Lucky Col
Dance as though nobody's watching, love like it's never going to hurt

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Warning - Blatant Monty Python rip-off alert

Had a chilled evening in the other night watching my favourite film, Dr Zhivago, on DVD for the first time. After getting my head round the fact that the DVD was double sided (which is why it didn't have a picture on it, der), navigating Omar Sherif's introduction and the musical interludes that pop up every hour or so, we settled down for over three hours of the best love story ever told.

Skip to last night and again we settled down to watch a film, this time Shirley Valentine (it's a long story, why we were watching Shirley Valentine, not Shirley Valentine itself). Not Shirley Valentine on DVD, oh no, but on video. You remember video ? Big black cassette things with bits of chewable tape inside ? Look like door-stops ?

The video needed plugging into the back of the TV with one of those round aerial cable things. Where was the SCART lead ? Round ?

Needless to say, the digital TV hadn't been tuned for manual channels, so in went the tape followed by half an hour of fiddling with the menu buttons on the side of the TV to find the 'auto-tune' option.

Can you remember having to tune your TV to pick up BBC1 ? Nope ? Me neither.

Of course the TV remote control didn't work, the batteries have long since run out. Not used, you see, not since cable TV came along.

So with the auto-tune eventually running, it found the video channel (which would have rendered Channel 5 unwatchable, big loss, eh ?) and we settled down to watch the film.

The tape needed rewinding, the last person who watched the film obviously got bored around the time Joanna Lumley professed to being a prostitute, so more delay as the tape wound its way back to the start.

Press the play button on the video (its controller didn't work either, obviously) and away we go.

Except we didn't. A bit of static to start with, followed by a shaky grey screen and then bingo, words. Words about where we could, and more importantly, where we couldn't play the tape. Nowhere did it mention the hassle of setting up a digital TV to watch the damn thing, but being nearly 20 years old, it wouldn't know what digital TV was, would it ?

And then the adverts, Ghost, soon to video. Ghost ? I remember going to the pictures to see that, seeing it on BBC1, then BBC2 late at night followed by a week long running on UK Gold. It's so old it doesn't even get there now. Maybe Channel 5 will have it.

Where's the 'menu' option ? Where's the 'play movie' now choice ?

20 minutes to set up the TV followed by 10 minutes of late 80's movie trailers before getting to Pauline Collins talking to her wall.

If you can remember going to Fox's, or the paper-shop on Ainsley Estate to rent out videos, that's how it used to be every time.

And if you tell the kids of today that, they won't believe you.


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