Friday, January 02, 2009

A New TV

With the large drop in consumer sales reported and the feeling that December will be the worst in a long long time, nearly every retailer  has been slashing prices on just about everything, with the deepest cuts seeming to be on home electronics. So Judy and I went out shopping for a new digital television Christmas eve at a Sears store in the area. We went back the day after Christmas to make our purchase, and we finally picked it up New Years eve.

The television we replaced, a 15-year-old 27" Sony Trinitron KV-27TS27, was purchased back in 1993 at a different local Sears. After 15 years of constant use, and with the switch to digital TV in February 2009, Judy and I decided that maybe it was time to find another.

When we went back to Sears and started looking around a helpful Sears salesman demonstrated a 46" Samsung Series 6 630 LCD TV. That was the one we purchased at over 30% off. Some of the key features of the Samsung:
  • Full HD (1080p) with 30,000:1 contrast ratio
  • 120 Hz refresh (Auto Motion Plus)
  • 3 HDMI inputs
  • Multiple AVI inputs
  • USB 2 input
We also purchased a Samsung DVD-VR375 DVD and VHS player/recorder combo. The VR375 handles DVD only, and for our needs, that's sufficient. It has an HDMI output (called Anynet +) and is capable of transferring VHS recordings (we have a large VHS library) to DVD. It also up-converts our DVD disks such that they look absolutely gorgeous on the TV. Judy and I had been looking at a Blu-ray player, even considering purchasing a Sony PS-3, but we held back; the VR375 was a lot cheaper than the PS-3 and gave us a lot more important capabilities.

When I said that DVDs looked gorgeous on the LCD TV I wasn't exaggerating. Right now I'm watching the classic "Day The Earth Stood Still" with Patricia Neal and Micheal Renney. It might be black-and-white but it's sharp and clear and looks a whole lot better on the Samsung than it ever did on the Sony. And I thought the Sony was very good at the time.

Contemporary DVDs, such as Bourne Ultimatum, Eagle Eye, and Tropic Thunder are even sharper and wide screen really gives the impression of sitting in a theater. A number of reviews have complained about the quality of the built-in sound, but the whole family feels the sound is just fine. The transition from the analog Sony to the digital Samsung is just astounding.

Overall the family is quite satisfied with Samsung; Judy and I and one of the daughters have Samsung cell phones with T-Mobile. The oldest still has Nokia, but is planning to switch to Samsung based on our overall satisfaction. Every Samsung product purchase seems very solid, quality built, and reasonably priced.

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