Posted On: Saturday - November 21st 2020 9:10AM MST
In Topics:   TV, aka Gov't Media  Artificial Stupidity
I'm sure there are updates out about more important subjects than exercise machines. It's just a small Peak Stupidity fixation, and there is a bit about TV here too.
Since we left off with lots of praise for the best of the exercise machine consoles I've seen, the Precor 62/80/82*, we'll mention a competing machine this time. There are a bunch of Star Trac machines that I've seen at hotel gyms. These must not be the newest models, per a good review site I just found, Treadmill Reviews, but that's probably for the best. The newer ones have the infotainment I probably don't want.
This console has the simple numbers, incline, speed, distance, METS or kCalories burned (METS are a rate of energy exertion), heart rate, and time elapsed. It has a 40 arrow-shaped LED display in a race track pattern that represents a 1/4 of a mile. I guess that was cool for its time, and it's fine with me. This one has no fancy color LCD screen. Everything is displayed with your old LEDs. That's all good. The only problem was that the heart monitor didn't work. I need to get a rate right after I finish, and I moved my hands to hold those sensors the way that usually works. I had no luck with this thing. Maybe it just was a case of a broken wire on this machine or bad-quality sensors. I'll find out on another machine like it.
Now, to the TV force-feeding** aspect of this, maybe a more interesting subject for this blog's readers. I was the only one in the place, and the TV was on. It would not have been any bother without the audio, as it was way off to the side of that Star Trac machine. It was loud enough though. Rather than find the remote, it seemed easier to use the physical buttons on the side of the screen. (I guess all TVs still have these.) They didn't work. That's a new one. After trying o/- for power off, I tried the volume ones. Nope.
I found the remote and tried it. Nope. OK, a more paranoid guy than me might have figured that they REALLY want that thing on to blast the infotainment at me. I chalked up the remote problem to an old battery or possibly my not having a good enough angle toward the TV. Whatever, it was time to take care of this the old fashioned way.
The right-up-against-the-wall devices have cords that hang down, do a 180 back up, and plug in right behind the thing to where they are very hard to get to. That's for installation reasons, but maybe also to keep hands away from the plug. I played around for a minute and noted not a power, but a signal, cable that was easily unpluggable from just below the screen.
I can take some static during exercise a lot better than getting force-fed TV. Luckily, the removal of this cord took care of it all. With no more video and no more sound out of it, peace and quite were the result. Anyone who wants it back on, well, you go talk to the management. See if they understand you through that face diaper.
PS: As with all these posts about these machines, since they have had a particular negative emphasis on the machines that don't calculate shit right (it's NOT hard!), we are not reviewing the mechanical hardware. I have found a few that make a lot of worrisome noise, but I chalk that up to the hotel not getting them maintained as they should be. It's likely that all these hotel commercial models will be pretty mechanically solid, since they seem to get used a few times a day at least, except when the LOCKDOWN gym rules are in effect, and I'm possibly the only one sneaking in. That is more than one would use them at home.
* It wasn't this series, with the paddle-switches, my favorite feature, but one nearly like it, that I noticed recently was used in the Precor treadmills, elliptical machines, and bike machines, with the only difference being some printed-on instructions. They had the same hardware with membrane switches being the controls, but just different software for the differing types of exercise.
** Peak Stupidity first started using this term in the post TV force-feeding in the lobby.