Pixels and Tiles

Pixels and Tiles
Image provided by Charles Strebor

I’ve been having some problems with my TV. To be truthful, it’s my husband’s and my TV, which makes it critical seeing he’s a sports fan. The trouble started last year about this time when Tennessee was hit with a devastating ice storm.

I don’t know if others in the area continued to have problems after the cleanup, but we sure did. We couldn’t go two months without calling the cable company to set up an appointment for one of their service technicians to come out to the house. The same guy kept on showing up and doing what adjustments he thought would help. If I remember correctly, his name was Erik but don’t quote me on that. By November of last year, I was almost ready to invite Erik to dinner. After all, we were seeing him more often than most of out neighbors on our street.

He would come in the company van, and knock on the door carrying a small monitoring device and some cable. I told him the picture was “pixeling” again. He needed more of an explanation, not understanding what I was talking about. Once explained, he told me that the correct term for what I was seeing was called “tiling”. How was I suppose to know that the language jargon of computers wouldn’t work for the TV? I mean, a person can watch TV on the computer. It stands to reason that when pertaining to a picture, whether it be on a computer or a TV, the smallest unit of the picture would be called a pixel. Obviously not.

About the third week of last month, January, the TV started acting up again. We couldn’t watch a program for fifteen minutes without the picture “tiling”; and it was usually in the middle of the screen. It’s annoying when Sarah Jessica Parker’s face looks like weird puzzle pieces while watch Sex and the City. Husband was cussing under his breath while watching his hockey games because invariably the picture was “tiling” so he either couldn’t make sure where the puck was or what player was shoving it down the iced court. We shrank at the thought of calling the cable company for the umpteenth time so we started watching more of the movies we have in our collection of DVDs.

When it got to the point where every three minutes was a “tiled” picture, I had had enough. I called they up, got put on their “animated  service”, pushed the zero button, and when a real person answered, I scheduled a home appointment. The soonest someone could get out to my place was two days later.

During that two-day stall, the company called us four times. First time was to verify the appointment. That one was expected. The second one was animated, asking if I still wanted the appointment. Do that many people make appointments with the cable company and then decided they don’t want the house call? Maybe they do. I just know that when I make an appointment, I want the meeting to happen — no second thoughts. The third one was also animated, asking again if I wanted to keep the appointment. When I got off the phone, I shook my head and laughed. The company must be paranoid about house calls these days. The fourth one was an honest-to-goodness person, the technician himself. Can you guess why he called? “Yes, yes, I still want you to come to the house.”

I swear, I live in the land of idiots.

The meeting went well. It wasn’t Erik this time but that didn’t matter. The guy not only fiddled with the TVs, but also checked the computer cable box and switched out cable.

It’s now been a few days since that appointment. I did see a brief moment of “tiling”, but so far it’s only been that one time. Is cable the way to go or should a person go with satellite? We’ve always had a picture with cable, though it may be “tiling” like crazy. When we had satellite, there were times we didn’t have a picture at all. Still, the satellite was slightly cheaper. None of this technology is perfect. Tolerance and patience must endure through any deals with it — that is, up to a point.


When does that point come for you when dealing with today’s technology?

Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other. – Ann Landers


19 thoughts on “Pixels and Tiles

  1. It’s very frustrating when you have to call multiple times to solve the same problem and then it seems that you’re bothering them. We have one of several appointments scheduled tomorrow to fix our hot water boiler. It supplies heat and hot water, except the water isn’t hot. It hasn’t been hot since they upgraded us to a digital control unit.


  2. Old technology is no better when dealing with morons–I mean me. I used to live in a rental with an old oil and water heating system. I was supposed to order oil which I often forgot to do just in time for a frigid weekend when the oil company was closed. I was also supposed to fill the tank in the basement with water. The problem was I was supposed to turn off the water, but the three minutes it took to fill the tank was too long for me not to get distracted. I once flooded the basement 12 inches! It took all day to fill buckets and dump the water on to the driveway creating an ice slick like you’ve never seen! The owner of the building had been storing her Christmas gifts in the basement, too!


  3. We had a problem with tiling and kept having the cable company come out. Finally, they replaced the cable from the street to the house. Fixed the problem immediately. As far as cable vs. satellite, is that storms take the tv totally out.


    1. We’ve had satellite before so we know the fallacies of it. They had replaced the cable from the street to the house already. Somehow this problem will get fixed completely and, in the meantime, we’ll just have to both endure and be persistent.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I used to have tiling but don’t anymore and it was only on certain stations, which are now gone. I agree with April. It must have something to do with the feed, how the signals are received from Atlanta, Timbuktu or where ever.
    It’s so frustrating these days with everything technological. 😦


      1. I know what you mean. Haven’t watched TV for the last 3 years except for a movie now and again. The past two weeks, Wednesday night at 10:00 o’clock is sacred to me. I love Suits. The new series started after a long drought.
        If it’s not the TV, its the laptop or the iPhone, or iPad, or computer….


  5. We also dislike the tiling but it wasn’t much better in the old days when we fidgeted with home made aluminum rabbit ears perched on the TV as we tried to get rid of the snow. You may not be old enough to know what I’m talking about, Glynis, but just believe that there was never a time when receiving TV shows was always a perfect transmission. We’ve advanced from one set of interruptions to another – no advancement at all.


    1. I’m old enough to remember the aluminum trick on the rabbit ears. In my home where I grew up, we didn’t have that much problem with reception. Move on ear back a little, move the other front a little, and presto, good reception.

      BTW: I’m 61 😛


  6. I’m glad you used ‘pixeling’ because I never would have known what ’tiling’ meant. That’s got to be an ‘in house’ word. Soon (maybe a few years), you’ll be able to get everything you want to watch on the internet. Already, I can hook my internet directly to my TV screen and I’m off. That day can’t come soon enough for me.


    1. Jacqui, I can get most TV on my computer screen and my Kindle because it’s all with the same company. It’s just that the couch is a little more comfortable for watching TV. O_o


  7. I only have an HD antenna so I can receive basic channels. It works fairly well and I can still watch many of my usual shows for free online. On the other hand, I’ve been trying to get an oil leak in my car fixed forever. After three fixes for two different problems, it’s still leaking The repairs are under warranty and the place says they’ll fix it again, but I just want my money back. The only that’s going to happen will be to write bad online reviews about the repair place I took it too. It’s hard to have faith in getting things fixed because too often that doesn’t happen.


    1. I wish we had that HD antenna and just had the network channels. I’m not too sure how husband would feel about that though because of he love of sports.

      I was in an accident in 2009. The other driver and I were fine but our cars weren’t. The accident wasn’t my fault so I didn’t have a pay anything, but the guy who hit me was just a kid. The parents were paying the bill and I rather liked them. The Chevy dealership said that one of the parts (over $1000 worth) wasn’t under warrantee anymore. Husband checked it out, and lo and behold, it was under warrantee still. We saved the parents a bundle. Maybe we should go back to horse and buggy.


  8. The same nightmare is in my country! and I thought it was because customer service here is always awful for these sort of services! It seems we’re not the only ones 😉 at least, I get that animated call only once 🙂


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