First the movers separated our three-part wall unit, transferring the middle tower to our son’s former bedroom upstairs. As a result, the extra bed in his room had to be stored in the basement. The easy chair had to be moved to the other side of the living room, which meant the sections of our couch had to be reconfigured, but now the coffee table was the wrong shape and had to be replaced. And now you know why it took us eight years to finally decide to buy a big screen TV.
No furniture adjustment was required in our house when we purchased our cell phones, video cameras, or even computers. With all the research and design that companies like Samsung invest in, I ask you: Why can’t they make big screen TVs smaller?
Before we bought the 55 flat screen television, we did the perfunctory price comparisons between stores. The problem was that we didn’t know the difference between LED and LCD. My wife realized that any explanation offered to us by the sales associate would have to be directed to her alone because while at the store, I was having too much fun watching the US Open on 47 TV sets at the same time.
Our cable provider came and hooked everything up. When he left, we stared at the behemoth that was already beginning to seem like an intruder in our home. “I feel like a space ship has landed in our living room,” said Mary Ellen. “It’s way too big and high tech.”
“I know. It looks weird next to the shelf with a set of 1989 World Book Encyclopedias.”
We watched a new episode of The Killing on AMC. We stared at the TV silently until finally I had the nerve to say it. “Mary Ellen, I don’t like the picture. It’s almost too sharp. Do you know what I mean?”
“Yes, I was just thinking that I feel like I’m watching an episode of All My Children. I don’t think real life is that crisp and clear.”
We viewed the entire show, convinced that Susan Lucci would eventually make a cameo appearance. I told Mary Ellen that we must never speak of this issue again, not if we had any hopes of ever making new friends with people under the age of 90. We wanted our old TV back, but requesting a return from Goodwill creates a lot of bad will, so we decided to just deal with it.
I went online and discovered hundreds of people posting about what they called SOE (the soap opera effect), a term I had coined in my living room the previous night but was given absolutely no credit for in the blogosphere.
I called the store and the sales associate said this was indeed a common complaint but it was easily remedied. He told me to get my remote and then go to the sub menu. The only sub menu I know how to find gets me a six-inch teriyaki chicken on whole wheat and a drink for $5.95.
Apparently, there is a way to eliminate the SOE on your LED or LCD, but it requires reading directions, and since I’m ADD, it’s probably easier to just watch soap operas all day.