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Sometimes It's Not As Complicated As You Think

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 19, 2005

Late Sunday afternoon, I was working in the basement, with a radio nearby carrying the Browns game. Of course, I wanted to take a look at it on TV, too, from time to time, so I lumbered up to the TV room to find -- nothing.

The HD set. hooked through an HD cable box, had no picture. Neither did another, non-HD set, which was hooked to a DVR. Something, I knew, was amiss -- especially when another TV set, which didn't have a box at all, was bringing in TV just fine.

I called Time Warner and, after winding through the press-1, press-something-else of the voice mail system, got to a very polite service rep. We went through various possibilities, rebooting both boxes for instance, without success. I wondered if something had gone wrong with the line to the two non-working sets, since a separate line went to the working one. The service rep wondered if something had gone wrong with my sets, since the boxes seemed to be working fine. We finally agreed that I'd have to arrange a service call, which would be two days later.

Bumming, I got off the phone. Then the light bulb went on over my head. I stomped back down to the basement, where I had been putting up a shelf. Checked all the cable wires around the area I was working. Finally saw that the plug from the signal booster had been knocked almost out of the outlet. Plugged it back in.

And lo, the TV sets worked. I saved myself a service call (since I promptly canceled it), could watch stuff in the places I most like to watch them -- and still felt foolish about not checking the plug first.

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