Saturday, December 09, 2006

HDTV for Christmas

The wife and I have been looking at a HD widescreen for our family room for quite a while. Until recently the price was just too high. We had been debating plasma vs LCD vs DLP. All three formats had their redeeming features. In the end it came down to what would fit in our entertainment center. We have a oak entertainment center what we have had for over 10 years. When we bought it we had a 30 inch tube tv and the opening was large enough for a 36. At that time we thought it was more than adequate.

For the past few months the wife has had trouble at Best Buy in walking past the flat screens. The prices were dropping and the picture was excellent. Since we wanted to keep our entertainment center we were limited to a TV what was a maximum of 40 inches wide. That meant the a properly designed 42 inch screen was the largest that would fit. Most of the 42 inch plasmas were too wide. 40 inch LCDs, for the most part, were the perfect size. Now we just had to find the right one.

After much research we kept coming back to the Samsung 4095. The picture was very impressive, it had 2 tuners (one for over the air HD and one for cable), 2 HDMI inputs, S-Video, component, and PC-VGA. Everything I wanted. Best Buy was too expensive so I started looking online. Amazon was ~600.00 cheaper than Best Buy. About the time I was ready to buy Amazon was out of stock. At the same time some friends of ours had just bought a 42 inch plasma at a local appliance store and recommended that we check there. After a stop at Woodfield we did.

We wandered in and talked to a sales person. Told him what we were looking for and he pointed us in the right direction. He gave us the price (much less than Best Buy) but still more than Amazon. I casually mentioned the Amazon price and off he went looking sad. A few minutes later he came back and asked that, if they matched the price, would we buy the TV there? A few minutes later we had a new TV. It was delivered the next day. I hooked up the HD tuner to my antenna and the cable tuner to my cable system. A new up converting DVD player was hooked up via component cables as well as my old VCR.

The HD picture is spectacular. Current DVDs look great. Older DVDs (Top Gun for example) don't look as good. Better than before but not as nice. Regular cable looks impressive given that it isn't HD.

I wanted to take advantage of HDMI but the cables at BB were too expensive. Thanks to a online forum I found Mono Price. A 6 foot HDMI cable was $20.00 delivered. That was 1/4 the price at BB.
The cable showed up in a couple of days and is quite nice. Fully braided and molded ends. For shipping everything was protected.


It works as expected.

This was a bit of a stretch but the picture is awesome. Football and basketball are impressive in HD. Shows like Heros and Supernatural seem so much bolder and more fun to watch.

The only bad part is now watching tv on one of the other sets isn't much fun... Posted by Picasa

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