TODAY -

Of storms, flying saucers and lazy thoughts

Samarjit Kambam *



It comes to many as a mood swing and a visual coitus-interruptus when their favourite TV show or much awaited movie or a live sport which is being wholeheartedly watched get impeded by "The set top box is unable to receive signal. This could be due to a bad weather or bad cable connection….." with no hope of re-appearance of the "on-the-watch channel" by itself.

For those not so patient, it is a source of "curse & fume" followed by an expletive laden oration. It's a situation which does not fail to ignite the ire of the short tempered for when such situation prevails they would involuntarily reach the extremity of throwing whatever lies in their hands be it a remote, a junk food pack, a cup half-empty or full, whatever.

Some fidgety ones would go outside, look at the dish of the DTH leaning sideways and drooling like a bedridden octogenarian, walk inside the room, pace up and down, go outside again, look up at the dish and repeat the same steps again and again as though being caught in a time warp. Those guys with ISTV and Impact TV connections can skip reading this article albeit they also experience their own score of frustrations.

Actually, I had ISTV connections before their introduction of Set Top Box and the picture quality was too low but now, to the relief of many, things have improved to a certain extent. Thanks to ever changing technology. Call me outdated, call me deadbeat for I don't want a combo connection as my DTH is still functional and I dare not commit the sin of throwing it away and going for a new connection. At least, for the time being.

These things usually happen after a storm or a strong wind. Sometimes the intensity of the gusting wind or storm becomes extra-strong to make the dish rickety. Sometimes the dish would rock to and fro with sudden jerks like the guitarist of a dead metal band in a concert. Sometimes it rumbled, hovered and shook violently that it looked like a weird looking space shuttle about to go off from its launch pad.

And there are times where the dish alongwith its structure gets uprooted and fly for a few yards like a flying saucer before landing on the ground with a thud and thence lying prostrate. That I have seen many a times, counted many a times and got fed up many a times. Then many kinds of precipitations would fall on my head like, "Dad, I have lost Doremone. And Nobita too" from my little daughter and "Hero, the cable connection's dead" from my wife.

Then I would begin to feel like the shaking space shuttle eager to fly away but got stuck at the butt. Actually she was giving only a statement but that very statement had been cleverly made. It was like killing two birds with one stone for I was given the knowledge that the dish was not working and again, an indication in the very statement to climb up the rooftop and adjust the dish because there's nobody else to.

No more cable guy because I have already learned how to fix it, a trade better not to learn. Fixing the dish has become a quota reserved only for me. God! I hate quotas and reservations. And you know what? Climbing the roof to adjust the dish until connection has been established between the set top box and the dish comes out more as a herculean task to me. And that's the worst part.

Let me make it straight. Let me run up and down a mountain, fill a truckload of stone or chop a quintal of woods with an axe. But adjusting the dish comes out more like an anathema to me. Maybe this happens only to me, maybe this happens to you guys also. But I don't think anybody would get enthused to climb on the rooftop and work on the dish of the dish TV.

Now's a bounty season for the cable guys. Call them and they will forever remain engaged. What the economists say, "demand surpasses supply". We can't sleep on a stormy night. But for them, its sweet dreams all the way for when morning comes, money will come flying into their hands as if being flown in by the previous night's wind.

They'd be too busy going from one uprooted dish to another, one dangling dish to another, one leaning dish to another that your frantic call will be taken more as a disturbance and you'll have to wait for one more day or even two. And what I very much wonder is that whatever rectifications they carried out on the dish last only till the next storm or a strong wind. Either their trade is a very sensitive one or the dish is quite sensitive to their trade. That's the main reason why I mastered the art of fixing the dish by myself, neither out of enthusiasm nor out of curiosity.

Here's how my idle mind become the devil's apprentice again. I'd keep on pondering, keep on wondering and keep on asking questions to myself. Firstly, my mind would get pre-occupied on whether the manufacturers won't be able to ever come up with something against this all silly, customer harassing rickety dish TV system?

For poor guys like me who can't afford a three lakh TV with full access to the net 24×7 without any wired extensions, I'd like to ask to the companies, why not something viable? Will we be faced with another silly answer that the signals from the satellite are too feeble? Here we are not dealing with signals from another solar system in our galaxy.

We are dealing with signals from our own man-made communication satellites orbiting around us. I don't mean to say that we be entitled with space station equipments with all those hi-fi dishes and the likes. But can't they come up with something tangible, something concrete? Say, like the way a satellite phone receive signals directly from the communications satellites.

The pace of technology is really fast. We can witness immense changes around our lives in this fast-paced technology driven world some coming as utmost necessity some as necessary evils. But the dish TV seems too conventional, too typical, too outdated. Looks like it has given up the race for technology. God knows how long the users are to be kept frustrated with this dish TV system. Maybe, that may be the numero uno reason why many DTH customers have bade farewell to their dishes.

Time for the manufacturers and the telecom companies to come up with a modified system without the involvement of dish. A set top box that receives signal just like the way a satellite phone do or with something inbuilt inside the set top box that can anyhow manage to give the users direct to home viewing without the need for a cumbersome saucer system will come out as a great relief for many.

If them manufacturers cannot come up with that, at least the limbs where the dish rest may be made a little stouter and stronger. An inbuilt satellite signal catcher powered by a miniature solar powered battery on the receiving knob of the dish will come a long way from freeing us of the dish-frustrations while re-working on the dish whenever the signal goes caput after a strong wind or storm. If that sounds too impractical, then guys, please come up with something where we don't have to worry and get fidgety whenever any strong wind, storm or the likes come.

Just a lazy thought for the day…..uh!


* Samarjit Kambam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on May 21, 2017.


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