But this is it. The new TV is home. After weeks of research and an afternoon spent plodding through treacherous conditions (hey, I've got an Explorer), we brought this beauty home. Not without shelling out some money, though.
First, the good news: It's a 40-inch Sony Bravia, a little better than 720p resolution. The price was right (well, relatively), we liked Sony's reputation (though I wasn't thrilled about giving them so much money after the PS3 disrespect) and we liked the picture we saw. We picked it up from Tweeter, and we were treated very well.
The only hiccup of the day - other than the undesirable weather - was that the store we went to didn't have our particular model in stock; if we wanted it today, we'd have to run to Tysons Corner. No biggie, just a straight shot down Rt. 7.
The set, frankly, got a hell of a lot bigger when we got home. When I was in-store, I tried to imagine how any of the sets would fit within our TV spot. (And I'm happy to give credit to my wife, who heartily dissuaded me from pursuing a 50+ inch DLP; it would have been way too big.)
If you look closely at the pic, I stood a Time magazine in front of it to give you an idea of the size. As you can see, it's huge. Forty inches turned out to be more than enough!
Just for comparison, you can see the same magazine against our old set, now discarded and waiting, perhaps, for a new owner.
(For some reason, I always get sappy about things like this. It was a good TV and served me well through multiple years of college and even more years out in the real world. It really deserves a better adjective than 'discarded.' Still, it was time for a new one; but I can't help but feel bad. I'll miss you, big guy.)
Now, for the bad news: All of this technology doesn't grow on trees, of course. The bill was pretty hefty for the TV itself, a three-year nearly-comprehensive warranty and an HDMI cable.
Like I said to Lindsay, the only thing I've ever paid more for were cars and college. So it was a little pricey, but this is a TV we'll have for a long time. It's a solid investment right now, the way I see it.
And I have to give her credit, too. This was a big chunk of change to swallow for her. Like she told our salesman, the last TV she bought was $200. Now, we're dropping more than 10 times that for another one.
I'd love to give you a glowing review of the thing, but we've only spent a few hours with it. And it's impossible to judge without trying out the HD options first, since regular programming doesn't test its limits. (I joked with Linds that Karine Boukham's cleavage on Iron Chef America might be too much to handle; indeed that may test its limits. A quick note on the link - it leads to a Flash site, click on About to see her - and beware the techno music if you have your speakers cranked.)
But for now, I'm excited - as any boy with a shiny new toy would be.
(My apologies for the spacing issues. I don't know what the problem is. This new version of Blogger has a lot of good functionality, but I seem to get a lot of error messages - incredibly frustrating.)
[Portions of this entry have been edited.]