Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Great TV Debate

It should come as no surprise that I am a heavy TV watcher. I like lots of different types of shows, and often plan out my viewing carefully. I also currently own three televisions and two Tivos.

What may be surprising is that none of these is HD.

I do have a Blu-ray player, a gift from my sister last year. My DVD player wasn't working correctly (or rather, none of my three DVD players was working correctly), and it seemed pointless to not upgrade. Plus, Netflix streaming directly to my TV is a wonderful thing.

But just a year or so before HDTV prices started becoming reasonable, my TV died. I bought a smaller, cheaper one, but quickly found that it was just too small. So I got a bigger standard TV and learned to live with it.

That's been a few years ago now, and HDTV prices have continued to fall. Plus, I visit friends regularly who have high-def, and it's almost painful to come home and see how stark the difference is. I watched the Community episode "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design" at my friends', and noticed the silly things written by the teachers' names in the course catalog. I turned it on at home later that night to check it out in more detail and I couldn't read the writing -- it was blurry on my TV. The difference has never been quite so clear to me.

So I've finally decided to upgrade. Ideally, I'd like to spend less than $500, which seems reasonable given the shopping around I've done. Unless I find an amazing deal between now and Christmas, I may wait until January, both to see if there are any after Christmas/Superbowl sales, and to see if I get a holiday bonus from my job (no idea if I will this year, but there's always hope!).

Of course, it can't be that easy. If I do get a new TV, I need to get a new Tivo too -- mine isn't HD. There is a $0 down $20/mo for 2-years deal going on now (if I buy before the end of the year) or an upgrade deal for $199 and I'm pretty sure I could transfer my current service (which works out to be slightly cheaper over 2 years). Looking at the history of accounts, I appear to buy a new Tivo roughly every 3 years; my last was purchased in 2006, so I'm clearly overdue.

I would need to upgrade my cable too. I already spend too much for cable; I have considered going to streaming and OTA, but I'd hate to lose HBO and Showtime. That means getting an HD box and paying the extra monthly fee. It's not huge, but is yet more money to add to this endeavor. Although, now I'm reading up on cableCARDs, so maybe not ...

Which is the real reason that I haven't pulled the trigger yet. There's always one more piece of equipment that I didn't realize I'd need to upgrade. When I got the new router, for example, suddenly I had to get new adapters for the Tivos. When I got the Blu-ray, I needed an adapter for that too.

All that said, I do expect that by January I'll have caved and upgraded everything.

ETA: OK, first thing I've found ... if I get a cableCARD, I'll also need a special tuner ...

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:45 PM

    Welcome to HD purgatory! Love ya!