So there we were last night, letting Auntie fill us in on the pressing news of the day, when our admittedly rather ‘mature’ TV decided that the colour scheme just wasn’t, well, camp enough. You know how most TVs / displays have that colour temperature setting you can play with - warm, cool etc - well, our TV decided to switch to an altogether new one that, if it had a name, would undoubtedly be called ‘Austin Powers’ - very, very pink, and pulsating slowly in a rather suggestive fashion. Oh behave.
It’s got worse in the last 24 hours - no amount of tweaking, connection-checking, or ‘inertial diagnostics’ (otherwise known as hitting it) has discouraged it’s inexorable descent into the realm of rouge. All indications are that the green part of the cathode has died a slow, pulsing death, and its days of happily spewing electrons are now over.
This TV is pretty old (about 8 years I think) so it hasn’t done too bad. We’d intended to buy a swanky new HD TV at some point anyway, although we hadn’t planned on spending the money until we actually had something HD to use it for, ie when other HD equipment was more reasonably priced. Such as when HD-DVD / Bluray / PS3 became more affordable - the Wii is only 480p (max) after all, and Sky HD is ridiculously priced at the moment. The lack of reasonably priced 1080p sets also made the waiting game the smart move, since if you bought a 720p or 1080i set today you’d only want to replace it in a year anyway.
However, this has brought forward the purchasing decision somewhat, and luckily there does appear to be a good contender out there. The Sony Bravia 40W2000U is, as far as I can tell, the only truly 1080p set under two grand that has been getting some seriously good reviews. The slightly smaller Philips 37PF9731D is the sameish price but only has 1080i, as does the Toshiba 42WLT66 which is a bit cheaper but looks bad in SD, and other 1080p sets of the same kind of spec / performance as the Sony seem to be a grand more expensive. Personally I find the prospect of spending this much on a television absolutely outrageous - I could buy a bloody decent laptop for the same price after all, and it does a lot more interesting things than a TV - but, that’s the way it is at the moment. I’d like to spend less, but I know if I do it’ll just be more of a waste. At least this one works well with SD, supposedly beats plasmas in both the motion and the blackness tests, and is pretty future-proofed with the 1080p support.
I can see why manufacturers love the move to flat TVs, their markups are vastly higher than they were in the CRT TV days. And no, I don’t want a projector, thanks - my walls are the wrong colour for that 😉
Our local Sony store is getting a couple of the 40W2000Us in at the end of the week so unless I find a better option before then, this looks like the option we’ll be going for.