Tuesday, November 10, 2009


My friend and neighbor is a cable-TV-telephone subscriber. M.E., is an over-the-air free TV and economy wireless consumer.

My friend has his cathode-ray-tube TV hooked to his expensive cable service. Amazing, since the guy is more of a penny-pincher than M.E., but every bit as smart in most respects.

Are you considering the purchase of a flat screen HDTV?

M.E. made the decision to get one upon return from Disney World in 1989. In fact, a poster of EPCOT Center was placed on the wall of our den when we returned from our family visit there to reserve the space for a future, flat screen TV.

About 5 years later a $31,000 flat screen was announced. No thanks, out of my league, but I am very patient.

DISCLOSURE: We now have 2 HDTVs, but the main one, for the den has been the most elusive.

Things M.E. has learned...

> Reliability is important (my HDTVs are still working fine) and Consumers Reports rates manufacturer reliability well (although it just does not rate enough of them).

> Never, ever buy before researching. An excellent research resource in addition to Consumers Reports (available free at your local library) is Amazon.com (online reviews), but do not stop there.

> Be cautious with conventional wisdom relative to screen size and resolution. If you do not get 1080, you had better forget Blueray.

> Be cautious with respect to diagonal dimension. Your screen will be cheated by a variety of factors no one mentions. For instance, a 19" HDTV may have only 15" of display for older, SDTV broadcasts. Worse, you must factor in the legibility of "crawlers" and subtitles. Screens that downsize displays are usually inadequate for those not wanting to move seating much closer. Do so, however, and you will instantly wish you had bought the 1080 versus 720 model.

> Features vary and can be compelling in your purchase decisions. Today's successes will be tomorrow's standards. Be patient.

> Finally, power consumption is at least as important in the decision matrix as durability. Previously, this was difficult to compare. No so any longer. Who wants a large-screen, plasma TV second in household power consumption only to their hot-water heater? Yet, before you by an energy efficient LED backlit LCD HDTV, realize that weekly pricing is very volatile and
coming down fast. By the way, did you know HDTV Energy Star standards are being raised for LCD TVs (the most efficient currently)?

> Patience has held me back since 1989. So far, with no regrets. Why not have YouTube, news, weather, sports and stock quotes on your HDTV for free? Hmmm!

At screen sizes smaller than 26 inches, only a small difference exists between the power consumption of the two television types. However, LCD-TVs in the popular 37-, 40-, 42- and 50-inch sizes have dramatically greater power consumption than the smaller CRT-TVs, which max out at the 35-inch dimension.

Previous global standards, including earlier versions of the Energy Star regulations, focused on reducing power consumption only during the off and standby modes. However, the new requirements focus on the on-mode, in which televisions consume the most power.

Good luck hunting!



At 13 November, 2009 10:22, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"economy wireless consumer" LOL!


Post a Comment

<< Home