Thursday, January 20, 2011

Turning Technie

As it turns out, my mother is not imagining her hearing loss.  There is a measurable loss in both ears since her last test.  As the technician pointed out, "When you are in the mid-to-profound loss range, any additional loss is significant."

We came home with a new toy, a device called TV Ears.  It's earphones with a volume control, drawing its signal off a connected TV.  You can change the volume to your ears without changing the volume on the set itself, thereby saving the ears of those of use who don't (yet!) need the additional amplification.

Connecting external devices to a TV set became old hat years ago.  I used to laughingly claim that I should get tech wages at work (nearly double my actual salary) for all the times I had to wire cables into a Superintendent's TV set, or my own video editing system.  After the multiple decks, multiple sound sources, multiple image sources, and multiple monitors all hooked together into a single coherent editing system, adding a listening device like TV Ears ought to have been a piece of cake.

Until I discovered that my parents' TV, made in 2000, has NO audio out ports.  No familiar little red/white/yellow places to plug in the correspondingly colored wires that come with every device purchased these days.  Just solid plastic coverings where I'd expect to find the connectors.

Think, Bonnie, think!

What should, in theory, have provided a work-around -- didn't.  At least not for several hours.  A mad dash to nearby Radio Shack only confirmed the theory.  Even replacing the TV set would not solve the problem.  New TVs have lots of computer, iPod, and other digital connections.  Most have no more than one RCA outlet, one usually dedicated to another device.

Several hours later, after much cable moving, connection jiggling, channel changing,  powering equipment on and off -- and frustration -- the whole package came together.  Both the TV and the Ears now work.  

Mother's judgement?  "It is louder, but it is not any clearer."  I suspect the Ears will be returned before the end of the 30-day trial.

Give thanks for technology that works the way it is intended!
Don't forget to pray.......

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