I love my 50-inch Panasonic plasma. It’s my high-quality companion when I watch a movie, flip on a baseball game, or play some video games. And along the way, it delivers the kind of visual fidelity that makes most people respond with a, “wow, this has a really great picture.”
Yep, they’re right. The HDTV really does have a great picture. But you know what? I don’t want it anymore. In fact, it has become such an eyesore for me in my living room that I want nothing more than to see it disappear into another room, only to have it replaced by one of those new Panasonic plasmas or a Samsung LED display.
See, the problem with my Panasonic plasma is that it’s old. In fact, I bought it back in 2007 when I believed that it would carry me into the future. After all, the televisions I owned prior to that lasted me a decade (or longer) without me even considering the possibility of replacing them. They were my trusty companions during countless sporting events and an untold number of now-canceled sitcoms.
So, in 2007 when I bought my plasma, I figured I had just purchased another trusty friend that would last me through the years.
But little did I know at that point that televisions would advance the way they have in the past three years. The television that I thought was so slim then is now fat compared to the LEDs currently available. Plus, my current television has just two HDMI ports — a pittance in today’s “more is better” market.
It gets worse. That plasma sitting in my living room doesn’t have all the goodies that current-generation devices do. It doesn’t have the Netflix that Panasonic just announced support for in its 2010 television models. It lacks Pandora for when I want to listen to music. And it certainly doesn’t allow for Skype. In fact, it’s little more than a glorified remote by today’s standards.
So, I want to break out from the prison I found myself in. I want to go out, buy a new HDTV and finally get out from under the anti-connected environment I find myself in. But alas, televisions are expensive. And justifying a $2,000 purchase for a device that will likely only deliver an incremental gain in visual quality doesn’t sound like such a great idea.
Plus, I’m concerned with what comes next. If it took just three years for my current television to join the retirement community, how long will it take for a new set to do the same? All the rage was HD three years ago. Who knows what we’ll be talking about three years from now?
Alas, I find myself in the circle of tech love: I have a device that works just fine and satisfies most desires, but I want the device that satisfies my every desire. The only problem is, like every other tech-obsessed fan, I realize that it will only take a few years until my next desire comes along.
So, maybe I’ll just stick with my current plasma. It does the job and there are several set-top boxes out there that can give me the functionality I desire. Plus, I can save all that cash and, I don’t know, buy a new home-theater set-up.
Did I mention that the one I have now just doesn’t cut it anymore?
Don Reisinger is a technology and video game columnist. You can see what he's up to each day on Twitter by following him @donreisinger.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of SlashGear