That’s What I Like: Basking in the Glowing Glowiness of my new TV’s Warm Glow

On Black Friday, the incongruously named day-after-Thanksgiving I rang up Amazon.com and joined the middle class. Yes, I plunked down $1999 for a Samsung LNT4671F. (I know, I’ve railed against idiotic naming conventions for consumer products in the past). It’s a 46″ LCD TV, 1080p, 120 Hz, HMDI 1.3 with built-in spicto-blango-color-correcting-carousel blah blah blah. Suffice it to say it was the top-of-the-line product from Samsung when it first came on the market in October (which of course makes it now hopelessly obsolete by the standards of the consumer electronics industry. It’s the second-highest rated TV in Consumer Reports after the Sony XBR4, but my wife Vicki didn’t approve of the floating glass bezel around that one so we settled for a (very close) second-best.

Side note: How do bricks-and-mortar retailers stay I in business? The MSRP on this is $3199, which until about last week was the price you had to pay at Best Buy, et al. Which means you are paying well in excess of $3500 with tax and delivery. Exactly WHO is buying from these dinosaurs?

Samsung LCD TV

So, back to the story, this gorgeous piece of black-lacquered engineering arrived on December 7th, and the delivery company respectfully set up the whole thing for us on our credenza. My dirty hands wouldn’t even get a chance to lovingly fondle this apex of human achievement before it was hooked up and ready to start beaming pictures from god. But alas and alackaday! The cable company needs to install their nefarious cable cards to make it work with our new TivoHD! Three calls, three separate trips later (well, two—on one scheduled trip the week before Christmas, TimeWarner simply never showed up despite the window they gave me of 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; seriously, what other company in the world tells you they like your business so much that you have to wait around 10 hours for them to start their ritual monthly bilking of you–and then doesn’t even show up?) Ugh, I digress; finally, on December 31st, the gates of heaven were laid open and I assumed into pure liquid crystal display-loving bliss. The cable cards were installed and TimeWarner started delivering through their pipes a steaming load of hot product, served right to my living room. I giggled and cackled in glee the first time I saw high-definition in action, right there, about 8′ in front of the sofa. My wife, ever the sardonic one, turned to the cable installer and said “Does every guy do this when you hook up their HDTVs?” He chuckled and said HE does it himself every time he hooks someone up.

In the ensuing few weeks I have spent my time reloading our new Tivo with HD stations, and oohing and aahing over our new child. Sometimes I do wonder if there is a patron saint of television? At least with the coming economic apocalypse we’ll have something to keep us entertained.

6 Responses to “That’s What I Like: Basking in the Glowing Glowiness of my new TV’s Warm Glow”

  1. Jim says:

    Don’t even get me started on the Cable Cards. The first set that were installed on our TiVo HD were always pretty dodgy, until one gave the ghost a couple of weeks ago.

    This time, it only took two trips from Charter to get it all settled, and the new ones might even work, much to Rox’s chagrin, because she really wants to jump to DirecTV, and I think was counting on Charter to give us their usual bad experience for me to get fed up and go through the hassle.

    But both times, the service guys showed up during the proper window, and both times they were friendly and helpful. It would only have been a single trip, but Charter was totally out of Cable Cards when the first guy came out, so we had to limp along on a single tuner for a week.

    Thank gods for the writers strike!

  2. Tyson says:

    Oh, let me tell you about Cable Cards. Welllll, the first time Time Warner showed up, the gentleman tried for three hours to get us going until his supervisor showed up and informed me that the proper cards were still in beta testing and had not even been released yet. WTF?!?!?!?! How is this possible? Hence the reason it took us a month to get a decent picture out of our TV. I’m happy now but it was a painful process.

  3. Jim says:

    Time-Warner sucks. The HD TiVo has been out for over a year, and so there is no reason whatsoever for the “proper cards” to still be in Beta.

    Oh wait, there is one reason: to try to force people to go with their crappy-ass DVR. Because, see above about their sucking.

    For fun, you can read other TiVo owners experiences with Time-Warner on the Tivo Community site.

  4. Sherilyn says:

    What the hell is a cable card?

  5. Jim says:

    It’s essentially a little Cable Company-controlled tuner card that fits in the back of suspect devices like a TiVo.

    Like the cards for laptops.

  6. Tim G. says:

    Tyson, welcome to the HD club. You will never go back to crappy TV again.

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