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Buying Now- A good idea economically?

vash0523
04-08-2005, 12:43 AM
Is it a good time to buy an HDTV now, or will upcoming technology be causing drastic price drops over the next few months? I think I know which set I'd like to get, but I want to get the best bang for my buck. I'm not in dire need of a new TV, as mine now works decently(though being 11 years old, its lost alot of its shine;) ) Should I hold off for new models to come out to look for better prices?

myers830
04-08-2005, 05:43 AM
Is it a good time to buy an HDTV now, or will upcoming technology be causing drastic price drops over the next few months? I think I know which set I'd like to get, but I want to get the best bang for my buck. I'm not in dire need of a new TV, as mine now works decently(though being 11 years old, its lost alot of its shine;) ) Should I hold off for new models to come out to look for better prices?

It's not the technology you should worry about...there will always be something better next week or next month. What you need to think about is....will spending thousands of dollars for a very few HD channels be worth it to you? With Voom heading off into the sunset, you are left with maybe 10-15 HD channles compared to the hundreds you probably have now. Sure, you can watch DVDs on an HD set in style, but you better be a DVD nut to justify the cost. This is an expensive sandbox to play in...if that is not an issue for you, come on in and open that checkbook.

slowmo
04-08-2005, 08:16 AM
Laptop computers (and I mean the kind that actually fit in you lap - not the original suitcase, tiny green-screen Compaq's) have been around for approx. 15 years. Each year, one could've deferred a purchase due to the concern that prices will decline and tech progress will obsolete the current choice. 15 years is a long time to wait.

When I bought my plasma in 9/03, I knew that I could not buy a monitor that would be state-of-the-art for any length of time. I also knew that prices would be substantially lower in another year, etc. My goal was to enter this arena at a reasonable cost (though dramatically higher than my prior reference point related to 25" tube tv's!) and to plan for substitution / replacement. I considered the following:
1. I wanted a thin screen unit (plasma / LCD) vs. large box (rear projection) as the thin screen could eventually be moved into secondary viewing rooms (bedrooms, living rooms, etc.) more easily. My wife doesn't care about the box size / shape in the primary viewing area (basement mancave) but a RPTV would not be allowed into the other rooms when I later decided to upgrade the primary unit.
2. I did not want to spend +$5,000 for a monitor just to get the latest thing. That +$5,000 monitor and its $2,000 counterpart would both depreciate to the same nominal resale value very quickly as newer generations were released.
3. By not blowing $5,000 on a monitor, I was able to also upgrade other components (a/v receiver, speakers, dvd, hd tuners, remote, etc.) as well.
4. I did not want to buy a big integrated package. This stuff is changing too quickly. Separate components facilitate subsequent replacement of individual items at the appropriate time.
5. Initially, I did not think I had to have HD service and the OTA HD thing sounded goofy. (Put a set of rabbit ears on the freakin' roof? Who are you kiddin'? Honey, can I buy a $5,000 plasma and also put a 1950's-era antenna on the roof?). However, I quickly added HD after buying the plasma and my appetite grew. How you get HD is a personal choice. How much of a monthly bill will you tolerate for cable or satellite to get relatively few channels? I had cable HD for a year (along with OTA HD). I recently turned off cable HD and am just using the antenna until pricing / channels are in better balance. At least, plan on getting OTA assuming you don't live in the boonies - too inexpensive to pass up and you'll love the picture.

With the above in mind, I bought a 42" commercial Pany plasma (EDTV) and watch local HD during prime time as well as DVD's and regular Tivo. I haven't regreted the purchase. Of course, my 6th generation plasma cost a few bills more than Mr. Myer's 7th generation unit! But the 8th generation models will be out shortly and the cycle will continue.

Long story short - the evolution will not end. Thus, don't wait for an end that will not occur. Set a reasonable budget and accept that you may be rotating these new purchases into other rooms in the future.

myers830
04-08-2005, 08:42 AM
Laptop computers (and I mean the kind that actually fit in you lap - not the original suitcase, tiny green-screen Compaq's) have been around for approx. 15 years. Each year, one could've deferred a purchase due to the concern that prices will decline and tech progress will obsolete the current choice. 15 years is a long time to wait.

When I bought my plasma in 9/03, I knew that I could not buy a monitor that would be state-of-the-art for any length of time. I also knew that prices would be substantially lower in another year, etc. My goal was to enter this arena at a reasonable cost (though dramatically higher than my prior reference point related to 25" tube tv's!) and to plan for substitution / replacement. I considered the following:
1. I wanted a thin screen unit (plasma / LCD) vs. large box (rear projection) as the thin screen could eventually be moved into secondary viewing rooms (bedrooms, living rooms, etc.) more easily. My wife doesn't care about the box size / shape in the primary viewing area (basement mancave) but a RPTV would not be allowed into the other rooms when I later decided to upgrade the primary unit.
2. I did not want to spend +$5,000 for a monitor just to get the latest thing. That +$5,000 monitor and its $2,000 counterpart would both depreciate to the same nominal resale value very quickly as newer generations were released.
3. By not blowing $5,000 on a monitor, I was able to also upgrade other components (a/v receiver, speakers, dvd, hd tuners, remote, etc.) as well.
4. I did not want to buy a big integrated package. This stuff is changing too quickly. Separate components facilitate subsequent replacement of individual items at the appropriate time.
5. Initially, I did not think I had to have HD service and the OTA HD thing sounded goofy. (Put a set of rabbit ears on the freakin' roof? Who are you kiddin'? Honey, can I buy a $5,000 plasma and also put a 1950's-era antenna on the roof?). However, I quickly added HD after buying the plasma and my appetite grew. How you get HD is a personal choice. How much of a monthly bill will you tolerate for cable or satellite to get relatively few channels? I had cable HD for a year (along with OTA HD). I recently turned off cable HD and am just using the antenna until pricing / channels are in better balance. At least, plan on getting OTA assuming you don't live in the boonies - too inexpensive to pass up and you'll love the picture.

With the above in mind, I bought a 42" commercial Pany plasma (EDTV) and watch local HD during prime time as well as DVD's and regular Tivo. I haven't regreted the purchase. Of course, my 6th generation plasma cost a few bills more than Mr. Myer's 7th generation unit! But the 8th generation models will be out shortly and the cycle will continue.

Long story short - the evolution will not end. Thus, don't wait for an end that will not occur. Set a reasonable budget and accept that you may be rotating these new purchases into other rooms in the future.


AMEN...we are all buying technology that will be obsolete very quickly. Like, slowmo, I decided to buy something I could enjoy all formats on (not just HD, which looks stunning as well BTW) until which time I will want to upgrade and move my set into a bedroom. Right now, my $1500 EDTV 37PWD7UY Plasma is a fantastic purchase and I could not be happier. Will I be happy 2 years from now..?...are any of us..?..by then I may have a newer version, but in the mean time I did not spend $3-5k on a set that is already old technology just to watch a lousy 10-15 HD channels. 1080p is here and so and and so on, and so on...

Bleudiable
04-08-2005, 08:55 AM
Is it a good time to buy an HDTV now, or will upcoming technology be causing drastic price drops over the next few months? I think I know which set I'd like to get, but I want to get the best bang for my buck. I'm not in dire need of a new TV, as mine now works decently(though being 11 years old, its lost alot of its shine;) ) Should I hold off for new models to come out to look for better prices?

My wife and I noticed that most of the network TV shows and sports we were watching were all available in HD, and we watch a lot of widescreen DVD's, so we bought a refurb 34" CRT for less than $1,000. The three major networks and ESPN-HD are available on our cable system, and the INHD channels have been a lovely bonus. I have watched the NCAA's and now the Masters on HD. Some DVD's like Spiderman have been formatted to fit the whole 16:9 screen, but even full widescreen movies with little bars at top and bottom are so much better in 16:9 than our 4:3 SDTV. Our digital cable signals not in HD are excellent (I DVR'ed an opera on PBS last Sunday in digital and got widescreen even without HD), and our analog SD signals are still good to watch.

Bottom line: lots of us who are just TV fans have gone to HD, using a CRT as a 5 to 10 year bridge so we can enjoy HD now until the thin-screens come down in price and get all of their technical issues resolved.

Jim

ja2935
04-08-2005, 09:10 AM
I agree 100%. Direct view CRTs are by far the best value for general family room viewing, and cable DVRs - whilst they do have their problems (read the threads) - are such a bonus, and cheap to rent.

borromini
04-08-2005, 12:17 PM
Contrary to some of the earlier posts on this thread...I don't think that the decision should be purely based on the fact that there are only 10-15 HD channels available. And using Voom's demise isn't a solid argument either since the jury is still out on whether anyone will pick up their 21 HD channel bandwidth. The decision should be based on what type of programs do you really value? For some of us who love NFL and college football and other sporting events, the HD offerings via options like DirecTV is enough to justify the cost of an HDTV. And even if budget was an issue, you can see from the previous post that CRT HDTVs are very cost effective as well as front projectors for those whose living rooms are candidates and offer a much better image than an EDTV (yes I disagree with those who say there's no difference...there's a difference with my eyes and it's the same for many others). Bottom line is that if you've witnessed yourself the true HD image and know that your favorite programs are shown in HD...now is as good a time as any to jump in.

RSawdey
04-08-2005, 05:13 PM
1. I wanted a thin screen unit (plasma / LCD) vs. large box (rear projection) as the thin screen could eventually be moved into secondary viewing rooms (bedrooms, living rooms, etc.) more easily. My wife doesn't care about the box size / shape in the primary viewing area (basement mancave) but a RPTV would not be allowed into the other rooms when I later decided to upgrade the primary unit.


DLP and LCD RPTVs come in 'tabletop' models that are less than 16" deep and less than 80 pounds.

slowmo
04-09-2005, 01:50 PM
Thus, from the front they appear to be a thin screen but still a no-no in the styling dept.

Also, I didn't intend for this to be a HD vs. ED thread - plenty of those. Primary point is to acknowledge that your current purchase will quickly lose its luster as new tech comes out. Each person has to set their own budget relative to that evolutionary cycle.

mshulman
04-10-2005, 11:39 AM
I was in the same boat as you... well, maybe not the same boat, but I was in a boat nonetheless :)

I wanted a new TV and I new I'd want HD when we got one. My wife however wanted a low profile TV - Something that could hang on the wall. After looking and seeing different sets and PQ, I decided that I wouldn't be able to get anything in the size and PQ I wanted for under $4k. This was more than we were willing to spend at this time and I was also concerned about how quick that $4k would drop to $3k or less.

So, I put things on hold. Then while at my brother-in-laws, I saw his 3M S10 Projector. He said it was HD. At any rate, the picture was excellent (they were watching Riddick). Furthermore, they had no screen - it was just being displayed on their white wall.

This got me interested - My only experience with projectors have been business presentation projectors and I never considered front projection for home. I looked into the 3M projector to find it wasn't true HD. After doing some research, I had just about settled on the PLV-Z2. Then I read the specs on the Z3 and decided it was worth the extra money - why get last years technology when I could have this years.

So I got the Z3 in December and have been projecting it onto my wall (it's painted yellow!) and haven't been happier. I use it for everything and while the SD picture isn't as good, it's still decent enough for me. I even had a superbowl party and everyone was amazed at the picture.

So, you CAN wait, or you can enjoy the amazing picture quality of HD now and just do some price shopping and research to make sure you are comfortable with the technology you are getting for your money.

Matt