Author Topic: Digital converter or new TV?  (Read 3235 times)

Argyle

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Digital converter or new TV?
« on: February 16, 2015, 11:10:28 AM »
We have am old TV, but we haven't used it in ten years.  (The TV set, incidentally, dates from 1989.)  But now we want to use it again for occasional things, for instance we've invited some people over to watch the Oscars next Sunday.

So I went out to buy a digital converter, with this deadline in mind, and found that most places around here allegedly carry them but are actually out of stock.  The only one I found in stock was $50 at Wal-Mart.  Normally I avoid Wal-Mart, but all the more likely places had none in stock.

Meanwhile a friend told me he had bought that exact one, but it had only lasted a few months, and then he went through two more which failed within several months, and finally he gave up and bought a new TV.

So thinking of this, I saw a small TV at Wal-Mart and just bought it for $98.  It doesn't matter that the screen is small (19"), because we're attaching it to a digital projector, which I acquired free, incidentally.

But the $98 TV is still in its box, unpacked, and I'm rethinking my extravagance.  Should I return it, do you think, and buy the $50 digital converter instead, or just keep the TV?

johnny847

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Re: Digital converter or new TV?
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2015, 11:48:52 AM »
We have am old TV, but we haven't used it in ten years.  (The TV set, incidentally, dates from 1989.)  But now we want to use it again for occasional things, for instance we've invited some people over to watch the Oscars next Sunday.

So I went out to buy a digital converter, with this deadline in mind, and found that most places around here allegedly carry them but are actually out of stock.  The only one I found in stock was $50 at Wal-Mart.  Normally I avoid Wal-Mart, but all the more likely places had none in stock.

Meanwhile a friend told me he had bought that exact one, but it had only lasted a few months, and then he went through two more which failed within several months, and finally he gave up and bought a new TV.

So thinking of this, I saw a small TV at Wal-Mart and just bought it for $98.  It doesn't matter that the screen is small (19"), because we're attaching it to a digital projector, which I acquired free, incidentally.

But the $98 TV is still in its box, unpacked, and I'm rethinking my extravagance.  Should I return it, do you think, and buy the $50 digital converter instead, or just keep the TV?
You're letting yourself get influenced by one anecdote. Now granted, your friend had three failures. But you've got to keep in mind (and I fall into this trap more often than I would like to admit) just because you hear anecdotes about product failures or any other event occurring, it doesn't mean it's widespread. You really have no idea what the failure rate is of these digital to analog TV converters.

I would just buy the converter with a credit card and return the TV. That way you get the extended warranty, return protection, and purchase protection from your credit card, in addition to any warranty from the manufacturer itself.

Matthew

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Re: Digital converter or new TV?
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2015, 11:50:59 AM »
The TV sounds like a better value.  Here's another thought though - do you have a computer and Internet access?  If so, why not hook this to the projector and stream content from the internet?  I haven't checked, but I'd bet the Oscars can be watched live online for free.

Forcus

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Re: Digital converter or new TV?
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2015, 11:56:48 AM »
I wouldn't feel too guilty about the newer today as long as it does not need a converter itself. Here are a couple points:

- I did a quick search and it looks like newer TV's use more energy than the same size CRT TV.
- The flat screen TV's I bought have had horrible sound, necessitating spending an additional $200-300 on a sound system (an ordinary sound bar is about $100 but I wanted extra speakers).
- Using what you have is generally cheaper. Maybe look on Amazon or CL for a used converter?

BUT:

- Older TV's have limited outputs / inputs. I'm not sure if you can put a newer DVD player on an older TV (haven't tried)
- I too have had converters frequently fail. I believe we've gone through 4 in 5 years.

MoneyCat

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Re: Digital converter or new TV?
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2015, 12:00:13 PM »
Why not just get an iView 3500stbii off Amazon.  Then you could convert to digital and have DVR function (as long as you have an old external USB hard drive lying around.)  I got one for about $35.  That's a lot cheaper than getting a new TV and provides more functionality.

eyePod

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Re: Digital converter or new TV?
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2015, 12:11:14 PM »
How are your finances? Do you have a lot of debt? Frugal doesn't' equal cheap. I've spent $100 on a great meal and still didn't regret it. $100 for an upgrade, more energy efficient, etc. isn't crazy at all assuming you have the money. Not sure where the guilt's coming from.

JoJo

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Re: Digital converter or new TV?
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2015, 12:13:49 PM »
Where are you?  I could give you a free digital converter in the Seattle area  (i upgraded to LED this year).

Argyle

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Re: Digital converter or new TV?
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2015, 12:20:44 PM »
I have no debt, but I'm on a quest to cut spending to a minimum (from an already low level) so that I can afford some rather spendy house repairs without cutting into my savings rate. 

I'm in Oregon -- would love your digital converter, JoJo, except you'd have to send it so that I'd get it by Saturday, because of the Oscars.  (I'll pay postage!)

JoJo

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Re: Digital converter or new TV?
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2015, 12:26:20 PM »
Dang it, I was just in Oregon this weekend.

coast2coast

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Re: Digital converter or new TV?
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2015, 07:20:08 PM »
Just another idea if you have a sufficiently large laptop screen or an external monitor would be a USB TV tuner:

http://www.amazon.com/Diamond-TVW750USB-ATI-Theater-Tuner/dp/B002UOUQ08/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top/189-0930765-4571111

I picked one up last fall for about $25 on eBay and use it as needed for broadcast, over-the-air television such as sporting events or, in your case, the Academy Awards.  Plus, you can stash it away in a drawer when not in use and not have an ugly black box in your living room.