I’m standing at the back of Best Buy, staring at the wall of flat screens. I’m trying to compare the images from two TV’s in particular. My eyes dart back and forth between the screens, carefully studying every detail. To everyone else in the store, I probably look like a real idiot.
“By the end of the year, I will have a HD TV!” I proclaimed a few months ago. Surprisingly, I’ve been late to the whole HD game and had decided I was long overdue to plunge headfirst into twenty-first century TV technology. This declaration was met with a “meh” from WonderWife™.
“I promise you, you’re going to love this. It’s going to be just like when I got us Tivo,” I told her.
WW™ rolled her eyes, “Whatever, dude.”
Okay, so I was on my own. Bringing my plan to fruition was going to cost money and time. The money part was being taken care of, since I had been squirreling away funds for this endeavor for a while. But I am a geek and when buying a new gadget, I must research. If the purchase is consummation, than the research is foreplay. Much like foreplay, there is a lot of planning involved. Tactics. Strategy. The internet must be scoured for information. Brands compared. Customer reviews from Amazon, Price Grabber and Consumer Reports are cross-referenced. For when I buy a new gadget, I want to make sure I know what is the best.
But alas, I cannot always have the best because the best costs a lot of money. Even if we weren’t in these tough economic times, I’ve got a family to support. As much as I want to be ahead of the technological curve, concessions have to be made. Which is why I spent the greater part of 20 minutes ping-ponging between two TV sets during my lunch break.
Every review I read told me that set #1 had the better picture. But set #1 costs $300 more than set #2. Best Buy had both sets displayed side by side. I sat there, scrutinizing the images on each TV. I couldn’t really detect a difference. After a few minutes, I thought that the picture on the more expensive set was slightly better…maybe. But is it a $300 difference? If somebody switched the tags on the TVs, would I even be able to tell them apart? Wait…by even having this inner monologue, am I betraying my self-proclaimed geekboy status? Shouldn’t I automatically get the best piece of tech that I can? It wasn’t long before self-doubt set in, threatening to turn this otherwise happy jaunt to the electronics store into an existential crisis.
Thankfully, the answer hit me before I worked myself into a shame spiral. It’s so simple. Use the money saved by getting the cheaper TV to buy a soundbar. Problem solved. Sure it’s not the best TV, but I will have the latest innovations in stereo sound. Yes, I’m still very much a geek.