Is Big W deliberately trying to discourage people buying TVs from them?

Spotted in Big W:
TVs in Big W

Spotted in JB Hifi:
TVs in JB Hifi

The key difference seems to be that the JB Hifi people know how to set up their TVs.

The Big W people don’t know, or don’t care, that on almost all of the TVs they have on display, the colour is completely distorted.

If you can’t see a display product working properly, why would you buy it there?

Proof that you can get a big-screen TV home by public transport

Proof that you (with the help of a friend, at least) don’t need a car to take a big-screen TV home… at least not since the advent of flatscreens.

Taking a TV home on the bus

Panasonic, 50 inch. Appears to have been bought at JB Hifi (which is nearby). Note the lady with her Metcard ready. They caught a 908 bus.

(No, this is not what they were talking about when it was flagged there’d soon be video ads on buses.)

New television?

I’ve been thinking for a while about updating my television (a 68cm Loewe CRT, non-widescreen, analogue) to a shiny new digital number.

People who know more about this stuff than I suggested I look at Samsung’s offerings. I know I’ve had two Samsung computer monitors for years which haven’t missed a blip, so I took a look.

In the shops, anything smaller than about 102cm (40 inches) looks tiny against all the massive sets on display. But I know that in a relatively small livingroom, 81cm (32 inches) should do nicely, though I wasn’t sure if that would still be bigger than the old TV for 4:3 programmes. Some quick calculations involving Pythagorus seemed to establish that it would be.

Will an 81cm 16:9 TV be bigger than a 68cm 4:3 TV for 4:3 programs? Yes.

Samsung’s Series 6 look pretty good. Full HD, 100 Mhz, play media from USB, Internet access, including Youtube and ABC iView (soon). Enough sockets that I’ll be able to plug everything in (and have spares).

RRP for 81 cm is $1049. Gulp.

But the street price? Seemed to be around $800-900 depending on where you look. $750ish from some online place I’ve never heard of before. Hmmm. Maybe later this year I’d have enough shekels saved up?

Then yesterday in Retravision I spotted it the $699. Oooooh.

Tempting, very tempting.

To coin a phrase, stay tuned.

Update 11am: I got it. The good thing about buying a non-huge TV is I get to take it straight home in the car. Have set it up, but will need to get some new component/HDMI cables for things, and still figuring out the menus. Looks good though; the cricket looks glorious on it.

New TV

Update 12:45pm. DVDs (using some old RCA cables to hook up my old Pioneer DV-344 via Component) look utterly fantastic. Wii less so… but that’s still using composite cables. USB playback works well, and looks good. Still figuring out the menus.

Update Thursday 8am. Figured out how to get it to ignore duplicate channels. Still wondering if there’s a way to get it to display programme information each time you switch to a new channel, as the STB did, and other TVs do. Also hooked it up to the PC (not ideal, but still tweaking settings) and ordered a cheapie Wii Component cable off eBay for $8 (after seeing them for $40-48 in the city yesterday).

Update Thursday 3:20pm. Seems I’ve found something not to like about this TV: most Set Top Boxes and digital TVs will automatically show you the programme information when changing channels. This one doesn’t, and it appears there is no way to set this option on… one has to manually press the INFO button, or use the GUIDE.

On the television

Sometimes there’s just doom and gloom on the television.

On the television

Of course, it’d be better if working televisions were put on FreeCycle (so someone can use them, rather than them just getting damaged by rain).


I would love a new TV, but can’t afford it. That is, the cost/benefit ratio isn’t there to replace my 68cm Loewe CRT television just yet. So while I’d love to get a high-definition flat screen with digital tuner, the prices will have to drop a bit more before that becomes viable, especially with the looming cost of braces.

Comparing sizes with friends’ TVs, I’m pretty sure I’d want nothing too big — a 32 inch/80 cm screen would fit nicely (without dominating my relatively small livingroom), and some work with a measuring tape and Pythagoras’ theorim verified that even for watching old 4:3 material, that would be bigger than the Loewe.

Three-dimensional TV is the big hyped thing now. I can’t judge if it’s good or bad, because it doesn’t work on me — the consequence of having one (almost) blind eye. So while others rave about it (or otherwise), I can only take their word for it.

But I wonder if the current hype will last, and will lots of people buy it? If so, will those dowdy old two-dimensional screens drop rapidly in price (the way CRTs did), so before too long I can get a decent one off the nature strip?

CRT televisions dumped on the nature strip

I feel a little silly for having bought a CRT in 2002 for $1400 that’s now essentially worth nothing, but on the other hand, how would you feel if you’d bought a plasma TV back then for $10,000 that could be bought now for $1000?

Interestingly, Loewe have a deal on at moment: rebates for CRT owners who buy a new flat screen. Excellent! I could get a new TV without having to sort out where the old one would go to, and without the guilt of throwing it away!

Alas, to get such a rebate involves buying a new TV costing $2999. And that’s the discounted price, after the $1000 rebate. Ouch. Not going to happen.

That’s okay. Ultimately, I don’t even need a new TV. The old one still works. Unfortunately.