It’s been a wild and crazy couple of years for those of us who like our electronic toys. We’ve been salivating as flat screen television offerings have rapidly progressed from stupidly expensive 26" EDTV models to the current crop of high performance, high-def sets with screens that now pretty much start at around 40 inches instead of topping out at that size. Flat screen sets are becoming so slim they make those "old" models from two years ago look like the shipping packaging was built in as part of their cabinet. Where every few months used to introduce technological advances that made each generation of TVs significantly more compelling -as well as bringing major price cuts- we seem to have reached the stage where improvements in capability and cost are much more modest.
If the time seems right to finally consider moving up, this may not always be an easy sell to your better half. I’ve been through it myself, as have a number of my friends. As a public service, I thought I’d pass on some of our arguments for upgrading and some typical responses in the hope that this information maybe helps you avoid sabotaging yourself in your quest for big screen nirvana.
Following are eight reasons pretty much guaranteed to get you shot down and babying that old 27" CRT for another year or two, one that might work (but at terrible cost) and one that just might be the ticket.
1. I haven’t been able to find the TV remote for a week now. For what it will cost to replace it, we may as well just bite the bullet and buy a new TV.
Response: Funny, but the buttons on the front of the TV still work fine. Get up and walk across the room when you want to change channels -you could use the exercise anyway.
2. An LCD flat screen TV uses less energy than similar-size CRT television. We’re making the Earth cry with that old tube TV.
Response: Give me a break! You’re going to buy a much bigger screen size, aren’t you? Going bigger or to plasma means you’ll likely end up using just as much electricity. Yes, that’s right, I can use Google too! And the old TV is either going keep being used (in the play room or someone’s cottage), or you’re going to toss it out so it ends up in the landfill- either way, shame on you for pretending to be Green.
3. Because the "Joneses" just got one.
Response: Oh, come on…. Get over it and just invite yourself over to the "Joneses" to watch their TV instead. That’s a lot cheaper too.
4. At 1080p resolution I could hook a Mac Mini up to a big flat screen TV in the rec room and that would become the family access computer and a media center. It would be really cool.
Response: Uh, uh, no way. It starts with the TV, then you’re buying a computer on top of that, and then you’ll be bugging me about watching Futurama while I’m trying to check my e-mail. No thanks.
5. I bought a PS3/Xbox 360/Wii and it looks like crap on our old TV.
Response: Well I guess you should have just stuck with the PS2/Xbox/GameCube then; it looked fine on our TV. And here’s a thought- for what you pay for those video games, we could be at an all-inclusive on some tropical island for a week.
6. We were planning to buy a PS3/Xbox 360/Wii and they’ll look like crap on our old TV.
Response: Well I guess you should just stick with the PS2/Xbox/GameCube then; it looks fine on our TV. We should take the money you were going to spend on a new console and put it toward a vacation instead.
Hint: D’oh! Never, ever tie one "toy" purchase directly to another.
7. Look at how crappy that A&E Pride & Prejudice series looks on our TV. It must drive you crazy having to see Mr. Darcy when his face is basically a flesh-colored smudge. If we replace the TV with a big, 1080p bad boy, I’ll buy the Blu-Ray version and you can watch Jane Austen’s masterpiece the way it was meant to be seen.
Response: Nice try, but Pride & Prejudice hasn’t been released on Blu-Ray. We should replace that old VHS tape with the DVD version though, now that you mention it. Tell you what, I’ll pick it up now and we can watch together!
8. We need to do our part to keep the economy rolling. A new big screen TV is just the thing!
Response: You’re not even trying anymore, are you? Actually, given the tough economic times, maybe we should look at getting rid of cable.
Possible winning arguments after the jump…
You Might Win, But You still Lose
Look at how bulky our old TV is, then look at how slim the new ones are. Think of what we can do with all that extra space if we go flat screen.
Response: Hmmm. That’s a pretty good idea- we could redecorate the rec room! But when are you going to get the time to paint, especially if you’re glued to the TV?
Hint: D’oh! You have to be prepared to put the effort and/or money into redecorating before playing this card. Use with extreme caution.
Maybe, Just Maybe…
The secret weapon. BBC’s Planet Earth on a big screen TV. Even the DVD version is stunning. Find a store that has it set up (it shouldn’t be hard -I suspect it’s become part of the standard sales suite) and convince your significant other to stop and watch. With the educational value of Planet Earth, bonus points to you if you have kids.
Response: You’re not going to buy a bunch of new cables too, are you?