fist and 'knock' on the more expensive brand.

"You hear that? This one is built more sturdy than the other one," he said.

"Good day sir," I said.

5:35 pm  
Blogger WOA said...

He honestly 'knocked' on the 'sturdier' one? Wow. At least my sales guy came right out and practically admitted he would be doing me an illegal favor.

6:19 pm  
Blogger Jefferson Davis said...

I used to work for a cellphone carrier. We used to have a titanium Motorola V60 flip phone from Verizon, which I bang the shit out of on the counter. Making certain that the customer really believed it was tough. Sometimes people need visual aids. :-) I have been known to beat, pound, and drop electronics, just to sell stuff. LOL...

Good story Wayne...

12:44 am  
Blogger Jefferson Davis said...

Sorry for the grammar errors, I'm using my laptop, which has incredibly tiny keys.

12:46 am  
Blogger WOA said...

No problem, Jefferson. I too work from a laptop and therefore blame any/all mistakes on small keys (especially at work).

6:42 pm  
Blogger Phil said...

A true account of my experience.

While I can see Jefferson's point, that is certainly more relavent with cell phones becuase people ,are dropping them all the time.

But not DVD consoles.

7:45 pm  
Blogger Phil said...

And please take note, Jefferson, of my fine grammatical structure and spelling above.

7:46 pm  
Blogger Jefferson Davis said...

Kudos to you, sir Phil.

9:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't you return the remote to Argos for a refund - as per their policy - and save yourself the entire £20?

7:56 pm  
Blogger WOA said...

Normally, I would return it but I'm not entirely convinced that the player is permanently region free. I'd hate to return the remote and then have to turn around and buy it again.

6:29 am  
Anonymous Hawkwind Dave said...

tis the great thing about argos, buy and return, buy and return.

I used to work there and people would buy furniture and a car roof rack to get it home, then return the roof rack the next day saying 'it didn't fit my car' and get their money back. We all knew what they were doing (who can blame them?) but due to the returns policy we couldn't really do anything to stop them. (I'd do it myself).

3:37 pm  

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