Clear viewing: Digital TVs
feature beautifully sharp
images, re-creating the
theater experience at home.
LCDs produce extremely clear, lifelike pictures,
have no parts to wear out and make great computer
screens. (Look for LCD TVs from Sony, Panasonic,
Samsung, Philips and others in Costco warehouses
and at costco.com.)
Think big, think plasma
Plasma dominates the 42- to 50-inch monitor
market. Instead of liquid crystals, this wide-screen
TV has tiny plasma gas cells that light up when electrically charged to display images.
A plasma screen also measures less than 5 inches
thick and can be mounted on a wall. It offers a bright,
detailed picture and a wide color range. Watching
fast-moving objects such as a chase scene or sports on
plasma is mind-blowing, but if you are in the habit of
leaving your favorite digital photo up on the screen
for an extended length of time, be forewarned:
Images can burn permanently into the screen.
Plasmas also generate heat, so provide
adequate breathing room. And it’s a good
idea to invest in a power-surge protector to
protect your investment. (Costco and
costco.com have large selections from
Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer and Vizio.)
available at Costco
BEFORE BUYING OUR LCD HDTV from
Costco, my husband and I comparison-shopped the cost of installing a flat-screen
TV on our bedroom wall. Here’s what we
Reputable national retailer: Installation
starts at $750 and covers hanging the
screen on a bracket, which the consumer
must provide, and hiding the cable wire.
Second retailer: Same program costs
$499 for screens 30 inches or larger and
$399 for smaller versions.
Costco.com: Professional flat-panel
installation (item #895845) with all of the
features listed above for $349.99. Wall
mounts are also available on costco.com.
(This service is currently not available
in Arizona, Delaware, New York, Oregon,
Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and
Micro display, macro enjoyment Other factors to consider
Another option in large flat-screen A new option worth considering is a TV with
sets is rear-projection wide-screen dig- high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI)
ital television, also called HD micro input. This invention does away with the plethora of
display TV because microchip technol- wires associated with most setups. Instead, all audio
ogy is used. “Micro display” is the industry and video connections are combined into one cable.
term for DLP™ and LCD rear-projection Of course, all components must be HDMI compat-TVs. These come in the 42- to 62-inch ible. ( Costco.com sells the necessary HDMI cable.)
size range. They are 30 percent slim- Geoff offers one more bit of critical advice:
mer and 50 percent lighter than tra- Once you have your new HDTV, you must make
ditional projection televisions, have sure that you can receive a high-definition signal to
no burn-in issues, use a replace- take full advantage of all the new programming
able bulb and cost less than being broadcast these days. This means contacting
plasma when compared to your cable or satellite provider for an upgrade to
similar screen sizes. They HDprogramming.
typically can’t hang on a “The new TV technology is made to shine with
wall. (Brands at Costco high-definition content,” says Geoff. “You’re not get-include Sony, Panasonic, ting the full beauty of the system unless you are
Samsung and Toshiba.) watching HD programming.”
Perhaps you’re won-
Tuning in to value dering if I have jumped into
the digital-TV world, and
IN RESEARCHING TVS, I found that the market- the answer is a resounding
place is extremely competitive. Costco’s value yes. The difference between
proposition is to offer TVs at a very competitive price, analog and digital televi-
along with added accessories. Here’s an example: sion is truly astonishing.
And thanks to Costco, the
50" Sony LCD rear-projection TV process was easy.
Suggested retail: $2,499 There is, however, one
Stand: $349.99 little issue that nobody
Costco price, including stand: $2,399 warned me about. Prying
Plus, I know that with Costco my satisfaction is 100 the remote out of the
percent guaranteed. That’s a clear value in my book.—PV hubby’s hand is now a near
impossible task. C