Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ridiculously cheap Hi-def TV from

I used to point out one of the wonders of the consumer electronics industry. Year after year it was always possible to get a 19-inch color TV for $299, despite inflation.

The prices of cars, houses, appliances and food went up. But TV prices stayed the same, even theough quality got better. Then, at some point, the price dropped to $199. Then, at some point I stopped paying attention, and stopped talking about it.

For years, I've had an old 19-inch CRT TV in my garage. It's one of the few-non-flat screens in my house, and only used a few hours a week, typically for the History Channel when I'm playing around with my historical 30-year old Fiat Spider. The TV has not aged gracefully. For the past couple of years, it has required a few forceful thumps to get it to do anything. Last year, it often had sound but no picture. This year, it often has no sound or picture.

For the few hours that I use it, it would be hard to justify buying my seventh Hi-def set, and I've been wondering about going to Goodwill and trying to buy back one of the CRT sets that I've previously donated.

BUT... I just saw a ridiculously cheap LCD flat screen set on the website. It's only $249.99 plus just ten bucks for shipping. At that price, I couldn't imagine it was HDTV, but it is. HDTV is overkill for my garage, but WTF.

It does have 16 x 9 aspect ratio and contrast ratio is said to be 1000:1 Resolution is 480i / 480p / 720p / 1080i scaled -- not equal to my Sony XBR5s inside the house, but I'm not likely to play Blu-rays while I'm changing spark plugs, and the price was pretty close to freebie.

I've never owned any Sceptre products before, but they seem to be a substantial company and I trust Costco. Costco extends the manufacturer's warranty to 2 years, and accepts returns within 90 days from the date of purchase, so I don't think I have much to lose. Price is effective through 6/1, while supplies last. CLICK to order. I'll let you know how this thing looks when I get it, but I suspect it should be fine for garage, workshop, kid's room, guest room or kitchen.

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