Our First TV Since Marriage

After 7 years of marriage my husband and I have finally purchased a TV!  Well, it’s not like we don’t have a TV — we have a 25-in TV we bought before we got married and we have a digital projector that we been using as a TV for the past 4-5-years.  We are constantly living in fear that our projector bulb will go out since it’s now several hours (years) past its life, so we figured we head off the situation by getting a HI-Def TV.

This has been a decision at least 3-years in the making.  We started fearing for our projector’s bulb’s life the first time we were warned about its age and saw that the replacement bulb was $500 (!!!).  Our first experience with Hi-Def was at CES 2003 when plasma TV were getting popular and many of the manufacturers were finally getting over the screen life issues.  We were instantly turned off to plasma because of the amount of heat the TV’s put off.  We  seriously questioned just how much of whatever is that thing radiating?  I have a vivid memory of being stuck in a stifllingly hot little demo room in which the walls were made entirely of plasma TV’s and escaping the room delirious with dehydration.  We resumed our exploration of Hi-Def TV when LCD TV’s started showing up — again, our first introduction was at  CES.  At that time (2004) “affordable” LCD TV’s were topping out at 32-in and cost a little over 2X plasma.  We would have bought one then, except our local big box electronics store (which shall remain nameless) sold us goods they didn’t actually have.  Our hopes dashed, we put it out of our minds and soon after thanked the heavens that we didn’t buy then, because shortly after prices began to drop and screen sizes increased.  Today, plasma TV’s and LCD TV are about on par cost wise — it’s just a matter of preference and how you intend to use the device.

For us, plasma has really never been a consideration since we don’t watch much broadcast TV.  I’d say about 80% of what we watch is either downloaded from the Internet or DVD’s from Netflix.  This was our main driver for getting the digital projector 4-5-years ago when we started watching fansubbed anime.  We were unable to watch our shows on our television because our TV did not have the proper interfaces to connect our laptop and when we figured out how to fudge it, the resolution was so atrocious we quickly abandoned the idea and got an HP digital projector expressed shipped to us.  *U-wah!!!*  *Sparkly lights and heavenly glow.*  The projector that we got has a max resolution of 1024 x 768 and for all purposes it functions like a 720-i Hi-Def device.  But alas, came the second half of 2006 and the shows we get from Asia are starting to show up in 1080 horizontal resolution and now I can only enjoy the full resolution is on my wide screen laptop — they weren’t kidding about being able to see every pimple and pore on an actor’s face — amazing! — but woefully only 15-in wide and I have to watch from my office chair — food in my keyboard, darnit! (“Goong” in Hi-Def — 16-Gigs of one of the most over the top soap operas ever.  A must watch if you like mush.  The Hi-Def really shows off the detail and the texture of the costumes and the set pieces.)  Spurned by this experience, the I-must-have Hi-Def bug kicked in and I got into high-gear looking for a projector upgrade or a new TV.  My husband, who has been keeping he hi-def desire in check, sheepishly grinned at me after I woke up from my 48-hr “Goong” orgy (watched it twice!!!) knowing that the TV that he had desired was finally going to be his.  Anyhow, I ordered an LCD TV from HP, and it should arrive in a week and half.  BTW:  the 360 is moving downstair … 🙂

Before looking into this, I also looked into other devices necessary to go fully hi-def.  I looked into upgrading our DVR and our cable service.  I had decided against upgrading the DVR and our cable for now since there aren’t many Hi-def cable channels available and we don’t watch enough TV to justify the expense.  “But Jen …” whines my husband.  We also need some Hi-Def sound.

So anyhow, we have new media challenges ahead of us now that anime is coming out in Hi-Def — mainly memory and processor power.  The files are now 2X what they were before and our entertainment laptop (a wonderful HP 7000-series machine) is having trouble playing some of the files.  Yep, I’ve got my eye HP media vault to meet our new storge needs and on a 9000-series laptop for the processing power and the HD-DVD drive, but I’m lamenting that I don’t have the option to get Windows XP.  I’m not feeling good enough about Vista yet to make the move.   Sigh, … what’s a girl to do?

I’m so glad HP is into the digital entertainment space and that most of the products have been good.  I’m quite pleased with the products I have purchased so far, although, a few years back customer service was horrible (!!!).  Now if we can get some further integration of devices and wrap it all up in a slick and easy-to-interface so I can finally clean up the wire clutter in my office and living room and patch the holes in my walls :).

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