After 10+ years of service and still going strong, I retired my faithful 32" Toshiba TV. I finally surrendered to temptation and entered the ranks of big flat screen users.
I admit it was a tough decision, as I had a problem getting rid of something that still worked perfectly fine. But the pushers lure of huge flat screens bombarded me every time I entered the big box stores.
Now don't get me wrong, I've modestly tasted this forbidden fruit before. First it was with a 19" LCD monitor for my desktop computer several years back. Then early last year we splurged and got a 23" LCD TV for the travel trailer. That unit soon ended up doing double duty in my office as well, replacing the 19" monitor for my desktop.
Flash forward to last month. After much online research and price watching we decided that we would take the plunge and go for the big screen! I set a budget of $1,000 dollars and walked into the local Costco with the full blessings of my wife.
Being the cheapskate that I am, I wasn't going to just spend the full $1k without getting some input from the sales guy. Fortunately I came across one that actually knew his stuff. Combining his in depth knowledge, a sale price and my penny pinching resulted in what I consider a great buy.
I ended up driving off with a 50'' Panasonic Plasma for the insane low price of $620. Heck, that's what I paid for my 32" Toshiba 10+ years ago!
Now enters the addiction part of the story... We have basic cable with Comcast, mainly because of the $10 per month discount they give you on your internet service if you are a cable tv customer. So the basic cable ends up costing us around $2 per month.
For movies we were doing the Redbox $1 per movie rental thing about 5 or 6 times per month. We had heard about Netflix for years and known people who use it for the mail movie service. Well we had just gone out to happy hour with some good friends and they were telling us about the on demand streaming movies and TV shows Netflix offers with the minimum $8.99 per month plan. I did some more research and found out that our existing Wii would be able to access Netflix and the 1st month was free to try it out.
GAME OVER, I'M HOOKED!
On demand movies and TV for $8.99 per month, plus DVDs through the mail one at a time. No commercials and a huge library of TV and movies to pick from. Do I need to say any more? What's not to like?
It should be noted that the Wii connections are not high definition, but the picture quality is pretty good and will do for now. But for Christmas (or sooner!) we will be upgrading our DVD player with a wifi enabled blu-ray player so we can enjoy the full benefits of our new plasma TV.
So now we are addicted to this new entertainment center, at least I am ;>) We are going through seasons 1-6 of "Dog, The Bounty Hunter" and loving it. My wife is actually enjoying watching the TV now and is rather taken with this gruff "Dog" fellow. I told her that I wanted a "Dog, The Bounty Hunter" tee shirt for Christmas. Who would of guessed?