Here’s a quick back story leading up to my Mom and Aunt Karen.
I get offended when someone I know buys a TV without asking me of my opinion (sadly, it’s true), so my Mom tells all of her siblings to pick my brain when shopping for a new TV. This is equally exciting and stressful because my family member wants a straight answer and I just can’t give it. There are variables.
Since can’t never did anything, I end up confusing my family member with variables to the point where I have to say either that I would buy the TV they were considering or buy a different model.
Note to self: Stop confusing family members with dozens of questions and just relay the facts. When in doubt use the K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid) philosophy.
Enter my Mom blindsiding me with my Aunt Karen.
On Thursday while seeing my grandparent’s old house, my Mom and Aunt Karen ask me to look online at a Philips 1080p HDTV sold at CostCo - model 42TA648BX. There went my vacation away from TVs.
You see, my aunt was thinking about buying this model because it was on sale at CostCo for $999.99 after a $200 rebate. And, my Mom endorses Philips since she owns one.
Long story short, I told my aunt and Mom that this TV was a good buy and that I wouldn’t mind owning it. The reason I liked the 42TA648BX is because it’s a 1080p LCD with 4 HDMI inputs (three on the back and one on the side). All four inputs are HDMI 1.3 and HDCP compliant. It has picture enhancement technology, a 5ms response time and a 29,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio.
While I think contrast ratio can be a bogus stat, 29,000:1 is a considerable number and I don’t see the picture being poor considering I’ve seen many Philips in action and they are good panels. So, the contrast ratio stat gets a thumbs up from me.
I almost forgot, the bonus in buying this TV from CostCo is that the manufacturer’s warranty is doubled – a feature CostCo has that I like.
Note to readers: The rebate expires on June 1, 2008, so it is likely it’s no longer offered. But, you never know. A new one could be out there or this one could’ve been extended.
On Friday, I believe my aunt ended up buying the television online. But, before she did she was able, along with my Mom, to talk my Aunt Jenny into possibly buying one. This led to a dark conversation about DTV converter boxes, antenna usage, high definition programming and a near spoiled Grey’s Anatomy season finale for my Mom.
Basically, my Aunt Jenny wanted a HDTV but didn’t want to purchase a HD-premium subscription from her cable provider. She needed to use an antenna but she didn’t want to install one. She lives in a rural area so I’m not sure an indoor model would be effective.
She thought she needed a DTV converter box but those are only needed when converting digital signals to an analog television. The Philips in question has a built-in digital (ATSC) tuner so the converter box is not needed (unless she wants to record on VCR). That is another issue for another discussion.
As for Grey’s Anatomy, my Mom was recording it on DVR but my Uncle John and Aunt Susan were watching it. But, this episode was the repeat of the finale. My aunt and uncle actually saw the finale the night before. We were, by chance, using ABC to switch between HD and analog to show my Aunt Jenny the improved picture of high definition.
In hindsight we could’ve changed the channel, but then what would my Mom have had to scream about? I don’t know if my Aunt Jenny bought the Philips TV because I left for Detroit on Saturday before the purchase was final.
On Saturday night I stayed at the Motor City Casino. This was a great time to be in Detroit.
The Red Wings played the Penguins in game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals (hockey), the Pistons played the Celtics in game 3 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals and the Detroit Electronic Music Festival was going on. I went to see the Tigers play the Twins at Comerica Park. Detroit won 19-3.
While my gaming experience met a significant buzz kill when I found out that Michigan casinos didn’t offer free drinks, the hotel rooms were beautiful and outfitted with Panasonic flat panels LCD HDTVs.
Now, the hotel just needs to subscribe to a HD-feed so we can watch high definition television from the comfort of our bed covered with 300-thread count sheets and padded head boards.
My lasting point on HDTVs at the Motor City Casino is that they are just one of the few hotels, motels and resorts that have converted to flat panel TVs in the rooms. I’m sure more will follow in the coming year but this is one thing to consider when making reservations for your next vacation – will the hotel have HD or not? Will prices be higher as a result?
In the end, I didn’t really watch TV much in my room – just when getting ready and going to sleep. If they had HD, you never know. I might have stayed in my room instead of losing at the tables and the bar.