Love My New Toy

Well, after eight years of loyal service, our Mitsubishi, rear-projection TV succumbed to technical issues that made it impractical to repair. Given the fact that buying a new TV is an expensive proposition, most people would be bummed. But for a few years now, I’ve had the itch to buy a newfangled TV with all the technical advancements, so it didn’t exactly piss me off when the TV died. My wife, the practical one in this partnership, tries her best to keep me on a short leash because I’ve been known to spend money like a drunken sailor. Over the years, she has taught me to be more practical. But still, turn me loose in a store like Fry’s Electronics (the ultimate toy store for men), and stay out of my way as I head for the check-out with a shopping cart full of electronic gizmos.

So, after reading Consumer Reports, doing some on-line research, and shopping a few stores, we couldn’t beat a deal at Costco. Not only did we pay less for this particular TV than we might have elsewhere, but through a special offer, Costco extended the factory warranty from one year to three years. Our new TV, a Sony, 55” 3-D, with all the bells and whistles, has an awesome picture. The clarity and resolution are amazing. It’s so crisp and detailed that I don’t even mind watching vivid commercials. I’m sure the novelty will wear off, but for now, I’m flying high.

The new Sony—like all new TVs—has HDMI technology. If you don’t know what that is, basically, it connects your receiver to your TV, and your DVR to your receiver with just two cables. So, if you have a DVR, DVD, CD player, or any other components, you can reduce the number of cables behind your entertainment center by over 50%. Instead of looking like someone spilled a bowl of cable spaghetti behind your TV, it is much neater and more organized.

Think the story is over? Guess again. Our current receiver, a Denon, works perfectly fine. However, it doesn’t have HDMI technology. So, I looked at my wife with puppy-dog eyes and suggested that we shop around for a new receiver. She was reluctant, but being the sweetheart that she is, she agreed to “look.” Again, we did our homework and searched for the best deal, and as luck would have it, we found a new Denon receiver that was a return in an open box. I wasn’t completely comfortable buying this. However, we paid less than half the retail price, and if we do have a problem, it has a full factory warranty.

After busting our butts schlepping the TV, receiver, and a new stand from the car to the apartment, we then spend hours trying to hook up everything and make it work. After two agonizing days of plugging this cable here and that cable there, experiencing problems with every component, I gave up and called an expert. This guy came to our apartment and spent two hours properly hooking up the system. The dude was fantastic! It cost us a few bucks but it was well worth the investment.

So now, if I can just convince my wife that we need a Playstation 3, life would be beautiful! Did I mention that we still have to buy 3-D glasses at $150 each? I sure hope the royalty checks keep coming.


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