It’s a Set Up

Moving!  I’m getting fed up with moving house, I’ve done it twice in the last year and on both occasions it involves the taking apart and packing away of my consoles and games and then getting them all put together again at the other end.  Having four consoles to set up along with the television and DVD can take some time and once you throw in games to be put away in racks and stuff it can be quite time consuming.  For my last move, way back in January, the first thing I set up was my 360 and television so that while I was constructing and decorating I could stop for a wee game to break up my day…bad idea.  Knowing that the machine was set up I would stop more frequently for a wee shot and end up losing a few hours, when I got the rest of my stuff out the boxes I gradually set them up over the course of a few days ensuring everything was just right.

I was not smiling when I moved, these people are lying, it isn't fun!
I was not smiling when I moved, these people are lying, it isn't fun!

For my recent move, my consoles were the last thing I wanted to set up, as I knew that if the temptation was there I would be dragged away for hours that I could be spending tidying and arranging furniture.  Even worse, I had brand new copies of Assassins Creed 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 waiting to be played, but I persevered and accomplished all I had set out to do before even one console was powered up.  When I eventually unboxed my beloved machines I noticed that it was incredibly easy to set them all up and indeed, in less than ten minutes I had three of the four set up.  The two big hitters were just a case of plugging in the HDMI cables and attaching the power supply, the old Xbox was just a scart lead and power but the Wii was the time consumer, well over ten minutes for it’s own set up.  Sensor bar and its long wire – check! Power box – check! Lastly component cable for the best possible picture -check!  Is there some kind of irony that the least powered console is the most complicated to set up?  I’m not too sure but it made me try to remember how difficult or easy it was to set up the consoles of yesteryear.

Hiding wires was an art form...still is.
Hiding wires was an art form…still is.

Due to the fact that the quality of picture was not the driving force with old consoles like the Mega Drive or Super Nintendo it was incredibly easy to set them up, a quick plug in to the aerial socket and one to the power supply and you could be gaming, couldn’t you?  From memory it wasn’t just as easy as that, yes you could have a console wired up in less than a minute but you then had to manually search through the television tuner to find exactly where the picture could be seen.  Before the scart lead or even HDMI was a thought the good old aerial lead was the way we sent our pictures to the television screen, some came with a handy aerial lead switcher that could alternate between your console and T.V. at the flick of a switch but with only one aerial socket at the back of any television and more and more appliances using it it soon became a wiring nightmare to use a console.  Go even further back in time to the time of home computers and the problem was worse, wires and cables were everywhere.

Wires are never shown in adverts, wonder why?
Wires are never shown in adverts, wonder why?

My computer of choice was a ZX Spectrum and came with the aerial lead, power lead and leads to connect to a cassette player, add in a joystick and wires were strewn all over the place.  The main problem though was that in order to use the machine you had to get around the back of the television and remove the main aerial lead and replace it with the computer’s lead, play games for a while and then you had to go back round again and re-connect the main aerial lead. Depending on the size and location of your television, this could be a nightmare.  Due to a lack of dedicated television tables or stands with any space you would have to completely remove all of the computing paraphernalia until you next wanted to use it again and wheel it all back out.  It was with some joy that I got the much fabled computer desk for my room when I was 14, this meant that my Spectrum could remain always set up and ready to go, helped along by a colour portable television with easy access to the aerial socket.  So next time you look at the rear of your television and see 3 HDMI sockets, 2 scart sockets, component connections, an S-video connection, P.C. port and aerial socket get down on your knees and praise the lord of connections for how easy it is to get gaming these days.

I love modern televisions.
I love modern televisions.







5 responses to “It’s a Set Up”

  1. Joanne avatar

    I can sympathise, having moved house at least once a year for the last 5 years i know what a pain in the arse it can be

  2. Markatansky avatar

    You’d love this site if you’re a big retrohead: 😀

  3. Tony avatar

    I moved house 18 months ago and had to resort to photocopying a diagram of my AV receivers back panel, and then draw a map detailing where all the cables went to and from. It was invaluable in getting everything back working again.

    Sadly, I am old enough to remember the one RF cable for everything days, though.


  4. MrCuddleswick avatar

    Yes those were the days.

    I’d honestly forgotten about the pain of manual tuning. The true pain.

  5. MarkuzR avatar

    It’s funny, I had forgotten that you had to designate a channel and manually search for the RF signal on old consoles! I mean, it’s obvious really, but I had forgotten that particularly tedious part.

    Our house moves are getting increasingly difficult and time consuming. Moving into our current house meant that, for over three weeks, the kitchen was a mass of full boxes and the conservatory was a storage area for discarded boxes.

    I’m not blessed with acoustic drums, they’re electronic, so my kit (six toms, double bass drums and eight cymbals) is nothing but a maze of cabling. Same goes with the stuff in the gaming room… the back of the AV amp just makes me quake every time it had to be moved slightly (in case any speaker cables come unhitched) and when it’s time to move there’s only one thing for it… a digital camera and loads of little labels to attach to the cables. That said, it’s still a royal pain in the arse.

    I sympathise, I really do.

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