We did all our Boxing Day shopping online. We wanted a new big-screen TV for the downstairs TV room; many were on sale for Boxing Day; and you can get the same prices online as at the store. And you can often put in your order even before December 26. And they’ll bring it to you! Talking about this, though, I learned:
- A number of people remain nervous about purchasing big-ticket items online.
- Said nervousness is now completely foreign to me, as “online” has become my main “store” of choice for so many things.
There is a downside to it, though, in the lack of complete instant gratification. Delivery is fast, but not instantaneous. And with the TV, there was some confusion over the credit card to use, and it took a little longer than usual to arrive. Meantime, the other pieces we realized we needed to make the new TV “go” showed up: The new receiver with its six HDMI ports (versus the zero HDMI on the old one); the HDMI cables themselves; the TV mounting rack. All sitting around rather useless without a TV to pull it all together.
But hey, now they’re one big happy family. And that HDMI thing really does simplify the connections: the receiver, TV, PVR, recordable DVD, international DVD, and computer, all linked to one another in pretty short order. Where the old way, it always seemed to turn into a full-day project. Now we just have to consolidate remotes, because we’re currently juggling six of them!
Our downstairs rooms is pretty big, so we went with a 55′ screen, and I think it looks gorgeous. I thought my old receiver was actually pretty good, lack of HDMI notwithstanding, but this new one is definitely bringing out the bass in a way I hadn’t heard before (from the exact same speakers). Both DVDs can now properly render DTS and other high-quality sound streams. (Neither is BluRay—we had to leave our BluRay upstairs, where it doubles as the receiver for that TV—but that’s minor.)
And finally, finally, it’s easy to project anything from the computer onto a TV screen.
So the only issue is—there just isn’t a lot of good stuff to watch, is there? Admittedly, on TV, there was the Christmas rerun break, and now things are starting again—Big Bang, Daily Show, The Mentalist, etc And I recently discovered I have FX Canada (when did Rogers give me that?), and Louis is a pretty good show. But I haven’t been passionate about a television program in quite some time. It seems like everything really good is on HBO, which I’m just not paying for. The only new network series we really got into, The Last Resort, has been cancelled (though does seem to have a new episode tonight, but not sure how many more).
And web viewing? It’s a bit of an exercise in frustration if you’re Canadian, isn’t it? The networks have stuff, but it’s pretty limited. The American and UK stuff is blocked in Canada, unless you do some VPN shenanigans. iTunes has stuff, but it’s kind of expensive. You can actually find a surprising amount of stuff on YouTube (whole movies and shows), but the picture quality is often not that great, and you get the period “freezing”. We will be trying Netflix, finally, but we all know the Canadian selection and picture quality is more limited.
And I also know I have some sort of data cap with Rogers. That hasn’t been issue up to now, but how much web content can I watch until it is?
I may just have to turn to my (if I do say so myself) excellent collection of personal DVDs. Buffy marathon, anyone?