Friday, September 25, 2009

Big Screen Goes Bust

The 42" Philips we picked up about 16 months ago died a couple of weeks back while we were visiting Amy's parents. It's going to cost us $700 to fix. Seven hundred minus... carry the one... ah right that equals time to buy a new TV.

This time around we're going to go with a 40" Samsung, either the 40B530 or the 40B550. I'm leaning towards the 550 just because it has a few extras ports and supports firmware upgrades via USB. We'll probably go with Best Buy because we ended up having Geek Squad look at the Philips when it broke. The 4 year extended service contract through Best Buy costs less than a home visit fee from the repairman without it.

But I have to say that I really hate buying TVs. It seems like none of the stores have decent feeds playing on their TV walls. Best Buy's tape loop is all herky jerky so you can never tell what is going on or accurately pair two TVs. Walmart's feed was so fuzzy I'd have thought it was standard def if the pictures weren't widescreen. What I want is still images with good color depth, slow pans that let me pick up on pixelation, and finally quick motion that repeats at least 3 or 4 times in succession so you can accurately compare motion blur on two different TVs.

UPDATE: We hit Sears and Boscov's before picking up the 40B550 at Best Buy. The feed sears had was awful, but it wasn't exactly their fault. They were showing one of the high def ESPN channels which, unfortunately for them, was currently showing a pro basketball slam dunk competition from the mid '80s. This did not make for good high def viewing. Boscov's was showing a different ESPN channel that actually worked very well. Slow shots of brightly colored uniforms, the occasional quick break for repetitive motion, and wide pans over the venue all made for good comparisons. Unfortunately they didn't carry the TVs we were looking for and didn't have the same repair apparatus to stand behind what they were selling.

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