My grandson Isaac was over at our house several weeks ago and decided he wanted to "play" with the Smart TV hub and the keyboard used to operate it.
Sure, I said. Let's set it up.
Well, we couldn't. What had worked some weeks before now would not, and while the TV connected to the WiFi, it would not connect to the Internet. That Smart TV wasn't so smart.
Last week, I finally set aside the time to work on this problem. On Monday I went on line to see if this was a common problem. It was for Samsung Smart TVs. I read about possible fixes, and then tried my hand at finding and resetting some of the settings. That didn't work. That's when I called Comcast.
The first level of tech support tried some of the same setting changes I had tried. When he reset the modem, we lost phone contact and had to wait about a half hour until the phone was restored and called us back. Nothing was solved. I got a case number and gave up for that day.
Tuesday I called Comcast again to get to a higher level. This time we tried the same stuff again, and resetting the modem, we lost contact completely. After about a half hour I called again on the cell phone and got someone in Texas, who took over and restored the modem and the Internet and the phones and then sent us to a higher level tech guy. Again we tried new settings and finally he was checking the Internet and reading the same articles I had read. By now were were just joking around, not knowing what else to do.
What we did decide was that it wasn't a Comcast connectivity problem and I should now try Samsung.
While trying various things the Comcast tech turned off the firewall, and at some point the email must have been hacked, because some people on our e-mail contact list got Phishing e-mail. Tad, our personal tech guy, got one and asked if we had been hacked. We had to change a whole bunch of passwords. Sometimes that is easy, and sometimes it is not. What fun.
Wednesday I called Samsung. We went through settings changes all over again. It was decided that we should update a program in the TV. In order to do that we had to go buy a flash drive, then download an update to it, then plug it into the USB on the TV and download it there. I did all of this and it didn't work. Then we realized we hadn't unzipped the program file, so I went back to the desktop to figure out how to do that. Note - the key word here is extract, not unzip.
That done, I plugged it back into the TV and updated the program but that did not solve the Internet connection problem either.
Now it's Thursday. I called Samsung back and after some time I got to a higher level of tech support, a person with "real" English. We tried a bunch more things, with me "driving" with the remote. I don't know how many times now that I have entered and reentered the 16 figure pass code, numerals and upper case letters, using arrows on the remote and the qwerty keyboard on the screen. The Samsung tech woman even set up a conference call with Comcast so we could work together. The Samsung tech support woman did suggest there might be an issue with the distance from the modem to the TV but I said it used to work just fine. Finally she fixed me up with a local electronics repair shop that would call me to schedule an in home visit.
We began our weekend, while keeping a phone handy so as not to miss the call. Fortunately contact was made Friday afternoon, with a call back on the cell phone to be made on Monday, when we would be going to Whidbey Island.
The next call informed us that we were set for a service call the following Thursday afternoon, which meant we had to go home from the island Wednesday evening.
Thursday afternoon Juan arrived about 3:00. What a great guy. He again tried some settings, the checked connectivity and a bunch of other stuff and then said he was taking the TV upstairs, closer to the modem. This is a 55 inch flat screen, but he picked it up like he did it all the time and carried it upstairs and set it on the floor of the bedroom, close to the upstairs office. He even had his own power cord, so we didn't have to unplug anything. To make a very long story come to an end, the problem was that while the TV used to be able to bring in the WiFi Internet signal, it got tired and quit reaching so far. Apparently this happens often enough that Juan knew about it, even though the phone support people didn't.
The fix was to get a WiFi booster, except that he called it an Infrared Booster and when I called Samsung, I got shuttled to three different people before the third person, a woman, figured out what I needed and that I could go buy one at Best Buy.
So we did, right then and there. This had gone on long enough.
This plug in device cost $80.00, well worth it if it works. It took us about an hour to get it programmed, failing several times before the directions made sense and worked. And Hurray! we now had Internet connection with the TV. It was now smart again! Finally! It only took two weeks!
But then we noticed that our iPhones were no longer able to SEND email. What? The message was that the web address or password were not correct. I don't know how many times we each entered what we knew was the correct new password in the settings, with no luck. So yesterday we called Comcast again. We got a great technician who walked us through the steps through several screens on our phones to a "hidden" password box just for outgoing mail. There we once more entered the verified password. Wah-la! That problem was solved.
I wasn't sure what to call this post. An alternate title was "Technology Wars". I certainly feel like I have been through a battle. I do love technology, when it works, but when it doesn't I am easily in way over my head, and that is very frustrating.
All's well that ends well, I guess. Everything is working, for now.
And I did learn a lot in this process. That's always a good thing.