I finally decided last year to upgrade my home entertainment system. My tv at the time was a Hitachi 52" projection television I had purchased in 1995. And by the way, this is me tipping my hat to Hitachi -- 20 years of trouble free performance from that television. Not one service call. Amazing!
Anyway, I spent all last year buying components one at a time. New surround receiver, new speakers -- fabulous JBL Loudspeakers, new turntable, even new cables and speaker wires. A total overhaul. And finally a new television -- a Sharp Aquos 70" smart tv. I spurged for the model with 240hz refresh rate for better picture during games and such.
And finally I designed and built a rack to hold all the stuff in one place -- tv, components, dvds, albums (yes, I've kept them), and cds. The stuff sat in their boxes for most of the year as I collected the components and built the rack (which took over a month by itself). Btw, this is me giving the Nelson laugh to my ex who would probably scoff at the notion of me being this patient and deliberate in my work. Guess maybe at twenty I didn't have the patience for a project like this. But I'm an old f*ck now, guess I've grown a bit. Too bad she couldn't wait for me :-(
But I finally got it all together (no pun intended) and from the first time I turned the tv on . . . problems. The television does a sort of boot process, where it displays a dialog box in the upper corner showing input mode, screen resolution and sound input while the screen is black, then it fades away after the picture comes on. The problem was that it kept re-booting over and over. Sometimes occasionally, sometimes every couple of seconds, sometimes only a couple of times in an evening -- no discernible pattern at all.
I talked to tech guys and everyone I could think of, and no one had ever heard of something like this. My first thought besides an equipment problem was a problem with the cables. But everyone I spoke with told me that hdmi isn't like old-school coax or broadcast signals. With hdmi you either have enough data for your device to compile picture/sound or your don't. It's an all or nothing situation. So if your cables are faulty, you simply don't get anything.
So I'm flummoxed and pissed and ready to throw the receiver out the front door. It's a Sony and if you read the customer reviews on Amazon or even Sony's website, people talk about Sony like they're the crappiest tech company in the world. Which confuses me because Sony used to be THE company for electronic components for years. I often wonder if all these negative reviews are just assh*les spamming the boards. There were the same sort of horrible reviews for the JBL speakers I purchased and they work perfectly. So I'm at the point now where I don't even pay attention to customer reviews anymore.
But as the problem got to the point where I gave up watching cable television entirely and watched only dvds, which inexplicably worked perfectly, I decided to try one last thing before dropping tons of money on service calls.
I buy stereo cables from Monoprice online. They sell really great stuff at way lower prices than you get elsewhere, even after shipping. And last time I purchased from them, I saw they had new hdmi cables with something called Redmere technology incorporated in them. Basically, they were higher capacity cables, something I didn't know existed with hdmi. But I thought -- Verizon FIOS with it's high capacity output, a smart tv that's gulping up input -- maybe the thing is just starving for data. Like a sprinkler system dribbling out water because it's being squeezed by a too small pipe somewhere in the water line.
I ordered the cables, hooked them up, and bingo . . . works like a dream! A $50 solution to what could have been a really pricey diagnostic search. I went back through SHARP's owner's manual and didn't see anything about using special cables. And I've never heard anything from Verizon either. I'm surprised I'm the only one who's run into this problem. But I'm glad it's fixed and happy to see that sometimes my instincts are still worth following.
Btw, Charisma Carpenter turned 44 last year and looks like this:
The top pics are from a movie called Bound which is on cable ppv now (no, I didn't cap those pics) and the bottom pic is off Twitter which she posted on her birthday then quickly deleted.