Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Time for a new TV

It's time we got a new TV. The old one, bless its heart, has had a long run. But onward and upward.

And I hope that's something my wife will remember: Onward (time for a new TV) and upward (because we're getting a way bigger TV).

I'd like to think a model like the one above in Times Square would work just fine for us. I know the men of the audience would surely agree; I know the main lady in my life would not (sigh). And for the record, the largest set Panasonic can offer me is a measly 65 inches. Puny. That beauty above is nearly 40 feet wide.

Even if I have to settle for something 12 times smaller, I'm still excited to be jumping into the HDTV era. But it's a little baffling and more than a little overwhelming.

Everyone has an opinion. And I'm not talking about shady websites, but real ones with a known reputation. Consumer Reports thinks LCDs aren't so bad; Panasonic thinks plasmas are far superior to LCDs (though I take their opinions with a grain of salt); many others seem to think plasma is overrated. CNet thinks something entirely different from PC Magazine.

For quite a while, I had my heart set on a DLP set. But after researching it, I found that only the biggest models (50" and up) come with 1080p, the best resolution. I was hoping to save some money on the TV to afford an external sound system too, but that probably won't happen if I had to dig in and buy a 50" Samsung.

This is way, way more complicated than buying an old tube set. With that, everything was pretty much the same; sure, some brands and models had better pictures, but it was all pretty much the same. Now, it seems like every set has very different pros and cons.

My frustration is compounded by the fact that I've not actually been out shopping yet, not in any serious manner anyway. I'm forced to rely on what I see and read online (on a CRT monitor, of course) and it feels like I'm reaching the point of paralysis by analysis.

I suppose it'll get figured out at some point. It has to. My birthday presents were monetary gifts largely circled around a new-TV fund, so I can't disappoint all of the family members who were kind enough to donate. (What will I have to show my father-in-law when he comes to visit?!)

So that's where I stand. I'm sure I'll have updates as we get closer to a purchase.

-- UPDATE ON POPS: My dad is doing much better, got released from the hospital last week. He's back home now, seeing different doctors for this and for that. The car wound up being totaled, so my mom never got the joy of chatting with Buddy.

My dad did tell me he's already thought about a new ride: a Brinks truck.


ME said...

Great to hear buddy!

Here's what I can offer you.

Our big boy is a DLP & is fantastic. If I can only watch stuff in 1080i, so be it. I'm not smart enough to see the difference between the i's & p's.

We also recently bought a smaller LCD so I can get more out of the 360. Again, same thing. It has HDMI, but the difference between that picture & the component picture is not for me to decide.

We stayed away from plasma for a few factors. Price, burn-in & repair costs. Yikes.

Congratulations again & hopefully I'll see you on the next-gen side of gaming soon too.

ME said...

BTW, and MUCH more importantly, it's great to hear your Dad is doing better.

Mandy said...

Glad to hear that your dad is doing better!!

Second, being a person that used to work for Panasonic in one of their tv making factories....I do prefer either Panasonic or Toshiba. You know when you go into a place that sells only tv's and such, it is dark where the tv's are sitting. You can't really tell the picture quality this way. If you go to a place like Wal*Mart you can get a better idea of what the picture quality is because their lighting is better. I am not saying that you should buy your tv at Wal*Mart because I know that they don't carry everything. But you can go their to see what the picture quality between brands is.

Anyway, that is just my two cents....

P.J. said...

Personally, I'd not spend more than like 1,000 bucks on any TV - flat screen, plasma or the like. And heck, I'd probably be more along the lines of 400 bucks! (I'm also cheap)

That being said, if you watch a bunch of tube or play games (which I never seem to find time to do either anymore), then it's probably worth the $$$ to invest. I've heard more negatives about plasma than other types.

ME said...

PJ (and Huss), that LCD I bought is a 42" Vizio I bought at Sams Club. Loaded with features, did some research & found positive things, etc. Price? Just a tad over $800. I couldn't believe it.

Brian said...

I did go shopping yesterday. I was generally unimpressed by what I saw at Best Buy. The best sets - Sharp's Aquos - were WELL out of our price range ($3K and up). But they were beautiful.

Across the street at Tweeter, I was more impressed. Saw a nice, big Mitsubishi (sorry Mandy) DLP for like $1600, right at my price limit. There was a nice Sony LCD (though smaller) and a Samsung DLP (comparably-sized) that were also very nice.

I've got some more places to check out, though: Target, MyerEmco and Belmont TV are all along the same shopping district on Rt. 7. So I'll have to look at those places, too.