Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Adventures in TV buying

Last November just as we were settling down for the night, it happened. The TV we bought for our bedroom on the night of Matt's 16th birthday (I remember because I felt one moment of guilt for buying myself something on Matt's birthday - shouldn't I buy him something, "Oh, yeah, we did." can't remember now his 16th BD present, but there was one and I know the night involved dinner at Planet Hollywood....) fizzled out. 10 years, you've got to expect it sooner or later. It was an evening of panic. (We honestly don't know how to go to sleep with out the "Sleep Mode" button set on 60, 90, or 120 minutes.) Finally we 'borrowed' the tv from Jenn's room. She never watches it. She's getting married soon and we know she won't need it back until she moves to her house in March.

I'm thinking things have calmed down now from wedding hysteria and holiday bliss, and since Scott needs (wants?) to go to Best Buy, I better go check out tvs for the bedroom.

There were only flat wall plazma/lcd types there. What? What happened to buying a regular tv? At a minimum it's going to be $699 upwards to $1500 depending on the brand. I was in shock. I thought a 25-inch tv for the bedroom would be in the 3-400 range. I was not prepared for $699 plus - and on top of that I would have to do major research to figure out plasma vs. lcd. Scott calmed me down and told me not to do any research, just go ask Matt, he'll tell me all about it, more than I want to know.

But I started getting mad. The more I thought about it the madder I got. I'm not sure I understand all the terms. I know there's HDtv where you can see regular blades of grass on the football field, or Paula Francis' wrinckles up close and personal - with a hefty extra price to Cox Cable. And then there's something happening next year where old tvs won't be able to get signals. It's a conspiracy. "Somebody" decided all this new technology was good and to our benefit and now we're forced to pay for other tv sets to watch it whether we want to or not. I'm ranting away to Ron and he's looking at me like I'm crazy -- "Think about it. When we got married we had one phone line coming into the house, not two for a fax machine. there were no cell phones, no internet connection fees, no cable necessary (we got along just fine with 5 local stations and commercials by the Carpet Barn Jeaney), We didn't have to upgrade computers every couples of years. Everytime something is invented - it costs us more and more money. Ron, how can some poor widow on a fixed income afford a new tv next year when this change happens and you have to buy a flat screen $700 tv?" Finally I had his sympathy.

"I just want a normal inexpensive tv for our bedroom." Ron told me he'd check out pawn shops for an old tv for me, and we'll deal with whatever changes next year.

Well, when shopping at Wal-mart, I decided to check out the tv section. The wall was covered with flat screens - but tucked away in the corner was a shelf of real tvs! I was thrilled, it's still possible to buy a real tv. And it will only cost $179.

I'm not out of the tv research mode yet. The big screen downstairs is now on borrowed time so I'm sure there will be a replacement for that in the near future and it will involve some kind of plasma/lcd/mirrored flat screeness. We were on borrowed time as well with the big screen in the loft - which time came to an end. It took Scott about 5 minutes to figure out how to hook-up my projector and now he has wall-to-wall viewing & gaming pleasure. I should probably research wall screens....

Since I remember my dad complaining about how he had to spend more money to buy a color tv set to view NBC "In living Color" my own rantings lately just make me look (gasp) like my parents....

8 comments:

Jill Johnson said...

How funny, we bought the same TV. Our kids broke the loft TV and I have a cute entertainmnet center that fits a 27" TV perfectly. Same problem, flat screens and stuff don't fit in my center. We found that walmart one when we were there Christmas shopping one night. I love it that you bought the same one!!!

Ashley & Matt Marx said...

We have a 19 inch old TV I am trying to get ride of if you want it. Just don't tell Matt when you take it.

Andrew & Heidi Dixon said...

We've been watching the same 27 inch TV in our family room for like 8 years..we have the same dilemma as Jill, it's the only size that fits our entertainment center. We need a major TV upgrade, but that would mean a new entertainment center as well!

shields. said...

Mom, why can't you do anything without researching. You should have been a scientist.

camille kempton said...

Kim, I'm totally with you on the whole conspiracy thing. When you replace the tv of course you have to replace the DVD player. And then next year, your computer that you bought this year will be outdated! Is it all true or is this the story that our husbands are telling us?

Anonymous said...

The way I understand it you don't have to buy new tvs for the conversion Feb 2009, you just need a converter box and the government is supposedly issuing $60 checks/vouchers to help people buy them instead of buying all new tvs. We'll need at least 2 for the upstairs tvs, but the big screen is compatible (I hope)!!

Manders & Taylor said...

HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY FAVORITE AUNT KIM!!! Expect pkg Wed.

Harding Family said...

Way to stick to your guns and be old fashion and want the regular one! Who needs all the hyped up expensive stuff anyways!:)