We resisted for a long time. For years I’ve been mocking everyone else for putting a big flat box out with their rubbish, signalling submission to the big flat TV trend. I was noble. The old telly still worked, so why get rid of it? And TV isn’t a big priority in our house. And flat screen televisions cost a lot of money. And whatever we buy today will be out of date tomorrow. And so on.
Secretly I hoped that the old TV might eventually take its leave, gracefully dying in its sleep. But realistically that was never going to happen. It is 20 years old and was built when things were built to last, and last, and last…
But other factors worked against the old girl. In particular we found we could no longer read the sports scores: they were just too small. My theory is that the on-screen scores have slowly been shrunk in recent years: it’s a giant conspiracy to get everyone to upgrade. Then again it could have been our aging eyes.
In any case, with a big year of sport coming up – World Cup soccer, Netball world champs, Collingwood premiership – it was decided by the family executive committee that a new television would be procured as the major Christmas present for all. The old telly would be put out to pasture in the rumpus room.
I gleefully accepted the role of procurement officer and went out hunting. Making a choice, as I expected, was going to be one hell of a fight. There are sizes, colours, hertzes and pixelzes to sort through. There are plasmas, LCDs and LEDs; HDs and Full HDs; dynamic contrast ratios, colour matrix arrangements and sub-pixel controllers to choose between. My inner nerd was in techno-heaven.
But the choice was nothing compared to getting set up. The box we have ‘let go’ has one hole on the back, ten buttons on the front and, believe it or not, NO remote control. Our new box (can we still call a flat screen ‘the box’?) has at least 20 holes on the back, five on the side and a remote that could bring the Robinsons back to earth.
These battles were finally eventually won and now we are able to sit back and enjoy. I have to admit, I am back in love with television. Ricky Ponting never looked so good; his battered baggy green looked so real we could have repaired it while he was fielding. The sound is so good that while watching The Wire I can just about understand what they are saying. And last night I devoured District 9 in all its gory detail: I’ve seldom enjoyed a movie on television so much.
The world might be going to pot outside, but it’s never looked so good from our living room. Anyone need a large cardboard box?
(Image view from 5’2″)