Monday, September 2, 2013

More Technology Woes, With a Happy Ending

After nearly a month of computer and technology woes at Greenlee Gazette, Greenlee Graphics (my home business) and at my work-a-day job as well, you'd think I'd get to breathe a little sigh of relief, and get back to ordinary life, no more dabbling in "new" electronic doohickies and whatnot, right?

But I'm destined to always have to be upgrading and then problem solving, it would seem. The problem was straightforward: my 2007 flat-panel Toshiba HDTV/DVD combo player died. It's my office TV, and it gets a lot of use, not just because I'm at my computer too often, but because The Other Half is so often to bed so early, for work. I get stuck in my office frequently. But solving the problem isn't quite so easily solved as you would think.

It's beginning to look a bit like Mission Control in here! Now, to add another video card to the computer, and
run another cable to the TV, and. . . .
I wanted the DVD built in, because that's the way I've been doing things for my last two (yes, I've had two previous flat-panel TVs, can you believe time flies that fast?) set-ups, and was thinking small. I did the research, narrowed my search down to an RCA 24" model at Fry's. I should mention that I was replacing a 19" set that had an enormous bezel on it, so a 24" takes up about the same space. Anyway, the RCA was the best pick out of a small pool  of options, and it was $169.99 on Fry's website. So, I decided to go get one on Sunday.
Not recommended:
Just trust me.

Surprise, surprise, they had plenty of them, but they were $219.99. Up $50 overnight! But it was really all they had to choose from, so I bought it. I assembled it, plugged it in, and. . .I was underwhelmed to say the least. The screen was clearly pixelated, especially up close, and the sound was atrocious. I mean, so bad that it was a real deal-breaker. I tried plugging in some USB speakers that came with my computer, and it was an improvement, but only barely. It had to go back, or I would have been very disappointed. Too bad I packed it up, and forgot the three screws to the base, and that The Other Half had to drive them to the store for me while I waited! Anyway. . .

Insignia NS-24E400NA14
Sure, just a store brand, but good!
After taking the RCA back to Fry's, I headed to Best Buy, a place that feels oddly out-of-time. I'm wondering how much time they have left, just a gut feeling. But they had a 24" HDTV/DVD combo, by their in-house brand, Insignia. It looked good. It sounded good. And it was $189.99. Cool, I'll take it! And then the salesman dude sold me the wrong set. And here I thought the $139.99 price was an unexpected Labor Day discount*. I'd already been rung up, and would have had to wait in line at customer service, and said to myself, screw it. I put it in the car, drove down to Sam's Club, and bought a Samsung Blu-Ray wifi player for $79.99.

Also a good buy: Samsung Blu-ray Player

Long story short (I know, too late), I'm now setup with blu-ray on a really nice 24" set in my office. Though I don't need Netflix or YouTube on my TV (I have a second monitor on my computer) in my office, I now can. The sound is good, the picture is great (Family Guy was alarmingly clear and bright), and the player is small enough that it's not a problem. The best part: I came in about $9 less than the crappy RCA cost me!

On to the next problem!

* As it turns out, it was a Labor Day sale, $40 off to be specific, so it was a good day indeed.


  1. Man, you have the worst luck electronics. Kind of like my luck with car repairs.
    Hope these work out and enjoy the TV.

  2. I think I've exhausted the things that can go wrong! I suppose one of the refrigerators or the washer and dryer could conk out, but I think I'm covered on the rest, at least for a little while.

    The great thing in this instance is that I ended up spending less money and getting more. How often does that happen?


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