Author Topic: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?  (Read 4855 times)

ReadySetMillionaire

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Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« on: August 25, 2015, 08:06:10 AM »
I currently have a 42 inch Samsung HDTV. It is 720p and about eight years old, but works perfectly fine. The picture is decent HD, but newer 1080p TV's make mine look pretty arcane.

My twin brother, however, is moving into a new apartment and is finally going to buy a new TV. I asked him on a whim if he wanted to buy mine, and he said yes. We agreed to a price of $175 (but if I rescinded, he wouldn't be too upset).

So now I'm in the market for a new TV, and this seems to be tremendous bang for my buck: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/samsung-48-class-47-6-diag--led-1080p-smart-hdtv-black/8274303.p?id=1219690430613&skuId=8274303

It's $528 (after tax). Subtract my brother buying my old TV and it's $353. I'm also going to buy gift cards before and obtain fuel perks, and these perks will be enough to give me a free tank of gas. So subtract $25 and it's $328. I was also going to buy a Chromecast to stream internet video apps to my TV, but because this TV is a "smart TV," I don't need one. So subtract $40 and I'm at $288 for a brand new, bigger, and much higher quality TV.

Full disclosure, just typing that paragraph makes me feel weird. I'm well aware that I'm rationalizing an expensive purchase that I don't currently need. The above paragraph actually reads like something my older brother (I've had a couple threads about him) would say in rationalizing a stupid purchase.

That said, (a) my TV is eight years old, (b) my GF and I use our TV a lot (usually watch an episode of something to unwind at night, and both of us really enjoy sports), and (c) most importantly, I'm disciplined enough with my money that this is not that expensive of a purchase for me.

So, am I rationalizing an unnecessary purchase, or is this something I'm allowed to treat myself to given that I'm being responsible in the remaining 99% of my financial life?
« Last Edit: August 25, 2015, 08:21:55 AM by ReadySetMillionaire »

MayDay

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2015, 08:10:17 AM »
We got a similar deal 2 years ago.  In our case we hardly watch it, so in retrospect it was a waste.  I wouldn't buy one again.  Also the thing is giant and fragile, so a big pain to move.

We found a BB deal and price matched on Amazon so we didn't pay taxes.  Amazon has since built a facility in our state so now we do pay taxes, though. 

You know keeping the old one until it dies is the better choice, but I guess you already sold it to your brother, so....

Rosy

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2015, 08:18:20 AM »
So, am I rationalizing an unnecessary purchase, or is this something I'm allowed to treat myself to given that I'm being responsible in the remaining 99% of my financial life?

Go for it!

RWD

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2015, 08:29:55 AM »
Doesn't seem terrible. You might be able to find a slightly cheaper TV too.

Lis

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2015, 08:36:18 AM »
FYI - I just bought a Chromecast on Amazon for $30, so knock another $10 bucks off and you're set :) Honestly, if you've shopped around and found the best deal for the tv you want, then go for it.

dcheesi

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2015, 08:38:57 AM »
How far away are you sitting from the TV? If it's more than about 8 feet, then you're really not missing much with a 720p set. See this chart for approximate viewing distance vs. resolution recommendations:

http://s3.carltonbale.com/resolution_chart.html

(Note: the attached article talks about a projector-based dedicated home theatre setup, which is way more than you need for casual TV/Netflix viewing!)

JLee

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2015, 08:59:53 AM »
$175 for a 42" 720P set is a really good price for you to get - you can get new no-name 42" 1080P's in the ~$200 neighborhood on sale. I would keep an eye on Slickdeals.net and see what comes up for TVs - about a year ago I got a refurbished LG 60" 120hz 1080P for ~$600. I sold my 42" 1080P for..I think $150 (maybe $100, my memory is fuzzy).

dcheesi

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2015, 09:09:13 AM »
Another thing, I'm personally not a fan of "smart TVs". For one thing they tend to have poorer support for updates and new applications compared to the name-brand box/stick devices (Chromecast, Fire, Roku, etc.). Also, if the TV breaks, then you're out a screen *and* a streaming device. I'll take "smart" if it doesn't cost me any more, but I wouldn't put a premium on it.

Kris

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2015, 09:19:11 AM »


So, am I rationalizing an unnecessary purchase, or is this something I'm allowed to treat myself to given that I'm being responsible in the remaining 99% of my financial life?

Yes and yes.  I mean, hey, almost everything that we buy beyond the bare minimum is an "unnecessary purchase."  Do you have more than two pairs of pants?  Do you have more than one pair of shoes?  The rest of them are unnecessary.  Did your old TV still work? Then yes, this one is an unnecessary purchase.

But yes, you are being responsible in the remaining 99% of your life.  And no one ever said that you aren't allowed to buy things that give you pleasure.  My husband bought a newer smart TV for us a couple of years ago.  He rationalized it by saying that his daughter "needed" a TV so he gave her our old flat-screen.  Did I think it was silly? Yes.  But I buy things that he would think are silly.  And bottom line -- it didn't hurt our bottom line.  ;)

ender

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2015, 09:42:41 AM »
Just buy the damn TV...

neo von retorch

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2015, 09:46:58 AM »
Do it. I'm awful at this. I bought a ~35" CRT for ~$600 right before flat screens came out. I bought a 47" for ~$1500 six years later, a little before they became really popular and the prices dropped. Then six years later I bought a 55" LED for ~$1500 right before they really became popular and dropped to like $600... my TV is very pretty but geez, I'm bad at getting deals on them. Enjoy your smart moves and enjoy the TV, but not too much ;)

AZDude

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2015, 09:50:42 AM »

You are over rationalizing it. Its just a TV. As long as you have a healthy savings rate, no debt, and are not financing the purchase, does it really matter?

ketchup

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2015, 09:54:25 AM »
Adam Sandler isn't any funnier in 1080p than he is in 720p (yet he still makes millions for "acting" and "writing"...). 

I used to care a lot about audio/video quality in my pre-mustachian days (waaay more than the average consumer, but luckily I never had enough money to do anything *really* stupid about it), but these days I've realized that it just doesn't matter.  My girlfriend and I just moved into our own house a few months ago, and discovered that we're OK with watching an occasional show or movie on Netflix on a 24" computer monitor (granted, a ridiculously nice 4K computer monitor because my girlfriend is a photographer by trade) with us sitting on the floor together across the room, no TV (or couch) needed.  Before we moved, we would occasionally use our roommate's 42" 1080p TV.

I don't ever think "I would enjoy this movie more if it were on a bigger screen." I won't look back at my life in 10 years and think we were missing out.  Sometimes I do think "I would enjoy this movie more if it were a more enjoyable movie." but that's an entirely different kind of flying problem altogether.

JLee

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2015, 10:30:37 AM »
Adam Sandler isn't any funnier in 1080p than he is in 720p (yet he still makes millions for "acting" and "writing"...). 

I used to care a lot about audio/video quality in my pre-mustachian days (waaay more than the average consumer, but luckily I never had enough money to do anything *really* stupid about it), but these days I've realized that it just doesn't matter.  My girlfriend and I just moved into our own house a few months ago, and discovered that we're OK with watching an occasional show or movie on Netflix on a 24" computer monitor (granted, a ridiculously nice 4K computer monitor because my girlfriend is a photographer by trade) with us sitting on the floor together across the room, no TV (or couch) needed.  Before we moved, we would occasionally use our roommate's 42" 1080p TV.

I don't ever think "I would enjoy this movie more if it were on a bigger screen." I won't look back at my life in 10 years and think we were missing out.  Sometimes I do think "I would enjoy this movie more if it were a more enjoyable movie." but that's an entirely different kind of flying problem altogether.

For the last ~3 months, I've been away from my house and relegated to a laptop (or 28" monitor if I move it off my work desk) for Netflix/etc. It bothered me at first but I slowly got used to it. Sound, on the other hand, is a different topic for me - I have a massive appreciation for quality sound and it makes laptop speakers difficult for me to use and thoroughly enjoy.  I've worked around that by buying a decent set of headphones for music/movies if I'm not with my gf. :)

ketchup

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2015, 02:34:33 PM »
Adam Sandler isn't any funnier in 1080p than he is in 720p (yet he still makes millions for "acting" and "writing"...). 

I used to care a lot about audio/video quality in my pre-mustachian days (waaay more than the average consumer, but luckily I never had enough money to do anything *really* stupid about it), but these days I've realized that it just doesn't matter.  My girlfriend and I just moved into our own house a few months ago, and discovered that we're OK with watching an occasional show or movie on Netflix on a 24" computer monitor (granted, a ridiculously nice 4K computer monitor because my girlfriend is a photographer by trade) with us sitting on the floor together across the room, no TV (or couch) needed.  Before we moved, we would occasionally use our roommate's 42" 1080p TV.

I don't ever think "I would enjoy this movie more if it were on a bigger screen." I won't look back at my life in 10 years and think we were missing out.  Sometimes I do think "I would enjoy this movie more if it were a more enjoyable movie." but that's an entirely different kind of flying problem altogether.

For the last ~3 months, I've been away from my house and relegated to a laptop (or 28" monitor if I move it off my work desk) for Netflix/etc. It bothered me at first but I slowly got used to it. Sound, on the other hand, is a different topic for me - I have a massive appreciation for quality sound and it makes laptop speakers difficult for me to use and thoroughly enjoy.  I've worked around that by buying a decent set of headphones for music/movies if I'm not with my gf. :)
I actually do agree with that.  I have a semi-decent (~$60 in 2009) 2.1 Logitech speaker setup at our desktop computer.  I far prefer that coupled with a 24" fancy-pants monitor to the 42" 1080p we used to use that had absolutely horrid internal speakers (they'd buzz like they were clipping if there was much more than a whisper going on on-screen).  As far as headphones go, I have a pair of Sony MDR-V6 headphones that I use on occasion for travel etc.  Got them for $40 from a friend a few years back that refurbed them with new ear pads.  So, I suppose for me the bar is set slightly higher for audio than video.  Although, I feel like in recent years, almost every TV/monitor is "good enough" while that's definitely not true for audio (plenty of it is distractingly-bad).

pk_aeryn

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2015, 10:34:09 PM »
Check Craigslist first.

Also keep in mind that for 1080p to look amazing, you need a high quality video source.  Cable or Netflix compress everything.  Those compression artifacts are just going to look more obvious.  Chances are your 720p is just as good.

Also new TVs break way more than older ones do-- I think the parts are more delicate, especially with everyone trying to make them as slim as possible.

SunshineGirl

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2015, 10:36:20 AM »
I second the idea of considering passing on a smart TV and instead getting a Roku to hook up. The updates on smart TVs can get really annoying, and most people only use Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, which the Roku has. I have a smart TV and a non-smart TV and will be getting only non-smart TVs in the future solely because of the updating issue, which is not only annoying but quirky, too.

I think the TV itself is a fine purchase.

JLee

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2015, 11:39:45 AM »
I second the idea of considering passing on a smart TV and instead getting a Roku to hook up. The updates on smart TVs can get really annoying, and most people only use Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, which the Roku has. I have a smart TV and a non-smart TV and will be getting only non-smart TVs in the future solely because of the updating issue, which is not only annoying but quirky, too.

I think the TV itself is a fine purchase.

I don't care if a TV has the smart features - but they are wholly irrelevant when I'm shopping. I use a Chromecast for just about everything, so smart features just don't get used at all. Unless it costs me extra to have them, it doesn't bother me to have them there (unused).

KittyCat

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2015, 11:54:44 AM »
I don't care if a TV has the smart features - but they are wholly irrelevant when I'm shopping. I use a Chromecast for just about everything, so smart features just don't get used at all. Unless it costs me extra to have them, it doesn't bother me to have them there (unused).
Pretty much this. Don't avoid a set because it has smart features; just look at the price, size, and picture quality.

Jakejake

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2015, 12:05:45 PM »
We have a couple smart tvs. I F'ing HATE our samsung! It routes everything through a samsung server, so it's ridiculously common that the other tvs work just fine, but whatever we want to watch on that one just craps out. Also, between the two of us (one being an electrical engineer/genius) we can't figure out how to get one of our regular channels to come in - even though it came in fine up until last month.

http://www.cnet.com/forums/discussions/smart-hub-servers-are-down-587529/

hodedofome

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2015, 12:28:18 PM »
I have a 50" Samsung 720p Plasma. I have no temptation to upgrade to an LCD. I can't stand LCD and how it handles motion. Deal breaker for me. When I upgrade, it will be to OLED, a noticeable improvement to plasma. Plasma always had better picture quality than LCD, and was cheaper, but I think because it couldn't be made thin that the industry went with LCD. Anyways, OLED takes the best of both LCD (power consumption, thinness, brightness) and plasma (color, black levels, motion, viewing angle) and puts it all in one. However, it's too expensive. I'll wait until the price comes down.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2015, 02:30:02 PM by hodedofome »

KittyCat

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2015, 12:45:41 PM »
I have a 50" Samsung 720p Plasma. I have no temptation to upgrade to an LCD. I can't stand LCD and how it handles motion. Deal breaker for me. When I upgrade, it will be to OLED, a noticeable improvement to plasma. Plasma always had better picture quality than LCD, and was cheaper, but I think because it couldn't be made thin that the industry went with LCD. Anyways, OLED takes the best of both LCD (power consumption, thinness, brightness) and plasma (color, black levels, motion) and puts it all in one. However, it's too expensive. I'll wait until the price comes down.
I think part of the plasma decline has to due with the stigma surrounding older sets. Heat-produing, power-sucking, burn-in issues, etc... Granted, these are no longer issues that concern the plasma TVs made recently, but the stigma still surrounds them which leads to misinformation.

hodedofome

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2015, 02:29:07 PM »
I think part of the plasma decline has to due with the stigma surrounding older sets. Heat-produing, power-sucking, burn-in issues, etc... Granted, these are no longer issues that concern the plasma TVs made recently, but the stigma still surrounds them which leads to misinformation.

For sure, plasma had a bad deal there for a while.

KittyCat

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2015, 02:40:22 PM »
For sure, plasma had a bad deal there for a while.
If I were to buy a TV today, plasma would be my second choice. I am particularly fond of IPS since I prefer "natural" colors over saturation. With all the large players having left plasma, it's all but dead now, unfortunately.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Am I Over-Rationalizing Buying a New TV?
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2015, 07:21:03 PM »
Buy the damn TV if you really want it, but I do agree with the nitpicks here:

1. For your usage (live sports and an "episode of something") I don't think you'll see a visible upgrade in picture quality. If you were watching lots of Bluray movies, playing games, etc then yes the upgrade would be rather noticeable.

2. Everything I've read about smart TVs suggest the smart features are close to worthless compared to something like a Chromecast or Roku.