Monday, January 31, 2011

Modern Convenience Revisited

Remember this?  Well...that was pretty much my weekend.  Ugh.  I finally got rid of my giant old tube TV, which made scary popping and sparking noises the last few times I turned it on, starting in about July.  Incidentally, it steadfastly refused to do so when I finally found someone to help me take it to be recycled, and he (the guy taking it away) asked me to demonstrate what was wrong...so now I'm all worried I got rid of it for nothing.  But it took me several months to get someone to help me, and every time I'd dared try it in the meantime, it was making That Noise...so hopefully I did right.  But in any case, the good behavior at the last moment adds fuel to the fire with regards to the obsessive thinking I've been enduring.

I'm getting a tax refund this year, so I was hoping to use that (with a little extra) to buy a very basic new TV, mostly just for DVDs and maybe streaming a few things from the computer.  But gee-willikers TVs are complicated these days!  Not only are there apparently about ten times as many brands as there used to be, but they come in way more sizes and price ranges, not to mention have more detailed specs than the average computer: refresh rates, sizes, resolutions, upscaling stuff to let them display regular older TV content (something like that), internet capability,  and all sorts of other whatsits.  And every single model has at least some people claiming it ruined their life and the customer service people of TV Company X kicked their dog and insulted their mother when they tried to ask for help.  It's a scary world out there.  And I'm now crippled by the fact that I have enough knowledge to be completely bewildered.  Yay me!

I really hate on-line research.  There's never one right answer.  And for big ticket items, I hate the responsibility of choosing one single option.  *sigh*  As a friend used to put it, I want an angel with a flaming pie to swoop down to tell me what to do.  And when it comes to guidance in consumer electronics, I don't think the heavens are really gonna spare me a flaming pie.

4 comments:

deek said...

Take solace in knowing that whatever you buy today, will be an upgrade, albeit a complicated on, to what you just threw out. I wouldn't worry about refresh rates, contrast or the like. You want a TV, probably just LCD and want a computer input (VGA preferably, as HDMI may not be compatible with your current video card from your PC). I'd just go as cheap as possible at the size you would be happy with.

And if it makes you any happier, our media provider is raising our TV rates $30 or letting us have 1-year free DirectTV (under a 2-year contract). Now we have decided that we can get by with no TV service and just internet streaming and Netflix. Try dissecting into these media price packages...

snohomishwriter said...

I'm not much help on the television front as they don't do much for me, but maybe you could go to a physical store - which will narrow the options somewhat - and start by looking at what's in your price range. Maybe those two factors will simplify things a bit?

Little Flower Petals said...

I don't have any sort of TV cable or satellite and don't want it, so whatever I get will mostly be for my exercise DVDs (so I don't have to watch them on the computer), guitar DVDs and the occasional movie (ditto), and it'd be nice if I could get Netflix again. I don't think I need much more than a very basic 32".

I did go to a local Best Buy to try to narrow options...but even that was confusing, mostly because the sales droids immediately attacked me and tried to convince me I needed something big and fancy, and I retreated. Also, some of the reference stuff I read said that most stores calibrate some TVs to look better than others, or so you can't trust your lyin' eyes when looking at models at the store. *sigh*

In retrospect, what I probably should have done is to just go to Wal-mart or Target and pick up something cheap on the spur of the moment, without learning anything beforehand. Now it's too late.

Maybe I could print up a dart board with a list of cheap, locally available models and select one with a blind shot...

Little Flower Petals said...

You know...reading over my last comment, I sound really snippy, and I didn't mean it that way! I get annoyed with myself when I get obsessive is all. :-\ That first paragraph is me sniping at myself...