When I was a kid we would come home from school and watch television.

The TV was in the den, a small room with two couches. It was really cozy.

There was this show called the “4:30 movie” on channel 7. It showed Godzilla and Planet of the Apes. It lasted until 6 p.m., when we ate dinner.

We turned on the TV set by pulling a knob.

At some point we got a remote control and then we pushed a button.

It was really simple.

Recently my parents came to visit and my father couldn’t figure out how to turn on the TV. He asked me for help.

But I realized I didn’t know how to turn on the TV either.

I had to ask my son.

I wondered how we had gotten to this point, where its basically impossible to turn on the television set without a complex set of instructions.

Afterward we wrote down the directions. Here’s what they say:

—There are two remotes. The cable remote (which is larger) and the TV remote, which says Samsung.

—First, make sure the cable box is on. To do that take the cable remote and press the button that says “System.” Don’t press the “Power” button.

—Note: There is no indicator to show the cable box is on. You know it is on if the clock light is bright. If it doesn’t turn on with the remote press the button on the right side of the cable box.

—Next, turn on the TV. You do that by taking the TV remote and pressing the “Power” button. Don’t press the “TV” button.

—After that, on the TV remote press the small button that says “Source” (above the green menu button) Use the arrow buttons to scroll down to “HDMI2.”

—Be patient. It will take a few moments, but eventually the television will turn on.

—To change the channel, go back to the cable remote and press the “CH” button.

—Note: The TV must be turned on to channel 3 for the cable to work.

—Note: While you change channels with the cable remote you need the TV remote to adjust the volume.

**Published by Ted Merz Nov 24, 2014**