Monday, April 06, 2009

Complicated Choices Trump Simple Selections

We found a new TV.  Hubbs and I were shopping around for a new TV, a small flat-screen LCD, and thought we'd check at Best Buy since we had a bit of time yesterday.  We ended up picking the Samsung Series 5 37" B530 1080p model, which was on sale (though not as cheap as what we could have paid online).  We literally walked out of the store with the TV in hand.

The selection process was pretty simple, actually.  We took our friend Nick's advice, and also Natalie's advice, and opted for a TV that we both agreed on for visual clarity, with a leaning towards Samsungs.  We then walked up and down the aisles at the store, watching TV on various sets and looking for signs of blurriness/graininess in the picture quality.  We also looked at the sharpness of the colours, and to see how well fast action images (e.g. sports) were displayed on screen.  

In the end, we both agreed on the Samsung 5.  Hubbs wanted a slightly larger monitor (>40") but we just bought an entertainment unit that only supports LCDs up to 40" in size.  Plus, we live in a small place, so an overwhelmingly large TV would seem ridiculously out of place.

So the selection process was relatively painless.  Now for the complicated part.  Little did we know, but the Series 5 "530" model comes in an A and a B version.  The A version came out a while back, but the B version was only released this year.  I'm not sure what the specs on the A version are, but the B version offers an impressive 60,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio on a mere 37" screen, so that's pretty good (and I think much higher than that of the A).  However, because the B model is so new, and is apparently quite different from the A model, you cannot read reviews of the A and automatically presume that they apply to the B.  The tweaking/calibratio instructions for the A are also entirely different than for the B, so that in order to optimize viewing on the TV we'd need B-model calibration instructions, which of course do not yet exist.

I'm finding that as the TV offers more options (gaming vs. movie vs. whatever mode, etc for sound, display, PC vs. TV, yadda yadda), it is getting increasingly difficult to set up.  I remember the days when you could just buy a TV, bring it home, plug it in, and start watching.  Now there are a bazillion settings and far too many buttons on that remote control!  Ugh...I sound like an old lady but you know what I mean, right?  I feel like I need to take a course in order to calibrate my TV.  There is something extremely wrong with that picture.    

So, there you have it.  We have a new TV but I need to read up on it before I can get it set up.  *sigh* 


Natalie said...

Great choice. You guys are going to love it!