Monday, May 31, 2010

What the... Rabbit Ears?!

I just wrote about having my car inspected last Thursday, but one detail I forgot to mention was about the television in the office at the inspection station.
While waiting for the inspection to conclude, I idly watched the usual gang of giggling idiots on some Korean game show go through the usual antics.
They'd dress up in weird costumes like men in skirts (nothing gay there), hanbok, etc.
Each humourous occurence would be run and rerun a half-dozen times, sometimes in slow motion, with accompanying sound effects, canned laughter, and subtitles, just so everybody watching understood that something funny had just happened.
The door to the office was swinging open, and every time it would close, the TV picture would go all fuzzy and the sound would turn to static.
What the kimchi?
I noticed the TV had... rabbit ears.
If you don't know what rabbit ears are, you're too young to be up this late. Go to bed!
Rabbit ears are aerials that you can adjust in order to pick up a signal that any station is broadcasting. I remember many times trying to make the picture clearer by waving them back and forth, shifting the TV around, and so on.
Nowadays, TVs usually have cables attached, and I had thought rabbit ears had gone the way of the dinosaurs. I had no idea that a person could still pick up TV signals the old way.
A lot of the TVs I've had in Korea have been pretty old fossilized pieces of shit, but none of them had rabbit ears.
I remember one con-apt I had there was no VCR. I was going to ask for one, and a friend suggested I get with the times and ask for a DVD player. I could rent Korean movies and watch them with English subtitles.
Well, I got the player, enraging the teacher who'd been there for months with a broken VCR that the wanjungnim kept forgetting to replace.
After a couple of years, I left that school and ended up in The Junkpile, with one of those fossilized pieces of shit I was talking about. It had no connections for the DVD player!
Checking on the Internet, I learned about a device called an RF modulator, which allows for a DVD player to be hooked up to one of those old style TVs.
I picked it up in a shop in Daegu with very little explanation to the guy needed. I just sort of pointed and grunted and showed him a diagram of what I wanted. He made a phone call and a deliveryman dropped it off 20 minutes later.
Nowadays I have a computer with which I download and watch all the TV a man could want or need. The screen on the 'puter is as big as most of the screens on the TVs I've had, so I'm not missing anything other than Korean Komedy Klassics with canned laughter, sound effects, subtitles, and jokes run and rerun a half dozen times just so everybody who's watching knows something funny has occured.

1 comment:

  1. Heh. I thought you were going to be posting about Koreans wearing those rabbit ear head bands. :)

    Damn I can't remember the last time our TV had rabbit ears. The 70's maybe?