COLIN CHANNON: Switching on the TV used to be such a simple affair...

This week’s column is written by Paul Sitkowski.

I have to disagree with the story I read in the Observer.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with new gadgets quickly replacing those that are still in their boxes.

I have to disagree because my 14-year-old, who controls all my access to anything technical, told me I had to.

Life doesn’t get much tougher nowadays than trying to turn on the telly from a cold, standing start. Firstly, is it actually switched on, or is it on standby? Get that wrong and instead of turning on BBC 1 (boring!) you’re setting things up for a 12-month daily recording of Family Guy or The Big Bang Theory.

Assuming you’ve got it right, and it’s then the question of which remote control to use. That is a

real tester.

Apparently, you use the one that controls the TV first, by hitting the green button top left and then choosing ‘live TV’. On screen there will then appear a number of purple boxes which respond to the other gadget – possibly Sky or BT Vision branded – for which you have five seconds to hit four more buttons before the DVD/tv/Skybox/video go in to hibernation.

No problem there, though, because all you have to do is choose ‘reset factory default’ which will then start the process of retuning the TV which is done in no more than 20 minutes.

When you’ve eventually got to the channel you want – you can always watch News at 10 later on – for God’s sake don’t press ‘Select’ on the all-in-one remote job because you’re really in trouble if you do.

If my experience is anything to go by, the curtains in the spare room will close and within 15 minutes a young man on a moped will be delivering you an American Pizza with stuffed crust and a side of coleslaw.

He doesn’t take cash but you can pay him by using your mobile phone or iPod.

Meanwhile, while you were answering the door, your 14-year-old has walked in to the lounge, retuned to the Jeremy Kyle Show, decided he’s seen it before, and switched to QVC before leaving the room to head for the Xbox.

When you’re back, of course, all batteries from all devices in the room have been removed to facilitate that game of Full metal Ouzi lock and load which beats playing football or climbing a tree ten times out of ten.

Looking on, you see he’s already got a score of five hundred and fifteen million and he’s fired only four shots.

You’re not sure the language would be approved by your mother, a picture of whom cradling you on the day of your christening sits atop of your old oak desk now used entirely as a DVD storage depot, so it’s back for one more crack at the telly or it’s yesterday’s newspaper.

Life’s about making things happen, but is there anything harder than trying to switch on the telly without a remote device? Where are all the buttons? Why isn’t there a picture? What was that big blue flash?

I’m worn out. Time for bed. But why can’t I turn off the radio alarm?