October 17th, 2008


TVs are expensive

Okay, about eight years ago i believe i bought my current 27" tv at Costco. I'm pretty sure it cost about $250, or an amortized cost of about $30 a year so far. I know LCD and HD TVs are supposed to have been getting cheaper and i guess that's true, but you still can't seem to get them for a comparable price =P Best Buy has a 27" standard def tube TV for $250, so i guess price reductions have kept pace with inflation for those. The cheapest quasi-equivalent flat panel is a 26" widescreen 720p LCD for $400, both Best Buy and Costo have a version at that price.

Of course this also brings up another issue, the stupid diagonal measurement for TVs was bad enough when everything had the same aspect ratio, trying to figure out what widescreen TV would be the same height as mine is a real pain =P For a 16:9 ratio it would work out to 33" i think.

There's a 32" 720p widescreen LCD for $450 at Best Buy, and one at Costco for $500. If i wanted to get that down to the same amortized cost as my current one i'd have to keep it for about 15 years. Of course if i'm going to be keeping a TV for a long period of time it might be good to go for 1080p now. Costco has two 32" widescreen 1080p TVs for $600, the cheapest 1080p Best Buy has is $700, though it is a 42".

All in all it seems like i really ought to wait awhile longer before jumping to HD. Although actually i guess the real question is, how much cheaper are widescreen 1080p LCD TVs going to get? Will they eventually work their way down to the same price as the equivalent height CRTs? If this is about as cheap as they're ever going to get then there's no point in waiting any longer. I've also got a gut feeling that if the price is decreasing at a rate of less than $30 a year (my amortized price above) that one could argue that i'm not gaining anything by waiting, but i'm not sure that's a logically defensible position :)
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