Digital Crave

Alternatives to buying a new HDTV

View gallery


If you are looking to replace your old television it has become a given that you upgrade to a flat screen HDTV. Standard definition TVs are scarce – if not extinct – and most people believe HDTVs are their only option. This is not true.

While HDTVs are an increasingly practical choice, with prices and sizes for most every budget and living room, a smart consumer always looks for options. To help you, we offer these HDTV alternatives for your consideration.

High Definition Projectors
First, a story. Years ago I was tending bar in a Philadelphia restaurant called Zesty’s. The owner, a proud native of Greece and a tech enthusiast, discreetly set up a projector and screen at the bar. As dinner service began he’d screen aerial videos of the Greek Islands. The stunning white architecture popped in contrast to colorful fishing boats bobbing on the deep blue water. People would come in off the street to admire the breathtaking images. Then, of course, I’d offer them a drink and a menu and they’d stay for dinner. This was ten years ago. If a forward-thinking restaurant owner was able to draw people off the street with the technology available at the time, imagine how beautiful those images will be in your home on a new, high definition projector.

There are many reasons to consider a high definition projector, not the least of which is conservation of space. You can mount a projector on the ceiling or conceal it in a cabinet or shelf. If you have a white, matte wall for projection you’re all set. If not, you’ll need a screen that retracts when not in use. Before you dismiss projectors as an inferior technology – akin to the projectors you may remember from elementary school – think again. Just like an HDTV, a projector connects to your home theater system (cable/satellite, game console, and disc player). Projectors are known for their high performance in dark rooms, but the best models also perform well in bright rooms. You can even buy one that supports 3D, if that’s your thing.

Now that huge HDTVs have cracked the $1000 price point, you can expect the same of a high end projector. The BenQ W1070 has great picture quality and 3D playback that bests HDTVs at the same price point. In a long enough room the projector can display a 235-inch screen. Not too shabby for under a grand. If money is no object, check out the highly-rated Epson 5020, a first-rate projector with all the bells and whistles.

View gallery



Computer monitors
If you have a decent computer monitor you already have a high definition screen. As many college dorm inhabitants can tell you, a good monitor easily doubles as a TV.

You can watch cable/satellite programming, and also play your video game console and disc player with the proper connections. This may appeal to folks in small apartments or people who like to watch TV occasionally but don’t want to commit to an HDTV. A flat panel LCD monitor can go head to head with high end HDTVs, but a CRT or lesser monitor may also suffice as a television. Even inexpensive monitors come with VGA, DVI and HDMI connections that are easily accessible if you need to change inputs on the fly. If you’re running your signal through an HDMI cable, the picture will impress.

“When comparing an HDTV with a computer monitor in the same technology year the computer monitor has thus far always been capable of better picture quality,” said Billy Liu, an IT consultant in Rhode Island. The drawback here could be the audio, as the speakers in many monitors won’t shake the walls. However, if you’re considering this option you’re likely going to use it in a small space where this may not be an issue.

Check out the HP 2311xi 23" Widescreen LCD Monitor, a sharp monitor at a great price. (Starting at $200)

View gallery



As a recent episode of Parks and Recreation pointed out, many of us are comfortable watching movies and TV on the smallest screens possible. If you’re reading this article, chances are you've used your smartphone or tablet as a television substitute. In my opinion, smartphones are fine for watching goofy videos or for a quick episode of your favorite show while you wait for the bus. But I’m not going to settle in to watch The Godfather on my phone.

On the other hand, I’ll happily watch TV shows and movies on my laptop or tablet. As with computer monitors, these are decent options for people in tiny spaces or those who don’t care enough about TV to have one in their home. The screen resolution often rivals the best HDTVs and everyone likes a good multi-tasker. When you’re not using them for entertainment they revert back to their use as computers.

For a laptop, try the Sony Vaio E17 – a decent, reasonably priced laptop with a vivid 1080p screen. As for tablets, try the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 (starting at $668)– a nice tablet that’s also a laptop alternative.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Oops! She Did It Again — Britney Spears’s Bra Top Came Undone at Her Las Vegas Performance

      Whether she’s carrying a seven-foot boa constrictor seductively across a stage, giving us the height of millennial fashion in a coordinated denim gown with Justin Timberlake, or simply displaying her unparalleled ability to Google Image search corn, it seems the singer has got it all under control.

    • Doctors thought he just had jock itch. Then it spread.

      Late Friday afternoon on Dec. 4, 2014, Stephen Schroeder was waiting to board his packed flight from Philadelphia to Las Vegas for a much anticipated long weekend with his son when his cellphone rang. On the line was an unexpected caller: his doctor, reporting test results sooner than Schroeder had expected. Listening intently, Schroeder was flooded with disbelief as he struggled to comprehend what he was hearing. Using the lip of a trash can as a writing surface, he scribbled notes on the back of his boarding pass, making the doctor spell out each unfamiliar word. Then he sent a terse text to his wife, who was at their home in the Philadelphia suburbs, and got on the plane. Onboard, Schroeder,

      Washington Post q
    • A Redskins Coach Exposed His Wiener To Fans When He Whipped It Out To Pee On The Sideline

      One Redskins coach, however, decided to go full Nick Novak and pee on the sideline during Washington’s game on Sunday against Detroit. Ben Kotwica, Washington’s special teams coordinator, grabbed a cup, walked away from the action, and went to the bathroom. If you’d like to see the uncensored picture, Deadspin has your back.

    • Donald Trump just got some of his best polling news in weeks

      A CNN poll released on Monday showed Donald Trump trailing Hillary Clinton by five points...

      Business Insider
    • The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Is Losing Its Showrunner

      It can be hard to pinpoint what makes a late-night show work so well with audiences, but The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon seems to have cracked the code. Over the last few years, the series has become one of the most popular late-night offerings, consistently dominating in the ratings season after season. While much of this has to do with the charisma of the man in front of the camera, it's important to remember those behind the scenes as well. With that in mind, it now seems The Tonight Show has suffered a major loss, as showrunner Josh Lieb has officially left the series. After serving as the late-night series' showrunner for several years, Josh Lieb has decided to step down from The

    • Dear Abby: Should I report a baby with bruises?

      DEAR ABBY: I’m a 20-year-old college student and have had a job at the same retail store for two years. A few weeks ago, a mother walked in holding a baby that appeared to be about 6 months old. The first thing I noticed was that he had numerous bruises. There were pronounced bruises under both eyes, another large one on his temple, and several more visible on his arms and legs. I have heard horror stories about parents whose infants have a medical condition that causes them to bruise easily, but the parents are accused of child abuse. This mother seemed attentive to her baby, and I saw nothing in her behavior to make me think her child was in any danger. I didn’t say anything, but I keep wondering

      Chicago Sun-Times q
    • Ex-wife of former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle sues company

      The ex-wife of former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle is suing the restaurant chain for damages, saying the company received at least three reports indicating his sexual interest in children but failed to ...

      Associated Press
    • Dancing With the Stars Week 7 Recap: Did the Right Couple Go Home?

      We’ve reached Week 7 of Dancing With the Stars‘ 23rd season, and you know what that means: It’s become very clear which contestants stand a chance at the Mirrorball… and which ones, well, don’t. As the remaining couples performed iconic styles from different eras in history, a handful of duos proved exactly why they should be […]
    • Britney Spears Suffers Major Wardrobe Malfunction On Stage: Watch Her Dancers Rush to Help

      Watch Britney Spears handle the hiccup like a total boss.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • When the ‘love of your life’ is no longer interested in making love

      Carolyn Hax is on leave. This column originally ran March 18, 2013. Dear Carolyn: Although we’ve had sex before, my boyfriend of two years has zero interest in sex with me or anyone else. He just doesn’t feel the need (we used to have sex often, before the relationship was committed). This makes me feel unwanted, unloved and incredibly self-conscious and paranoid. He’s been to therapy (I am also in therapy), but his psychiatrist flat-out told him she didn’t know how to help him (!), so he stopped going. He turns down every other suggestion I make to try to overcome this issue, and talking about it leads to his anxiety and my tears. Yet, he says he loves me and he would spend the rest of his life

      Washington Post q
    • NFL morning after: The decline of Colin Kaepernick

      Colin Kaepernick is the NFL’s most significant player off the field, a player whose simple act of declining to stand during the national anthem has led to wide-ranging discussions across America about race, police brutality, free speech and the role of sport in society. That has been the subject of thousands of commentaries. But it’s…

      NBC Sports: ProFootballTalk q
    • 4 Reasons Why a Man Breaks Up With His Partner

      Wondering why a man breaks up with his partner? Here's why.

      The Cheat Sheet q
    • Mercedes-Benz teases its sleek pickup truck concept ahead of Swedish reveal

      The Mercedes-Benz pickup truck will be previewed by a concept to be unveiled in Stockholm, Sweden, on October 25. Developed with help from Nissan, the truck likely won't be sold in the U.S.

      Digital Trends
    • NCIS: LA: Eric Christian Olsen Reveals What's Next for Kensi and Deeks

      [Warning: This article contains major spoilers about Sunday's episode of NCIS: LA. Read at your own risk!] Densi fans can finally breathe a sigh of relief. At the end of Sunday's episode of NCIS: LA , Kensi (Daniela Ruah) finally woke up from her coma, with Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) by her side. ... Read More > Other Links From NCIS: Los Angeles Eric Christian Olsen Daniela Ruah This article, NCIS: LA : Eric Christian Olsen Reveals What's Next for Kensi and Deeks, originally appeared on

      TV Guide q
    • 13 Ultra-Comforting Potato Casseroles (14 photos)

      These hearty recipes need to be in your fall casserole rotation. From Delish

    • Nurse who survived Ebola settles with Texas hospital system

      DALLAS (AP) — A nurse who contracted Ebola two years ago while caring for the first person to be diagnosed in the U.S. with the deadly disease settled a lawsuit Monday against the parent company of the Dallas hospital where she worked.

      Associated Press
    • NBA Power Rankings: Week 1

      Jonas Nader takes a look at the first edition of the NBA Power Rankings on the eve of opening night.

    • A Royal rift as Princes Charles and Andrew row over Beatrice and Eugenie's taxpayer-funded duties

      The Queen is said to be at the centre of an extraordinary row within the Royal Family as her two eldest sons have come to blows over the futures of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie as taxpayer-funded working royals.

      International Business Times UK q
    • These twin brothers dancing in a supermarket are going viral and it’s cause they’re amazing

      Dancing in public is pretty much a regular activity for us. But when we discovered these twin brothers with amazing moves busting a…

      Hello Giggles