123 Fake Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85001
Arsenal Gaming, Inc.
Address Omitted for E2
Culver City, California 90232
ATTN: Customer Service
To Whomsoever It May Concern:
Earlier today, I visited Fry's Electronics in search of a system selector/RF switch to replace an old Pelican model that had gradually degenerated from working tolerably well to being limited to the use of a single port, until finally it had decided over the weekend that it no longer wanted to play any of my game consoles at all. Perhaps this was its way of telling me I should pack up my Dreamcast and go buy one of the next-gen systems. I suppose I'll never know for certain, since my response was simply to throw it in the garbage. This will no doubt become an allegorical story for the cruelness of humanity when the glorious machine revolution comes.
But I digress. Having had more than one bad experience with Pelican, I was not at all pleased when I arrived at the store and saw nothing but oversized boxes which advertised themselves as Pelican's “System Selector 2.0”, which as far as I can tell is just like the one I bought, only bigger and costing $80 more. I suppose it might have had Component or HDMI support, but considering I'm still stuck back here in the RF Age with my antediluvian SDTV, that's not of any great concern to me. In any case, I asked a clerk if the store was selling any system selectors other than those, and after a bit of nervous eye-shifting, he admitted as much, and went off into that Great Unknown which we mere customers can only whisper about in an awed hush: The Back Room.
...Well, actually, I think he just went to one of the bargain-bin areas near the front of the store, or maybe some forgotten endcap near the imported UMDs of Hotel Rwanda. The point is that he returned, as if emerging from some circle of Hell so fraught with horror that even Dante dared not write of it, and handed me one of your products, the AUM600 System Selector With RF Switch.
In case it hasn't become clear already, I don't think a great deal of this device. In fact, I would go out on a limb and say that it is complete rubbish. My first doubts were raised by the feature list on the back of the packaging: It is written in English, Spanish and French; but the the French bullet points are under the Spanish heading, and vice versa. Still, that's a minor oversight, and one entirely independent of the unit's manufacture. More troubling was the fact that the documentation (which is to say the single piece of paper which looks like it was printed out of Cletus The IT Guy's inkjet) refers to a “Game/TV switch” that is not present on the unit. This is either a minor failure of technical writing or a major failure of design; alternately, it could be considered both, since I'm not entirely sure how this thing is supposed to work without such a switch, but it's also clear that nonexistent switches should not be documented in any event.
However, the nub of the problem with this product is very simple: It doesn't work. Not even a little bit.
For starters, when I plugged it in and flipped power switch to “On” (or as close as it gets to “On”, which is actually about halfway between where the “On” and “Off” are printed), the LED (which presumably is supposed to indicate that power is on, though it's hard for me to say since the documentation doesn't indicate this one way or the other) remained off. My first response was to check the power strip it was plugged into. It was receiving electricity. On the off chance that the specific plug I had used was malfunctioning, I plugged the system selector directly into the wall. Nothing.
“Well,” I said to myself, “As long as it works, I'm not really going to worry too much about niceties like an LED that tells me it's working.” So I plugged in my TV's coaxial cable and my PlayStation 2's A/V cables. I turned both of them on. Nothing. I checked to make sure the channel was right. It was. I pressed all the select buttons in their turn, just in case I had pushed the wrong one or in case they were mislabeled. No luck. I checked the coaxial cable to make sure it worked and was properly connected to the TV. It was. I checked the A/V cables to make sure I hadn't accidentally plugged in a set from one of the other game consoles laying about, and to make sure it was in one of the input ports, rather than the output one. I connected the console directly to the TV, to make sure there was nothing wrong with it. It worked fine. (The TV does have a single RCA input, but it only has one audio port for some reason, so either you can set it up for mono or you can have fun listening to only one sound channel.)
Thus, I can only conclude that your system selector, which either would not turn on or had a faulty LED, which had such incredible documentation, and which is so light I was tempted to open it up to see if it was just a plastic box with some fake video connectors sticking out, is a worthless piece of shit. Which I suppose is just a cruder way of saying “complete rubbish”, so I'm sort of repeating myself.
Anyway. Off I go back to Fry's Electronics to return this hunk of junk. I should charge you folks for mileage. I assure you that neither I nor anyone I know, have spoken to, or am just passingly familiar with will buy any of your company's products again.
Totally and Completely Sincerely,