In 1999, I bought my 32″ Sony Wega flat TV. It weights 200 lbs, but the picture was very nice (and relatively big) compared to what my family had owned in the past. That was 1999, of course, and times have changed. Almost everyone I know has moved onto HDTVs. Knowing me, you would suppose that I would have jumped on one years ago. The first one I ever saw in the flesh must have been this Pioneer at my relative’s house 5-6 years ago.
I never did jump on the HDTV bandwagon for various reasons. For one, the cost. Although the historical costs of HDTVs have decreased, we’d still have to outlay the necessary money for upgrading to a new AV receiver, a new stand, and Blu-ray player. That’s a lot. We never had the extra cash sitting around to finance such a large purchase, especially with the high costs of daycare every month for the kids.
As for the second reason, I haven’t been able to commit to one particular technology. Consumer television technology has evolved over the past five years, and while I’ve always been particular to plasma technology, I’ve flirted with DLP, LCD, and LED LCD. Although I’ve finally decided to stick with plasma technology, manufacturers like Pioneer have exited the industry, and other industry-leading manufacturers like Panasonic have experienced problems with their 2009 models in terms of fading black levels.
What’s a technology enthusiast to do?
Sometimes, you just go to war with the army you got. Here’s the good news. The stars have aligned, the decisions have been made, and the national economy improved slightly. Here’s what we bought:
- Panasonic TC-54G25 — the 54″ model of the 2010 G25 series. I’ve decided against the Sony and Samsung LCD televisions, due to the rumored game lag, but also because the costs are higher. I’m a little worried about the 2010 Panasonics experiencing fading black levels like the 2009 models, but sometimes you need to take a leap of faith. We went for the larger 54″ (not 50″) because we’re planning to rearrange the living room layout, and I loves me a wall of high definition television.
- Pioneer vsx-1020-k — Pionoeer’s mid-to-higher end audio/video receiver. My current AV receiver is actually working fine. Purchased in December 2003, it doesn’t support HDMI. I thought we could space out the purchase to later in the year, but without HDMI, I won’t be able to play cable HD channels that have HDCP enabled. Ah well, now we’re future-proofed for 3D television viewing.
- Techcraft Veneto Series SWP60 TV Stand — This isn’t that fascinating, but we bought a new stand to match our future coffee tables and stuff. We need a new stand anyway, and now I can dump the current AV rack that takes up too much floor space.
As you’ll notice, I didn’t buy a Blu-ray player, speakers, or a universal remote. My PS3 will play Blu-ray discs and it can upscale, so I’m set for now. My current Onkyo speakers should work fine with the new AV receiver. I’d love a new Logitech Harmony One universal remote, but it’s too much money to purchase right now. I’ll get that for Christmas or something.
Everything is arriving sometime next week, but I’m most worried about the TV stand. It’s the first item I want set up, but it is only estimated to arrive between 6/23 and 6/28. That’s a big window, and the television is scheduled to be delivered smack dab in the middle of the window. Fingers are crossed. I’m somewhat excited to finally have an HDTV, but I think it hasn’t hit me yet. I’d say that I don’t know what I’ll watch first, but that’s a lie. I want to watch every action movie in my DVD collection, starting with every Star Wars movie and the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy.