Techno-gadget junk

It’s not my week for technology.

The last TV I bought supposedly had a clever feature that turned it off if the remote control wasn’t used for a certain time, 1 or 2 hours depending on how it was programmed. I thought it was better than its predecessor, as it was obviously designed in pre-24/7 TV broadcasting days. It worked well, and turned itself off if the signal disappeared, so when a channel closed down at night, so the TV turned itself off too. While it did work well, it was unfortunately rendered useless as 24/7 TV arrived about the same time as this set.

The last one is best described as ‘Plain Daft’. Set for 1 hour, it now insists on turning the TV at regular intervals. Why? Because TV arrives via a set-top or Freeview box now, and all the buttons are on its remote. Volume and channel selection are all you need, you hardly ever touch the picture settings, so the TV thinks no-one is there, and ‘Click’, off it goes. Of course, this is only the case during the day, when you want it to stay on.

Things change completely in the dead of night. Now, despite ones desire to have the TV switch itself OFF if one should fall asleep while watching, it bravely carries on, and now ignores the fact no buttons have been pressed for an hour, and stays ON, until the next morning, when it can be found, bright, still ON, and ready to turn itself off, about an hour after its next turned on.

There’s obviously some change in the transmitted signal overnight, and the circuit/logic is so simple it doesn’t realise that it’s ON, or the timer is not triggered in the absence of this particular signal component, but it’s still irritating to have it work perfectly during the day, and keep turning the thing off while you’re watching, and become inactive at night, and leave it on all night when no-one’s watching, or hitting any of the buttons on the remote.

And, no, it hasn’t got sleep timer. Clearly the designer was so impressed by his own efforts, he reckoned it was redundant (like he should have been).


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