Jessica Simpson didn’t have to kick me in the throat to get me to think about High Definition (HD) TV because for some time I have been longing from afar (for HD, not Jessica). The cost of HDTVs, however, made it about as likely for me to find one of these in my rec room as it was for me to have Ms. Simpson calling me from the grocery store to say she’d looked all over the meat department but couldn’t find Chicken of the Sea so would it be all right if she just made tuna casserole for dinner.
I am, however, a patient man (that sound you just heard was my wife snorting). I know that when it comes to technology you just have to bide your time and the price will come down as the “early adopters” drive the market toward the new newest, greatest thing. I learned this lesson long ago before I was even married when I paid more than $600 for a VCR with “breakthrough” 4-head technology for the highest resolution. Now my forehead is what I slap whenever I see a brand-new VCR going for $19.95 at Wal-Mart. Of course, you can fall too far behind the technology curve: I used to really want one of those thin, pricey RAZR cellphones — now companies are giving them away like Skittles and I wouldn’t have one.
Anyway, the HDTVs finally came down into the range where value and opportunity were within hailing distance, and wouldn’t you just know it happened to be right before the Super Bowl? I was able to find an HD-LCD TV with a home theater system for about half what a similar set-up cost this time last year (yes, I was looking last year, too — I told you I’m patient). At last, a big, sharp picture (to compensate for my fuzzy eyesight) and multi-channel surround-sound speakers (to compensate for my fuzzy hearing) and a huge screen (never mind) — if I could just work on my fuzzy logic.
I still had to get the idea past my wife, the Reverend Mother, who also has another title: The Finance Minister (I’m the Minister of Fritter & Waste). She’s also someone who, if it were up to her, wouldn’t even have a television and would never allow one to take up residence in the living room (except when company is coming specifically to watch something on TV). Obviously I wasn’t going to be able to make the case that this was a necessity (“Didn’t I just let you buy a TV three years ago?”) and there wasn’t time for an subtle, extended, Ralphie-like campaign (“You’ll rot your eyes out!”). That left me with … puppy eyes. Or something. I’m not sure just what it was that wore her down, and if I did know it would probably have to be kept a state secret anyway.
I raced out immediately and picked up the TV and accessories last Saturday and set to work getting everything set up in the living room (for the group coming to watch the Super Bowl). I had opted for a 32″ LCD screen based on cost, the size of the room where the TV will normally reside, and the size of our existing entertainment center. I got everything hooked up and brought my wife in. “What do you think?” I said, beaming with pride. She appeared to be underwhelmed.
“I thought it would be bigger,” she said.
Oooh, that left a mark. Not only that, but the next afternoon I was booted out of the living room right in the middle of watching Tiger Woods reel in another tournament so that she and the Mall Diva could watch a chick flick with their friends on the new TV and home theater (very “estrogenic” as the MD would say). That’s okay — it’s the Super Bowl this weekend, bay-beee!