A Consumer's View Of HDTV

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of seeing the Broadway show "The Farnsworth Invention." It was both entertaining and informative, telling the story of the invention of television. In addition to having an enjoyable evening, I left feeling grateful for the invention, since television enhances my life in so many ways. Because I live alone, I often put on all three of my TVs tuned to the same program, and the noise becomes my company. I used to love my television, but that was before I became disenchanted with the TV industry and felt personally affronted by it as of this week.

It happened that one of my TVs died and needed to be replaced quickly because my daughter and grandson would be visiting. Since it was the one in the guest room -- the TV least frequently used -- I decided to replace it as inexpensively as possible. Fortunately Circuit City was having a sale on all of their TVs. The TV that I was replacing was housed in a built-in bookcase unit with an 18" by 18" opening, and had a 27" viewing screen.



When I got to Circuit City, I was confronted by a sea of flat-screen high-definition TVs. and told that they were the only kind available. My beloved analog TVs were obsolete. It turns out that the only option I had to fit into my allotted space was a 26" flat screen high- def Sony. Since I don't have high-definition reception and when you view non-high def transmission on the full width screen, It truncates the visual, I decided to block the sides, which then reduced my viewing screen to 21".

The result is that I have just spent a lot of money to replace my 27" screen with a 21" screen. I am feeling ripped-off. In order to calm down my anger towards the TV industry, my grandson tells me that in three years all programming will be in high-definition and then I will really appreciate my new TV. That alone encourages me to live that long.

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