Lebanon Reporter

Columns

March 26, 2014

Net gain vs. going to the movies: a better system?

When my wife and I decide on what film to see in a local theater, it’s a pretty simple process, one developed by Mary Ellen. She picks a movie (that’s movie A) and then I suggest a movie (that’s movie B). Then my wife says: “Why would we spend 15 dollars to see a B movie when we can see an A movie?” This is why I have never seen Jennifer Lopez on the big screen. There has to be a better system.I began investigating some online movie services and decided to subscribe to Netflix, but I had to justify the new expense to Mary Ellen. Here’s pretty much how the conversation went:Dick: Mary Ellen, I think it’s time we sign up for Netflix.

Mary Ellen: Why?Dick: Because they stream movies.

Mary Ellen: What does that mean?Dick: I have no idea. But it’s only eight bucks a month.

Mary Ellen: How do we get our movies now — the ones we watch on cable?Dick: We download them.

Mary Ellen: I thought we uploaded them. What’s the difference?Dick: Not a clue.

In order to enjoy Netflix, we were advised to ditch our old DVD machine and buy a Blu-Ray player. Then we hired someone to hook everything up, and that night Mary Ellen and I sat in front of the TV for about four hours — not watching a movie, but trying to figure out which of three remotes to use. We did a lot of scrolling, pressing and pointing the remote at the TV. Nothing happened.

We called the young man who had connected everything. “Spencer, it’s Dick Wolfsie. We have been looking at a blank TV screen all night.”“That’s weird. Why not watch a movie?”“There’s a problem. We can’t get it to work.”Spencer mumbled something about the Blu-Ray’s ON button. Pushing it made a big difference, and I’m going to remember that advice if we purchase any other new technology.OK, now it should be easy to find something we could both enjoy. After all, there are more than 3,000 choices. This would be a piece of cake. Sadly, we can never pick out a type of cake we both like, either.

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