Friday, July 13, 2007

My New Toy

A week or so ago I finally made the leap into HDTV. It was an easy call. I buried myself in information as I narrowed my choices. Deal breakers were the zoom feature required to zoom into Standard Definition Letter boxed movies to fill the screen. The more I read and research, the more the decision became obvious. I went with the Samsung 4661, just one step back from their top of the line 4665 model. The matte finish over the Gloss screen was the decider.But that turned out to be the easier portion of the decision process. Now I have to decide where I am going to get it from. Local big box retailers had the TV for about $2500. Ad to the $200 in taxes and another Three fitty for the extended warranty and I am just over the 3 Grand mark. On the other hand, I could go with an online E-Tailer. Now I am not intimidated by online EShops. My entire audio system was purchased online. Dropping $300 on a tuner or DVD player was a bit nerving at first, but I have had good luck. The 4661 could be had for just over Two Grand online, free shipping, no taxes and about two fitty for the extended warranty. That's a $700 difference.

Which brought me to me dilemma. I always wondered what the value was in buying something from a local Big box -vs- and ETailer. If something goes wrong, I can march the product back to Best Buy, but if purchased online, I deal directly with the manufacturer and could even by tagged with shipping charges to send it back and forth for repair, even under warranty. The thought of having a $2300 door stop was too much. I spent the extra $700 and marched down to Best Buy and pulled the trigger. I have not had a regret.

The TV is amazing, and that is only with the built in tuner pulling in the local HD signals. My Standard Definition DirecTivo box comes in much better than I expected. A concern I had was the appearance of Standard Definition channels as that is still the majority of your viewing choices. Most people complain at the lack of clarity in those pictures, as the HDTV exaggerates the imperfections of the higher resolution. That was not the case with my DirecTV digital signal. Rendering and decompression is handled very well. But that still won;t stop me from upgrading my DTV tuner.

I'll miss my TIVO as DirecTV has gone to an in house DVR. But with their new satellite launched just this past week, almost 100 new HDTV channels will be coming down the pipe, and I'll want to take advantage of everyone one of them in their full digital glory. So that is my mission today. Wheel and deal with the kind folks in the DirecTV retention department to get set up with a box upgrade and talk them out of some programming perks. Its been awhile since I have asked them for anything, so I enter negotiations from a position of strength. And after spending several years blogging on the internets, I have a lot of practice, too!!


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