That is a large TV.

First, some background: the TV we’ve had in our apartment for the last 5 years or so, has been the very same TV that my parents purchased for the Mastrippolito living room back in 1984. When I was 5 years old. When they were still married. Twenty-three years ago.

It’s a 1984 RCA 27″ Colortrak, a highly regarded TV from that era. It featured dual composite inputs for video, and a single set of stereo composite inputs for audio, as well as the obligatory coaxial input. That’s it. Though, it also had some interesting features, like auto brightness adjustment via a sensor-eye on the front, and some screw-dials on the back for adjusting picture settings like v-hold and stuff.

I watched Transformers on it. G.I. Joe. Mister Rogers. etc. We’ve played hundreds of thousands of NES games through it. Watched a ton of VHS tapes. Mom and Dad were the first people in our community to own a VCR and a VHS camcorder, thus we recorded and watched gads of videos on that setup.

The TV has been struck by lightning, more than once, with almost no surge protection. The net effect of these voltage overages is that the upper left corner has a slight purple tinge to it. It’s only really noticeable against certain background colors, and certainly livable.

It survived a household with two scrapping boys, who constantly jumped on the furniture and threw things and were unruly in general. To this day, every time I get up from the couch, I can hear the chassis on the TV creak because of the shifted weight on the floor.

At any rate, the TV, which is now 23 years old, is finally giving up the ghost. The past two or three months have been especially bad, with constant popping and crackling, weird color shifts that correct themselves after a moment or two, and sometimes while watching DVD’s the screen occasionally goes entirely blank.

I’m a pretty sentimental person, and like I’ve said, this thing has been around for most of my life. So I’m a little sad to see it go.

However,

Now that we need a TV, I’ve spent the past month or so researching a suitable replacement. I can say that TV’s have come a long way since 1984.

I talked it over with Meg, and despite her initial hesitation, we’ve agreed that not only is it time for a new TV, but it’s time for a big, new, fancy, shiny TV. An HDTV, to be exact.

So, today, about an hour ago, I pulled the trigger and ordered a Toshiba Regza 42″ 16:9 LCD HDTV with built-in ATSC tuner. It has three built-in HDMI ports, and displays at 480i through 720p. I was a little wary of going lower than 1080, but I don’t think we’re going to be able to tell the difference on anything smaller than a 50″ set. It has a full complement of inputs in addition to the HDMI jacks, including 2 video component inputs, a VGA 15 pin D-Sub for use with a PC, S-video and RF inputs. Oh yeah, and on the side, it has additional composite inputs. It’s got composite audio out, as well as optical out.

It’ll be here in a few days. Very psyched.

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