Sunday, March 27, 2011

Finding A New TV

As I related in my last post, I’ve always had TV’s in my life. From watching my parents TV to getting my own 13” Black and White when I was about 13 to purchasing new and better models as needed. Now, in 2011, it was time to get yet another new TV. I had known for awhile that the time to replace it was coming so I had been doing a bit of research and trying to keep up with all the changes in TV’s over the last few years. I pulled out my Consumer Report’s magazines to read up on current TV’s. I read customer reviews online for a variety of brands, models and sizes. I asked friends and family what brand and size screen they had and if they liked it. I went to several stores and looked at the various models. There was so much choice out there! Narrowing it down wasn’t going to be easy. Originally, I was going to get another 32” – I had pretty much decided on a Samsung actually. But as I was researching and talking to various people, I learned that a 32” flat screen was basically equivalent to the old 27” – at least for shows that were not in HD. Since not all programming is in HD at this time and I often watch classic TV shows and old movies, that meant that a fair bit of what I watched would likely be in that smaller screen. I could stretch it out but that doesn’t always work without some distortion. Well, I certainly didn’t want to end up going down in size, so started looking at larger screens. The additional cost was a factor but the main problem for me, was that I only had a limited amount of space. As much as I would have loved to get a really big screen, I just didn’t have enough room – even if I mounted it. The only place I could put the TV was in the same area as my old one had sat - near a doorway. Since the new TV’s are so much lighter in weight, I was concerned about knocking it over as I came around the corner. I had bumped the old one several times over the years! If I mounted it, it would have to go above where the old TV sat. The wall space was also limited as the thermostat was to the left and the PC desk/hutch was to the right. I checked the external measurements of different sized TV’s. I didn’t bother with the depth as they would all come out 8-10” after mounting. Using newspaper and tape I made mock-ups of the surface area I would need for each of the sizes. A 42” was too big for my space. After some debate, I decided that I could go as big as a 40” if I mounted it. I finally settled on a 37” as that was a more comfortable fit for the wall and my wallet! As luck would have it, just as I made that decision, I got a flyer from a local electronics store with a 37” Toshiba on sale for $449! I did some checking online and learned that the suggested retail price was $750 but the set was most likely on clearance. I also learned that 37” sets are gradually being phased out and that the size below will be 32” and the one above would be a 40”. I knew I couldn’t afford a 40” but this 37” got great reviews on all the sites I checked so I decided this was the best fit for me. One morning in late January, one of my gal pals met me at the electronics store to pick up the TV, a new surge protector and the wall mount kit. I wasn’t sure when I would get it wall mounted, so we set it up on the base that came with it and set it on the floor in front of an old stand that I still had from my 20” set. Getting it mounted was going to be a bit harder, as the walls in my apartment are either cinderblock behind drywall or steel beams behind the drywall. A regular drill was not going to work. I had researched the wall mount kits almost as carefully as I had the TV, so knew that the one I had picked - Rocketfish 26" - 40" Full Motion Flat-Panel TV Wall Mount (RF-TVMFM02) would be good for various sized screens but also included the hardware to mount on the walls I had. The tricky part would be finding someone with the right kind of drill who was willing to do the mount. Luckily the caretaker had such a drill and was willing to do it when he had some extra time.I had to wait about 10 days but he did a great job with the mount! I had him hang it a little higher than most people probably would have, but this way it is easily viewed from all points in the room. It has only been two months since the purchase, but so far I am really enjoying the new TV. As you can see from the pic, I still haven’t gotten around to tying the cords properly. I also haven’t decided whether or not to replace this old stand with something a little newer. But for now, it all serves the purpose. Now, if you will please excuse me, I have some TV to watch.... dn

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