Screen Savors: From bereft to bountiful

For HOT subscribers who have analog TV, the cable provider will upgrade you to digital at no extra monthly cost.

Frasier cast 521 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Frasier cast 521
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Afew weeks ago, my cable box went on the blink. I had a standard HOT analog package, and the little black box on my TV set kept shutting itself off. I’d push the button on the box and it would return, but ultimately it gave out and would not ignite at all. Was it my TV or the cable? I wasn’t sure, as the TV would not go on without the cable box being activated.
So I called HOT and asked for a technician to come and fix it.
“Oh, analog,” said the man on the line. “We’re phasing that out.
It’s old technology, and we don’t even have the wherewithal (well, he didn’t actually say “wherewithal”) to fix it anymore, so we’re upgrading our subscribers to digital [which includes more channels] at no extra cost. If you would like to do that, I can transfer you to customer service.”
Well, who wouldn’t want to do that? But I was going to be out of town for the weekend and working all the following week, so I had to hold off for longer until I could be home to receive my new equipment, so I didn’t even call to make the order.
I must admit that my standard HOT package seemed pretty sparse, and I was always so envious when I read Shawn Rodgers’s or Hannah Brown’s recommendations of what to watch. Their picks were invariably movies or programs on channels I didn’t get. Did I have YES? No.
Did I have HOT? Yes. But not the channels that had the good stuff like HOT Gold, HOT Action, HOT Fun and HOT Drama. All I had was HOT Movies, and the pickings were pretty slim.
I never wanted to upgrade on my own because I watch so much TV as is, that I didn’t want to pay for more channels and immerse myself even more deeply in TVland.
But to upgrade at no extra cost – who could resist that? And anyhow, my TV was not working at all.
So at the first opportunity, I made the call. To my extreme delight, I was informed that not only would HOT upgrade my TV to digital, but I could also select three packages of channels from a number of categories. I chose Movies, Entertainment and Culture – all at no extra monthly charge. As Chandler of Friends would say, “Could it get any better than that?” Well, they actually offered me two free months of VOD, but I drew the line at three new TV packages, plus my aregular package, and politely declined.
My deal is for 18 months at no extra monthly fee. And after that? “Call and ask what specials we will be offering,” said the customer service woman. (Cue the uh-oh music....?) In any case, last week the cable guy arrived with a sleek silver box under his arm, and in under five minutes I went from being bereft to feeling blessed and bountiful.
My TV was working like a charm again, and the digital world opened up access to everything from HOT Gold, MGM, BIP and E Entertainment to news channels, design channels and every foreign-language channel you can imagine.
After the HOT technician left, I phoned some of my friends and cooed, “I’m calling you from television heaven.”
I was thrilled, delighted and grateful beyond words.
I can see Frasier several times a day on BIP, find out more news about stars and celebs on E Entertainment News than I know what to do with, and choose from a host of movies on a wide range of channels any time of day or night. In fact, I finally got to see Casino Royale, which I had wanted to see for a long time, and really enjoyed it. I know you can download anything on the computer – but for someone who grew up with television, it’s just not the same.
If that little black box had not given out, I never would have known what opportunities awaited me in the digital world.
So, dear fellow HOT subscribers, if you still have analog TV, I would suggest you call HOT and upgrade to digital while the offer still stands and before your cable conks out beyond repair.
Strike while the iron is HOT.