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Merry Xmas to Me!

November 26th, 2009 · 1 Comment · Personal

Every year around Thanksgiving/Xmas I buy myself something extravagant – and don’t deny that you don’t do it either. It’s my way of blowing any leftover money I may have at the end of the year and also congratulating myself for both making it to the end of the year in one piece and having extra money to spend on myself. It’s a good thing all around. So really the one major thing that’s been missing in my room is a high-def TV. It really didn’t matter a whole lot until I bought a PS3 early last year and actually had a means of displaying hi-def content. Before that, my simple 17″ CRT monitor hooked into a Viewsonic NextVision N5 was more than enough to play my PS2, N64 and GameCube on.

So I decided this year I was going to get am HDTV, because I was tired of having to go downstairs to use the family one. That’s not to say I hated getting up and going downstairs, but there was also the fact that it was the family TV, which meant it was shared. When I get a gaming urge dammit I want to play! So I started the online search, tuning especially into Black Friday deals. I quickly ruled out LED TVs as too pricey – if I could I wanted to stay below $1k. LCD was the current middle-grounder in terms of price, and plasma was the old cheap tech, but still had some advantages over LCD. I made sure I knew what I was doing by going through some of the posts over at HD Guru.

Once I narrowed it down to an LCD or plasma, I need to know what size to shoot for. A quick measure of the space from my closet door to my desk revealed that I couldn’t fit anything larger than a 39″ without wall mounting it (and wall mounting was never an option for me). This kind of bummed me for a bit, as the family TV is 42″ and I really didn’t want to go smaller. Then I had one of those crazy yet awesome ideas pop into my head an realized I could simply chop off a few inches from my desk to make more room. The portion of my desk I would be cutting has none of those pre-fabbed screw holes, just old-fashioned screws, so re-attaching it after chopping off a few inches would not be a problem. With that option, I could go as high as 50″!

As Black Friday drew near I kept my eyes out for the deals. I had never seriously participated in a Black Friday sale before, so I figured it would be an interesting experience, having to camp out during the night to get at the front of the line, trying not to be trampled to death by a mob of customers, hoping I didn’t get the last item and someone would try to steal it from me… you know, all that good stuff. So eventually I narrowed down my choices to two – this was made considerably easier since I decided to stick only with Samsung-brand TVs. I have 3 Samsung monitors and they all rock. My two options were from Best Buy, a 50″ plasma and a 46″ LCD. Both were 1080p.

I visited the store to check them out in person, both looked excellent. But the deciding factor came when I confirmed that the plasma did not have any composite inputs. I just wasn’t willing to bother with the hassle of buying a composite-to-component converter for all my older systems. This did nag at me a bit, since plasma does have nice picture quality and it was 4″ larger, but then another deciding factor came about: while I was surfing to double check one last time that the LCD had composite inputs and saw that an early Black Friday online sale had started, knocking another $50 off the price of my LCD. Well, as much as I was looking forward to experiencing Black Friday in person, I wasn’t that excited about it. So I bought the TV online and picked it up at the store an hour later, two days before Black Friday… for $50 less.

The stand I purchased was also on sale too and only cost $130 instead of $199. In total my purchase was $992.94 – so even with a stand I was able to stay just under $1K, and I get Best Buy reward points on the purchase as well. Happy days!

Of course as soon as I got home I began tearing apart my room to get it all set up. First came the stand assembly:

After that it was time to take off the one side of my desk and see just how much I would need to chop off. My measurements had calculated that 7″ needed to go, and once I positioned everything and checked, it was correct. Unfortunately while a hacksaw was making quick work of the wood, I forgot that you can’t really hacksaw through boards 🙁 So I actually have to wait until tomorrow when I can go to my grandfather’s house to use his table saw. But i managed to prop things up in a simulacrum of what my desk will actually look like when shortened (hence the board underneath it in the photo) and installed the TV and all my appliances:

Then I remembered that I have controllers and games and movies to think of, and I also didn’t like all that unused space at the top of the stand (tho it does make a great footrest) so I decided to move my PS3 up on top to give room below for games and movies. So here’s the final setup:

Okay, enough blogging. I need to go watch movies and play games. See ya!!

Oh and happy Thanksgiving 😛

Finally (I swear) my next step is to install hardwood floors. I don’t intend to wait until next holiday season either

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