Saturday, April 04, 2009

Frustrated and futile...

a/k/a My Search For A Reasonably-Priced Portable DVD Player

So, I'm leaving tomorrow afternoon for a 2-day business conference in northeast Georgia. Since I am not familiar with the town, and don't feel safe or adventurous for leaving my hotel to walk through town, I got the idea to take a portable DVD player in order to do some exercise in my hotel room. My hotel most likely doesn't have a fitness room; nothing in the amenities list mentions it. I could have stayed at the hotel where the conference is, but swear to y'all, there was like an $80 difference (and that's WITH corporate rates). Okay, I'm a bit cheap, but who isn't these days?

Anyway, after my WW training ended this morning, I went all over hell and half of G-vegas in search of said portable DVD player. Again, I wanted something that I would consider a reasonable price, because I only really plan to use this DVD player for travel. If it were something I'd be using on a more regular basis, then I would choose something a little sturdier, and of somewhat higher quality.

So I searched at a nearby Fred's: nothing. I went to Big Lots: nada there either. So I decided to head home and began to rack my brain for a Plan B or even a Plan C. Now, keep in mind that NEITHER of these plans involved getting anywhere near a Wally if at all possible. On the way home, there is a K-Mart and I thought, "Okay, as much as I don't want to....." so I went in. They had one -- but for a higher price than I was willing to pay (and especially for an off-brand). No. No, no, no. Then it hit me that occasionally, Belk or JCPenney will have some personal electronics. So I stopped: and again -- NOTHING. I wasn't going into Radio Shack just because I kind of figured they'd be there but more $$. So home I went.

I checked Craig'sList, and yeah, there were a couple listed. However, the sellers are in the completely opposite direction of where I'm heading tomorrow. So that wasn't going to work. I even checked Wally (again) just to see if there was one available in-store. And yes, they had one, but again, not at the price I wanted to pay. Call me cheap; I can take it.

So on a lark, I called the Fred's store here in my hometown. "No ma'am, we don't have any in stock." So I called the next town up: "Yes ma'am we sure do." I go flying up there....... I asked the manager where they were and he asked me with whom I'd spoken to get this information...... I gave him a vocal description (this poor employee had a bad sore throat, so it was pretty easy to describe a gravelly voice). He sighed and said, "Oh, that was my cashier. Well, unfortunately, we don't have them and I hate that you wasted a trip due to misinformation."

Well, it wasn't an entirely wasted trip. What I have done was to buy a refurbished DVD player that they had on sale, a connecting cable, and my plan is to hook the DVD player up myself when I get to the hotel.

After I return, I'll let you know if I've added "electronics wizard" to my skills set .......... BWAAAAAAAAH!


Talmadge Gleck said...

I was going to say the best option in your case - not traveling a whole lot, and not using it in the car (i.e., inside, within the long arm of Reddy Kilowatt) - would be to find a basic component DVD machine, and then another 20-ish bucks for a "modulator" - a box to adapt it to TVs without A/V inputs (you'd be surprised how many motels DO NOT have 'em, even with newer TVs ... ahhh, all the better to have you instead spring for the $12.95 PPV, eh?).

We have a portable Polaroid DVD unit that works very well. But a regular player - properly secured in transit, and no jolts - would be the ticket. Believe me, you don't want to drop any kind of $$ on a cheapo portable.

Fred's not having that, I'd say, was a blessing in disguise. Beware of anything bearing the name Coby, Broksonic or Apex. Fred's tends to carry those. Find a basic Magnavox at Wally World and you'll be good. They also have the mod-boxes.

Talmadge Gleck said...

The ONLY (!) possible hitch with the above option would be if the coaxial connection to the back of the motel TV has one of those cuffs to keep smarty-pants guests from having bright ideas like watching their own videos.

In this case, you'll have to do some resistance training - pulling out the credenza and locating the wall jack. Usually it's not protected. Unscrew and connect to the box.

A lot of trouble just to watch movies, iddn'it? Not if the option is sheer boredom in a motel room with nothing but horsedung on the 20-channel "cable" TV.