Friday, June 12, 2009

R.I.P. Sony Mega Watchman

Today is the day that digital television goes live. We're prepared for it, in fact, we were prepared for the first deadline in February. I know...hard to believe The Queen of Procrastination isn't planning a trip to Walmart to buy a converter box today. My reputation has been tarnished a bit, eh?

We bought four boxes for our five TVs. FIVE TVs??? Why would anyone need five of these things, especially when one of us rarely watches one? I don't know, we just accumulated them over the years. Kind of like nuts and bolts and old margarine containers.

We got a box for our main television in the family room, one for the basement TV, one for the small one in our bedroom, and one for the flat-screen on the wall by the desktop computer (this one is just too complicated to even explain).
So what about that fifth one?

In 1989, when Jenna was seven years old, she got a Sony Mega Watchman 5" black and white television for Christmas, for her room. Kara got a Gameboy. Jenna used the Watchman for awhile, and then she didn't. I asked her if we could put it in the main bathroom so we could watch the morning news while we all got ready for work and school. Fine by her, so into the bathroom it went.

We kind of got used to that little TV in there. We'd turn it on in the morning and we'd watch and listen to the school delays and closings on it. During baths in the evening, we'd turn it on because...well...because we could. The years went by and we loved our bathroom Watchman.

Then something happend to it. One day, I turned the TV on and it didn't work. Romie took it apart and determined that sulphur gas (from our sulphur tap water) had corroded some of the wiring inside, just as it had done to one of our larger TVs a few years earlier.

The TV was dead.
What were we going to do now?

I did what every resourceful woman worth her salt would do. I bought another one. By the time it had broken, Sony wasn't making them anymore, but I knew they were still out there and I knew where to find them. Ebay.

Sure enough, Ebay had several, so I looked through them and found a couple that looked like a possible buy. We had plans for the Sunday afternoon that the auctions ended, so I put my maximum bid in on both of them and hoped that while we were gone, I'd manage to snag one.

When we got home, I checked my e-mail, and sure enough, I'd won one. In fact, I'd won both auctions. I rationalized that we'd probably need the second one eventually, when the first one quit working, and I hadn't paid all that much for either one. Years later, my rationalization proved prophetic.

So these Sony Mega Watchmans (Watchmen?) have played tag team for the last 20 years and now it comes down to this: today they won't work. It's not that anything is broken, but we get our television signal through an antenna on our roof and without a converter box, the little Sony won't be able to bring us Jeopardy! while we shampoo our hair.

It isn't worth enough to buy yet another converter box for it and even if we did, the added bulk of the box plus the TV kind of negates the whole concept of a compact counter model. Yet, it seems a shame to just junk it. After all, it does still have an FM radio. But I'm not one to turn on the radio while doing other things. The only time I ever listen to the radio is when I'm in the car.

Maybe a museum would be interested in it. That's about the only place you're ever going to see one of these from here on out.


Benjamin Vogt said...

I thought about using my hand held Sony Watchman a few days ago for one last time. When I got it I was like 14 or something and was just so excited! It's so stupid this is being forced on us, and I feel terrible for low income and out in the boonies people. I'll hold on to my Sony--in 50 years it'll be a pricey antique oddity! Right?

beckie said...

Kylee, like losing a member of the family isn't it? :) Another case of government intervention-I never could understand why the switch. Luckily we have Direct TV and didn't have to worry about a converter box. But I do feel for those who don't have cable or can't afford a box. BTW we used to have one of these in a camper when our girls were small. Seeing this one brought back lots of memories.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Kylee, I have cable so the switch went OK EXCEPT that the PBS station is now fuzzier than before. Um... wasn't this all about clear transmission? Plus, Comcast dropped the Toledo PBS station a while back and I miss it. I only have basic, basic cable (Comcast pretends they don't even offer that service) to get over the air stations. It cost $9/month 8 years ago and is now to $20/month. My TV is at least 15 years old and it this point I think it will be cheaper for me, int he long run, to buy a new TV with a decent antenna and quit paying for cable. (Sorry about the rant.)

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Hi Kylee, I also have Directv and the TV that I bought in 1992 when hubby went to Iraq so I had a little one for the bedroom should have died years ago...but it is still kickin'. We have 4 TVs for the two of us.......and when the two girls move out of their college apartment there will be 7 TVs!! (One had an old one of ours for their living room and one in the bedroom) and it is nuts that we have so many.
When you go through home shows they have TVs in the bathroom mirror, which is pretty wild. When you are used to having something at your fingertips it is hard to have it disappear.
have a good weekend.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

We have one of those little guys too, although not the Sony version. We just replaced it while in Chicago. Yes, HH didn't want to be without his kitchen tv. Have we hooked it up yet? 'Er no.~~Dee

Lisa at Greenbow said...

We are all cabled on our one tv. We do have a second tv but it is sitting out in the garage waiting for someone to claim it.

TC said...

I feel sorry for you because you can't watch Jeopardy while shampooing your hair. That must be the epitome of sadness. ;~P

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