By 8 January 2014 | Categories: news


I own what JVC likes to refer to as a Smart TV. It is, theoretically, a splendid device. It is, theoretically, very smart indeed. It can, theoretically, perform a number of functions that a regular television cannot. It, theoretically, allows its user to watch, as well as regular television, online interactive media, streaming media, internet TV, and over-the-top content (which, Google tells me, is not just the term for OTT reality TV shows such as Here Comes Honey Boo Boo). My Smart TV provides countless hours of theoretical entertainment. 

The missing link

The only problem is that I am currently unable to make use of my Smart TV at all, because it has a broken remote control. While trying to switch from PC mode to USB input using the four buttons that are provided in the event of the tragic occurrence of its remote control breaking, I somehow managed to make the menu that allows one to switch between different modes disappear, leaving only a menu allowing brightness and contrast to be adjusted.

What makes matters worse is that my television is now somehow stuck in ‘I don’t know what’ mode, a mode I had no idea existed before ‘black Tuesday’ (the name we have given the fateful day our remote control was taken from us), as it doesn’t seem to do anything at all. You cannot watch TV on it, nor can you connect to your external hard drive, notebook or PC. You certainly can’t use it to watch online interactive media, streaming media, Internet TV or in fact any content, over-the-top or otherwise. In summary, our Smart TV is currently a rather smart looking ornament. It is the centerpiece of our lounge, but I still liked it better back when it was a working television. 

We are fortunate to live on a planet so advanced that we can boast of having mastered remote technology to the point that its inhabitants are spared the indignity of ever having to leave the couch. My Smart TV’s remote is no exception. It can do a variety of impressive things, things that one sadly becomes reliant upon. Modern remote controls are designed to make us dependent on them. Which is all good and well until ‘Black Tuesday’ comes around and you are left with nothing but a manual badly translated from Japanese and a screen that’s, well, black.

Not so Smart are we now?

I wish I could claim superiority over my Smart TV. I wish I could make fun of it and say “Smart TV? More like a stupid TV if you ask me!” But the truth is that I’m the stupid one. My television is smarter than me. I can almost see it grinning smugly and muttering “idiot” under its breath as it watches me driving myself within inches of having to be admitted into a mental institution just trying to get it to function without its remote.  

Say what you want about old school TVs - at least they didn’t make us feel dumb.

Photo courtesy of GA Goodman

Article first appearead in TechSmart Jan 2014


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