Monday, February 1, 2010

Playing On the Big Screen

After four different units and three long weeks, we finally got the right receiver for our surround sound set up back in June. However, we were never able to successfully hook up Bob's Mac to the living room TV through said receiver. Our dream of watching Hulu and Netflix movies on something bigger than the laptop screen was not yet to be. . .but was there A New Hope around the corner?

This past weekend Bob and I took a trip to Costco with my sister and brother-in-law (they are members). I had never been in one of these magical places and it was everything I imagined.  Cut to us in the check-out line: a giant jar of taco seasoning, Adidas jacket for me, Lucky jeans for him, Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, a 32-pack of Crystal Light and. . .a 40" Vizio flat screen. Okay, to be fair, the flat screen was the reason we were at Costco. So you could say the taco seasoning and Crystal Light were the actual impulse buys! 

We had wanted a new television for the bedroom since moving in, but it was hardly a priority considering all of the other moving necessities (like a place to sit in the living room). Bob's old 27" Samsung works, but being from the pre-flat screen days it takes up the entire top of our dresser. Side note: the picture is also a bit warped causing everyone to look a bit concave. With the New Year, we decided to start doing some research and see what deals we could get. I always hear about January sales enticing football fans to "go bigger" right before the big game.

I would have been fine with a 32", but they really do look quite small once you get close. Okay, I'll go up to 37". . .oh, but the 40" is only $50 more? How can you say no? We said yes, yes, yes and took home our Vizio for $637 after taxes.

We have delayed moving it into the bedroom until after we host our Super Bowl party next weekend. With two TVs hooked into the sat box, our living room is starting to resemble a sports bar. A flat screen for every angle!

The best news? Using my HDMI cable, we plugged the laptop directly into the new TV and got a perfect picture after formatting. We have been testing out Lost episodes via Instant Play on Netflix and you can't even tell the difference from the DVD when it is on full screen.  With nothing to install, the plug and play feature means the laptop will be an easy connection to the TV anytime we want to watch something on a bigger screen.
Tip of the Week: When I bought my Samsung Plasma a few years ago, I paid an extra $50 right away for the necessary HDMI cable. The "need to set it up now" mentality made the decision pretty easy. However, going online today you can find cables for under $10. If you can stand the wait after your new TV purchase, you'll save quite a bit by ordering through an online shop once you confirm the type of cable you'll need for your new set.

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