Radio Shack Guy is my new boyfriend. He does not know he is my boyfriend. He just thinks he helped me with a little cable problem but he is definitely my new boyfriend.
This is the back of my teeny, tiny 13” TV. I was going to describe it as the crap kind you can carry around from room to room but that isn’t really fair. It has no handle.
Do you see the problem? No? Let me call your attention to the Audio input on the right. Audio input, singular. Still not seeing it? Here, maybe this will help:
Note the TWO leads at each end of this standard Audio cable. You begin to see my conundrum.
All I want to do is hook up my TiVo box to the tiny TV I keep on the corner of my desk in my home office.
The TV picture isn’t really all that bad, especially up that close, so I just need a couple of cables to connect the TiVo to my cable box and my cable box to my TV. I haven’t read the instructions at this point so I’m not really sure but I’ve hooked up a million of these things so how hard can it be?
I determine I need two Audio/Video cables (like the audio cable above but with a third lead coded yellow for video) and one reducer. I don’t know if it is called a reducer, but it is about six inches long with two receptors on one end into which I can plug the red and white audio lines from the A/V cable but only one output on the other to be plugged into the single audio input on the TV. Seems simple enough.
When I lived with my sister Kate, we always a big bin full of various cables. Alas, I am still building my stash so it was off to Best Buy for me, where I discovered the least expensive A/V cable is $20.
Remember I need two.
For my crap TV.
That I only watch when I work from home during tax season and occasionally on Saturday when I pay my bills online.
I don’t think the TV itself cost much more than $40 so no thank you, Best Buy. Next stop: Radio Shack on the Mall. (How do they stay in business, I often wonder?) Their least expensive A/V cable is still about $17…and they only have one.
Enter my new boyfriend, whom I adore so much I didn’t even get his name, though I believe he wore it on a cute little pin on his Radio Shack polo shirt. New Boyfriend told me a secret: the color coding on cables means nothing. NOTHING. It is only there so complete morons can hook up equipment without having to understand (or even read) directions: plug the yellow one into the yellow hole, etc.
I was shocked. SHOCKED. The cables themselves all transmit the same thing so you can plug any color you want into any hole you want as long as it is the same size and shape. It was a revelation.
He further revealed I did not, in fact, need to reduce my two audio cables (the red and the white) to one just because I only had one audio input on my TV. Since the cables all transmit the same thing and I am not worried about getting great sound on external speakers or anything like that, I can simply plug the red plug into the yellow video hole and the white plug into the white audio hole. I wouldn’t even need a 3-line A/V cable. I would only need a 2-line audio cable.
Do you see why I am in love?
I was pretty sure I already had an audio cable at home – remember, I had to shop because I thought need an A/V cable with that third yellow doo-dad – but I bought two audio cables just in case for $7 each: so much better than $20 a piece.
Of course wouldn’t you know as I continue through the onscreen TiVo setup instructions – the “you could be brain dead and still set up your TiVo correctly” on screen setup instructions – it turns out I only need one audio cable and it doesn’t even connect to the TV, just runs between the TiVo box and the cable box. Here is what the final configuration looks like:
It turns out I DID already have an audio cable at home in my bin-o’-cables so I am off to the Mall to break up with Radio Shack Guy and get my $15 back.
Techlove: so fickle.