Saturday, January 10, 2009

Turn On and Tune In

Every now and then, something happens that makes me think that there is a higher order in the universe, that something greater connects us all. I had no idea when I assigned the letter T in the last post that I would be affected by something starting with that same letter T. It started last week. I was talking on the telephone with a friend, and I was telling her about how I was channel surfing and stumbled upon a shopping network earlier that day. It's one of those shopping channels where they try to sell you all sorts of merchandise. I had been thinking about getting a new tv for a while now. Well, it just so happened that the special of the day was a tv. It was actually the kind of tv that I wanted: 32 inches, brand name, good price ($till expen$ive, more than my rent), a warranty, and it had all the features that I wanted in a tv.

My friend asked me why I didn't buy it. And I told her, because I didn't need a new tv. Granted my 19 inches tv was old but it still worked. And though I would need to buy a digital tuner come February to be able to watch any tv shows using my antenna, I wasn't worried. So long as I was hooked on cable, my tv would keep working. I try not to buy stuff that I don't need to keep down the clutter and to avoid wasting money. If not's broken, then don't fix it.

Well when I got home on Thursday, I sat on the sofa and was paying bills online when I heard a buzzing and zapping sound. I looked towards the tv and saw blue sparks emanating from the bottom. Then the blue sparks arched outwards with a thunderous, zapping sound. It all happened in a few seconds, but it felt longer. I don't know what I was thinking, but I grabbed the remote and turned the tv on! Yeah, smart move! Actually, I thought maybe I had turned the tv on by accident, so maybe I should turn it off. All that happened was a click sound and then nothing. Total blackness. I tried the remote again, but the tv didn't respond. I pressed the On button on the tv, but still nothing. Then I smelled that awful scent of burned out electronics--melted plastic and soldering wires. I unplugged the tv. It was official. The tv was broken.

I sighed, saddened by the loss of my long time tv. I've had it since college and it moved three times with me. What do I do now? Not that I had planned on watching anything that night. Nonetheless, I would have to replace it eventually. Repairing it was out of the question; it was too old, outdated, and technology had left it behind. I'd be wasting money on it. And then I thought to myself, wait a minute, this was the opportunity I was waiting for! The universe has sent me a sign! Go forth, young man, and buy a new tv!



So with excitement, I started researching tvs on the web. I read several reviews and compared specs and prices. There were so many features that I needed to consider. Some of them I hadn't really thought of before. Did I want Picture in Picture? I've seen that before on other tvs, but it seemed a nuisance, blocking off a corner of the action. What about split view, where each half of the screen shows a different channel? That would be distracting; and how would you even hear the sound? 720 pixels or 1080? Did it matter? The reviews said it only matters on screens bigger than 42 inches, but I would have to see an in store demonstration to be able to see any differences. Warranties and Customer Service are important, too. It took a while but I finally narrowed it down to my top three choices. I had a plan that I would wake up early in the morning and head out to the stores that opened early to do some comparisons and try out some of the tvs. Then I'd check out the other stores during lunch. I figured after work, I would have an idea of which one I wanted and buy it. Or at the very least, I would narrow it down and sleep on it. I even set myself up with a spending limit.

It was a great plan. And like most of my great plans, it didn't turn out the way I envisioned it. A friend called that evening, and I went over. Hung out. Drank some. Stayed up late and partied. And barely had time to wake up and shower before rushing off to work. During lunch, I came home and took a nap. After work, I slept. So much for in store comparisons. So early this morning, I braved the foggy roads to do my in store comparisons. I also stopped at the grocery store to buy flour and potatoes and chocolate covered raisins. I needed flour for biscuits, potatoes for a salad, and the chocolate raisins I got because I passed by the candy isle and they were on sale. Sneaky grocery store!

I visited 5 stores and even got to try out some of the models. The Wal Mart had some great tvs. In fact, I bought my last tv from Wal Mart. But they didn't have my top two choices. However, they did some really nice 26 inches tvs that looked great and were very inexpensive. They were good brands, and the pictures looked amazing. The problem was, they were tv/dvd player combos. I'm not so keen on those. I mean, what happens when the dvd player breaks? Will the tv still work? And what if it's the tv that breaks? Wouldn't that mean I have to get another tv and another dvd player? So I passed on those deals.

I don't even know why I went to Circuit City; they didn't have any of my choices and the online prices were a tad over my budget. I tried a local appliance store, but I wasn't impressed. I went to Best Buy since I knew that they would most likely have my choices. They did, and the prices were good, but still expensive, maxing out my budget. The salesperson was extolling all the different virtues of each tv. One of the big points addressed was that my choices were perfect for gaming! I didn't need to hear that! I have a video game addiction! Bastard! I figured that I would think about it some more while I went to check out one more store. It was a smaller chain, and they did have my first choice, but the price was high. Well, the salesman matched Best Buy and offered a better extended warranty and service deal. I was sold.

In the end, I paid way over my budget, but I figured the extended warranty and service was worth it. It's the most expensive thing I've ever had to buy in over a year! It was more than my rent! But the peace of mind that comes with an extended warranty and service was worth it. This tv is now the third most expensive thing I own; the first being my car, then my computer. And I'm getting that same feeling of light headedness that I got when I purchased the car. I'm spending a lot of money. Whoa. But like when I got the car, the feeling isn't overwhelming; just very aware that I'm making a huge buy. I had planned on buying a new computer this year. I was even eyeing that new MacBook Pro. But I guess that'll have to wait til next year; maybe the end of the year.

Sigh

But hey, I've got a brand new tv, and it's awesome. Now, I know 32 inches isn't considered big screen, but it is to me, and it's a totally different view from 19 inches. Though it is kind of weird seeing such a big screen in my living room. Luckily, I had a place all ready for it so it wouldn't seen too big and out of place.



Check out the old set up with my old tv. Very easy to put together and each shelf holds up to 300 pounds!



Your eyes do not deceive you. That is a VHS player on the top. Where's my dvd player you ask? Why that's my computer! I multi task with the laptop.

You may be wondering, what the hell is that thing by the tv? Well, that's my travel alarm clock. It works great. I learned the hard way that when the power goes out, so does the plugged in alarm clock. And what's really neat is that it has a date and temperature feature. Let's see what the temperature is. Geez, a balmy 77 F.



Here's the box the tv came in. That box has a handle.



Surprisingly, this tv is a lot lighter than my old tv. It also came with a bunch of pamphlets and a manual. Reading material for the year. Information on how to connect the computer to the tv or the various settings to adjust the pictures and sound. How exciting!

I spent about 10 minutes putting the stand and the tv together. I spent another 10 readjusting my shelves to fit the tv. Then tv channel set up took about 20 minutes or so. Overall, I'm very pleased.

It fits perfectly without being too ostentatious. I'm still a little overwhelmed at my purchase. Still trying to get used to that spending a lot of money feeling. Still trying to get over that new and exciting toy feeling. I shall spend the entire weekend getting acquainted with my tv. I have a new remote control to familiarize myself with. My old one I could figure out in the dark by touch! It was like a natural extension of my body. I plan to do the same with this one. This could be a lot of fun.

13 comments:

  1. Your new tv looks great. I love Samsung.

    I always get a buzz from spending money. Even from grocery shopping.

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  2. CP, Thanks! It was expensive but worth it. I spent all night getting acquainted with it! :) The LG and Sony were my 2nd and 3rd choices.

    I try to keep to a budget. It's the only way I can save money for big things, like vacations or something really expensive that I like, for example, a new computer. But so far, the tv is great.

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  3. When you watch porn, the penises will be bigger.

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  4. HD ready?
    My TV is 17 years old... I know, I know.. it's going to do the exploding thing...
    Sx

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  5. MJ, I find that is what usually happens when men watch porn. It's a natural reaction.

    Scarlet B, It is HD with a built in digital tuner. But I only see a big difference in HD programming, which is a few channels. Most of the regular channels look like my old set, except with more viewing areas and better sound. Although, some channels are full screen, and the people look short and fat on wide screen til I adjust the settings.

    If my old tv hadn't broken down, I would not have bought a new one. That's amazing your tv has lasted that long! That's quality! They don't build them to last anymore.

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  6. Like MJ, I was wondering about porn. Specifically I was wondering if your porn collection looked even hotter on the new screen.

    The tv looks very nice set up on your shelves.

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  7. My regular Samsung TV is 9 years old. Every day it still works is a blessing. I have a spare in my bedroom though. None of them have ever heard of HD

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  8. Snooze, Unless it was made for HD, it really is just a bigger picture. Really big compared to my old tv! Of course, if it wasn't made for wide screen, the people look squashed--short and wide! I have to adjust the viewing settings so it'll look normal--well as normal as these things can look :)

    CP, That's great your tv still works! My last tv was an Orion; I don't even think Orion makes tvs anymore! I bought it because it was inexpensive; as a college student, I was broke, and it was the only tv bigger than 13 inches I could afford!

    I haven't thrown out my broken tv yet, because I'm looking the proper place to recycle it. Safer for the environment.

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  9. Exactly, make sure to dispose of it properly. There is probably many goodies in there waiting to ruin the groundwater

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  10. I find the tuff I enjoy most , is stuff I have had to save for .
    Is it plasma or LED ?
    It looks well cool whichever it is and I like your minimalist shelving stack its very bachelor pad chic :-)

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  11. Beast would have stuck lacy doilies under everything.

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  12. Congratulations on your new TV! New electronics can be exciting.

    My old computer monitor didn't spark when it was dying, but it did hum and and crackle. I'm sure if I had kept it longer without noticing the signs, it would start sparking too. No thanks. I like the flat-screen I have now.

    I love chocolate covered raisins. I found the ones with dark chocolate awhile back. Good stuff.

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  13. CP, That's so true. What's good for the environment is good for me, too!

    Beast, Thanks. You're right! I do enjoy the stuff that I saved up money to buy! It's an LCD screen. It was less expensive than plasma, and it'll use less electricity, too!

    The shelves came to me one day when I was thinking about buying an entertainment center. Most were either too expensive or too bulky. But when I saw the shelves in a store, I got an idea to use it instead!

    MJ, I only have one doily, and I've used it as fake snow under my second Xmas tree!

    Tara, Thanks! New electronics are fun! I luv chocolate covered raisins! Once at a matinee, I ate a pound of chocolate raisins, then a pound of gummi bears. Then I was sick for the rest of the night :)

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