1.158 laundry and tv

Saturday, 5/9/2020

Two weeks have breezed by and it’s time to do the laundry again. We have a nice magnetic sign-up board in the 6th floor laundry room, with little magnetic chess pawns with our names on them. Yesterday I claimed the first slots on Saturday, 6-8 and 8-10. It takes 45 minutes for one load,  45 minutes for the next, and another 40 minutes of drying, so you can’t fit two full loads into a single, 2-hour slot. Especially if you are going to forget to set a timer on your phone to remind you to cycle the laundry.

The rest of the day I did some programming, and watched a lot of YT videos. After supper I turned on the TV and for some reason, it had no sound. I never did quite figure out why, because in the course of investigating, I made a discovery.

When I set the TV up with a sound bar (about a year ago now, I can’t be bothered to go find the blog post) I ran into a problem. The sound bar takes its input either as digital-optical, which would be the preferred way, or by HDMI pass-through from the TV, or by a plain old stereo wire with a mini-plug. I couldn’t get either of the two hi-tech ways to work. The TV dates to 2011 and its optical output is an old style. And the HDMI thing didn’t work for some reason. Anyway, I settled for plain old stereo which sounded fine anyway.

(Parenthetically, this was one of the reasons I shopped a lot for a new TV, back last summer. I figured a new one would have working digital audio out. Later I reset all the color controls and the picture now is so good, I can’t justify a new one.)

So tonight I’m fiddling with the XFinity DVR settings trying to figure out why no sound is coming out and I see a settings option that alerts me to the fact that the DVR itself has optical audio out. Huh. I have an optical cable right here in this drawer. I hook up the DVR to the sound bar and sound comes out. Well, well.

Later I turn the TV off and discover a problem with this new setup. The DVR never really turns off. The TV shuts off, but the DVR keeps going — and putting out sound. I have to get the control for the sound bar and mute it separately. That wasn’t a problem when the sound bar was fed by the TV. (Another problem: once in a while I like to hook up the MacBook to the TV to stream something on a big screen. When I do that, there won’t be any audio from the sound bar. The sound bar is listening to the DVR, not the TV. But I can leave the old stereo wire hooked up and switch back to it.)


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