Monday, February 6, 2012

TV Sets Then Vs. Now

About a month ago I blogged about nostalgia and it ain't all it's cracked up to be. 

Although I still believe in the point I made about the "good old days" not always having been as good as we remember, I may be rethinking that - just a little - after my experiences of the past few days.

Our old, old 19 inch TV set - with a picture tube, imagine that! - gave up after some 15 years of faithful service.  Nowadays, you have little choice but to buy a HDTV.   So, we did.

Which is better:  the "good old days" (THEN) or modern times (NOW).  You decide:


Picking out the set

THEN:  Go into the store.  Look at the picture quality.  Choose:  black and white or (only if rich) color.  Size:  19 inch portable?  25 inch console? Buy set.

NOW: LCD, LCD with LED backlight, plasma, projector, Smart TV, 32, 37, 40, 42, 55, 70 inch?  Ultra thin?  3D? 3D ready?   Buy from appliance store, electronics store, website?  Research using computer magagine, consumer magazine, amazon.com user reviews?  Allow 2 weeks.  Use email service that alerts you to sales or price reductions.  Buy set.

Setting Up the Set

THEN:  take TV out of the box.  Plug it in.

NOW:  take TV out of the box. Plug it in.  Hope you have all the right cables.  If not, run out to store and buy them.
Read the manual - if it came on a CD, boot up your computer and use $20 in ink to print it out.
If a smart TV, try to connect to the Internet.  Just try.  Nope, didn't work.  Try again.  Try again, try again.  Why isn't it connecting?
Kick furniture in frustration, break a toe.  Go to ER.
(I'm so glad I didn't buy a smart TV and got to skip that step.)
Find out your cable box isn't HD ready, so call cable company.  Find out they are out of HD cable boxes.  They will ship you one, should come in about 4 days.

How to Get Your TV Signal

THEN:  TV signals come over the air.  Buy antenna.  Wrestle with antenna.  Mount outside your living room window.  Every time you have to change the channel,  hang out the window and move the antenna so it points in the direction of your channel.  That doesn't happen too often, because you only have three channels.

If there is a storm, or if the elevator in your apartment building goes up or down, go to TV, turn the knob that stops the picture from rolling, and very carefully turn the knob until the picture stops rolling.

NOW:  Cable?  Satellite?  HD Antenna?  Hulu Plus?  Netflix?  Roku or other streaming device?  (If Roku or other streaming device see section "If smart TV".)

When to replace your set

THEN:  Give it 15 or 20 years.

NOW:  Hey, it's already obsolete!


So, reader:  Which do you think is better? TV THEN or NOW?

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