New TV / by Erin Wade

I had finally come to the conclusion last week that our dead TV was not going to miraculously heal itself (again), and ordered a new one.

It has since arrived, and I've learned a few things in the process:

  • Though it doesn't sound like a lot, 40" looks a lot bigger than 32".
  • A decade of improvement in LCD technology, and moving from 720p to 1080p, makes for a noticeable difference in picture quality.
  • That decade of improvement also results in a larger television that is noticeably lighter in weight than its smaller predecessor.
  • As is true for so many things, having Amazon deliver a TV to your home is infinitely better than going to a store and hauling the thing home yourself.
  • Taking measurements ahead of time is vital. The new TV fits in the cabinet, but only just. It presses up tight against the sliding doors, and you would have to turn it if you wanted to access the manual controls on the side. Any larger and it simply would not have fit unless I were to take off the cabinet doors.

By way of comparison, here's a picture of the old TV in the entertainment center:

32" Vizio TV in Entertainment Center

And here's the new one:

40" Spectre TV in Entertainment Center

All in all, though it is not yet the big-ass TV that I want to have in the long run, it's an improvement in nearly every respect. It literally took minutes to hook up, and continues to work with all of the various and sundry devices that we had attached to the old one.

The only thing that doesn't work as before is the audio-out. We have the TV hooked up to an external sound system - an older Panasonic surround-sound set-up that continues to work quite nicely. This is fed through the analog audio-out port on the television. For the old TV the sound level on the audio-out was controlled through the television volume, while this one does not appear to be. What this means, in practical terms, is that we can no longer control the volume by means of the TV remote. And because I do not have a remote control for the Panasonic setup, I have to get up and walk across the room to change the volume.

Like an animal.

I've spent some time trying to get the old Vizio remote (which, unlike the TV, still works) to accept the programmable remote code for the Panasonic, but it refuses to accept it. Perhaps it is in mourning for its lost partner. There are other solutions, of course - you can find the Panasonic remotes on eBay, or I could pony up for a modern universal remote. Still - given the price that some of the universal remotes run, I may need to continue to be an animal...

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