I Need a New TV! Help!
Hello everyone! Thanks for visiting The Green Swan. Today I am sending out an S.O.S. call, I need your help and advice. I’m a bit distressed…my TV is on the frits…I need a new TV!
Don’t worry, I’m not pandering for money like a broke uncle, I just need a few tips. But first, let me explain the situation.
About five years ago my wife and I moved to Charlotte. It was a great opportunity for both of us and we were each getting a decent bump in salary. We were also getting to that point in life that we wanted to put down a few roots, buy a house, and start a family. Given that we planned on staying in Charlotte for a while, and supported by the decent raises we received, we decided to buy our first nice, new flat screen TV. Before that point we had been living off old TVs and hand-me-downs from parents. The time had finally come!
You may be wondering right now, why did The Green Swan buy a new TV, he cut cable…
Well, yes, I did cut cable, but that came a few years after the move. Cutting the cord is easier these days with so many other alternatives to watch your favorite shows, movies and sports, but you still need a TV. And at that time we justified a splurge to buy a nice TV.
TVs have continually gotten better and better and also cheaper and cheaper. So at the time, we were fairly happy with having waited for so long to get a flat screen and how much cheaper they were compared to years prior.
We bought a top of the line Samsung 55-inch Smart TV! It cost a little over $1K. And it was nice, especially compared to the 20 year old pieces of junk TVs we were living with at the time.
This leads me to part of my distress. I am a little bit more of a believer in “planned obsolescence” now. As defined by a quick Google search:
I mean come on, it is a five year old TV…and it is dying!? We literally put to the curb 20+ year old TVs that still worked great. Come on!
What is happening to my TV is quite weird. The left half of the screen still looks nice, but it begins to fade to black and white on the right half. WTF right? I just started noticing it two weeks ago and by now the whole screen went black and white. It hasn’t really gotten any worse, so it is still watch-able in the meantime, but something definitely needs to be done with it. We are living with a black and white 55-inch flat screen TV!!
This leads me to my current dilemma. What do I do about a replacement? I have a number of questions, some of which I might be able to do a bit of research to determine. But since it has been so long since I last bought a TV, I wondered what great insights some of you would have to help?
Question 1: When to Buy?
Unfortunately, I think the best time to buy a TV is the week of the Super Bowl or Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). Am I wrong? So I am basically right in the middle of those two buying periods. Maybe there will be big Fourth of July sales?
Question 2: What type of TV to Buy?
A lot has happened in the last 5 years. There is now 4K Ultra-High Definition TVs, there are 3D TVs, and there are also what seems to be more reliable low-cost competitors in the market (e.g. Vizio and TLC).
After buying a “high quality” brand like Samsung for my last TV and it not making it more than five years, I feel like I might as well give one of the lower-cost TVs a try. Does anyone have good experiences you would like to share?
With regards to 3D, I haven’t ever heard glowing reviews of this. Unless there isn’t much of a price difference, not sure I will give it much consideration.
Ultra-High Definition is the hot new thing. Personally, I’m not much of a TV snob. I am not entirely sure I could tell the difference between an Ultra-High Definition TV and a normal HD TV. I plan on going to the store to look at a couple though.
Question 3: Smart TV or Dumb TV?
Is it even possible to buy a dumb TV anymore? I don’t want or need a smart TV, I hardly used the “smart” features of my Samsung. I currently have a Roku that I use instead and it is great. If possible, it might be cheaper for me to by a dumb TV and continue using my Roku.
Question 4: Where to Buy From?
Who has the best deals on TVs these days? I think the last TV I bought was from Amazon, but I can’t honestly remember. The most ideal situation is finding the right retailer that has the lowest price that I could also buy online to avoid sales tax.
Unfortunately North Carolina is now one of the few states that Amazon charges sales tax, beginning in just the last few years. Because of that, I plan on searching a bit broader to find the best price such as Wal-Mart or Best Buy. Any other ideas?
Personal Finance Discussion
Oh yeah, this is a personal finance blog isn’t it? Well I think the lesson in today’s post is quite obvious…another month and another pop-up expense. Expect the unexpected and be prepared with a rainy day fund or cash buffer in your savings account.
Whether this TV ends up costing $500 or $1,000, I will charge it to my credit card. I get 2% back on my card in reward points, or $10-$20 depending on the purchase price. I will then plan on paying that credit card bill off in full once I receive it in another month or so. It won’t strain our budget too much. And it will all be worth it so long as at lasts a little longer than my current TV!
Until the new TV comes I plan on tuning into the Andy Griffith Show so I don’t feel like I’m missing color…
Thanks in advance for any help, advice, or tips you may offer as I look to buy my new TV!
The Green Swan
Work Harder, Work Smarter, Retire Earlier and Find Your Beach