Digital Crave

Alternatives to buying a new HDTV

View gallery

.
www.hometheater.com

www.hometheater.com

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

.

c03327092

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

.

sony-vaio-e17-620-wide

Laptop/Tablet
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

    • Mark Zuckerberg is suing hundreds of Hawaiians to protect his 700-acre Kauai estate

      Mark Zuckerberg paid close to $100 million for 700 acres of beachfront property on the island of...

      Business Insider
    • Andrew Napolitano: Attorney General Loretta Lynch and a parting shot at personal freedom

      On Jan. 3, outgoing Attorney General Loretta Lynch secretly signed an order directing the National Security Agency -- America’s 60,000-person-strong domestic spying apparatus -- to make available raw spying data to all other federal intelligence agencies, which then can pass it on to their counterparts in foreign countries and in the 50 states upon request. She did so, she claimed, for administrative convenience. Yet in doing this, she violated basic constitutional principles that were erected centuries ago to prevent just what she did. Here is the back story. In the aftermath of former President Richard Nixon’s abusive utilization of the FBI and CIA to spy on his domestic political opponents

      Fox News q
    • 5 Weight-Loss Friendly Foods You Should Be Eating—But Aren't (6 photos)

      Want to supercharge your weight loss? Start eating these. From Woman's Day

      Woman's Day
    • The Rock Brings 15-Year-Old Daughter to the People’s Choice Awards – Then Jokingly Drops the F-Bomb During Acceptance Speech

      When Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson won the 2017 People’s Choice Award for favorite premium series actor on Wednesday, his mini-me was on hand to celebrate. Johnson, who was PEOPLE’s 2016 Sexiest Man Alive, shares Simone with ex Dany Garcia. Simone and Johnson also posed with girl group Fifth Harmony, who are performing for the first time as a foursome at the show.

      People
    • Race, privilege and a bad attitude: Why are Nate Parker and Casey Affleck being treated differently?

      On the night of the Golden Globes — as he had for many of the awards season trophy ceremonies —  actor Casey Affleck bounded onto the stage to accept his award as best lead actor in a drama for his turn in “Manchester by the Sea.” Meanwhile, Nate Parker, the multi-hyphenate lead of the Nat Turner slave revolt flick, “The Birth of a Nation,” wasn’t anywhere to be seen on the show that, 12 months prior, he was considered all but a lock to be a fixture of. The 2017 awards season was supposed to belong to both Parker and Affleck, as both of their films had stormed out of Sundance a year ago this week to positive reception with glory in their sights.  But the experiences of these two men have been

      Los Angeles Times q
    • Miss Manners: Conserving water is not always the right solution

      Dear Miss Manners: While it’s important not to waste resources, what is the proper thing to do when one flush doesn’t remove all of the waste? It seems to be wasteful to continue flushing just to be sure all is gone before the next user needs to use the facilities, but also not nice to leave anything behind. While Miss Manners does not advocate being unnecessarily wasteful — she has her limits. And that is to do whatever it takes to make a public facility reasonably hygienic after use. After all, throwing up in the toilet after seeing its previous contents will also cost an additional flush. So let us call this one even. Dear Miss Manners: What should I wear to a “black tie optional’’ wedding

      Washington Post q 31 min ago
    • Woman Who Lost 80 Lbs. Body Shamed by Lululemon Employees: ‘I Felt Less Than’

      After losing 80 lbs., Heather Albert was thrilled to finally fit into Lululemon clothing.

      People
    • Foreclosed mall once valued at $190M is auctioned for $100

      TARENTUM, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania mall that was foreclosed on after its owners failed to repay $143 million has been auctioned off for $100.

      Associated Press
    • American Airlines is banning carry-on bags and overhead bin use for basic-economy passengers

      Flying American Airlines just got a bit more affordable. On Wednesday, the world's largest...

      Business Insider
    • Mark Zuckerberg suing hundreds, seeking privacy at his Hawaii estate

      Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent $100 million on 700 acres of beachfront land on Kauai’s North Shore to create a secluded sanctuary for his family. Now, says CBS Honolulu affiliate KGMB-TV, he’s trying to ensure that privacy by suing families who might stake some claim to that land. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that Zuckerberg is filing lawsuits against a few hundred people – many living and some dead -- who inherited or once owned “kuleana lands,” which are lands passed down to the heirs of the first landowner without a will or a deed. “Close to a dozen small parcels within Zuckerberg’s Kauai estate are owned by kamaaina families who have rights to traverse the billionaire’s otherwise private domain,” the newspaper says.

      CBS News q
    • The internet roasts a photo of Donald Trump writing his inauguration speech

      When times get tough, at least you can still meme. President-elect Donald Trump is slated to deliver his inauguration address on Friday, so he teased his Twitter followers with a little behind-the-scenes photo of himself writing a speech at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. SEE ALSO: Don's Johns: Port-a-potties get censored for Trump’s inauguration Writing my inaugural address at the Winter White House, Mar-a-Lago, three weeks ago. Looking forward to Friday. #Inauguration pic.twitter.com/S701FdTCQu — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2017 The staged photo and Trump's cold, dead gaze sent the internet straight into "meme mode alpha," where it was pointed out that Trump was actually holding Sharpie marker, which may or may not actually be closed. @realDonaldTrump that is a blank piece of paper and you're holding a closed sharpie pic.twitter.com/ekCcH8eTXe — Jules Suzdaltsev (@jules_su) January 18, 2017 @cajunmonkey439 @realDonaldTrump It is *obviously* a sharpie. pic.twitter.com/gdD2AUhBKX — Jules Suzdaltsev (@jules_su) January 18, 2017 .@realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/8CSroNshBR — XpeK (@peKofX) January 18, 2017 Surprised that you didn't just use this photo as your epic, bigly speech pic.twitter.com/SezwzToFg4 — Roland Scahill (@rolandscahill) January 18, 2017 good job @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/Ioj869Tfy3 — uhhh (@_uhhhhhhh) January 18, 2017 pic.twitter.com/pAKcXAEAkD — Sam Grittner (@SamGrittner) January 18, 2017 @realDonaldTrump #NotMyPresident #TheResistance #conflict #Putin #Inauguration In house security cam Mar a Lago pic.twitter.com/diwnpjAS3F — Beo Bachter (@kaysintBB) January 18, 2017 Early draft of Donald Trump’s inauguration speech. #TrumpSpeech #MyFirstWordsAsPresident #MAGA pic.twitter.com/qgo1glv5cG — Tom ❄️ (@TommieWho) January 18, 2017 Exclusive sneak peek at Trump's inauguration speech! pic.twitter.com/6W6ex0Ks3z — Kara Calavera (@KaraCalavera) January 18, 2017 Trump's Inaugural address leaked... pic.twitter.com/J8soJQ4Ira — Jordan Uhl (@JordanUhl) January 18, 2017 Exclusive: #Trump's Inauguration speech leaked! #TrumpInaugural #trumpgrammar pic.twitter.com/XzrXXpnjxD — Gerry Stergiopoulos (@GerryGreek) January 18, 2017 According to CNN, Trump did write his inauguration speech himself. BONUS: NBD, just a massive alligator out for a stroll

      Mashable
    • People are talking about the confusing Photoshop fail in Selena Gomez’s Instagram selfie

      We all know that Selena Gomez is beyond beautiful and is no need of Photoshop. But one picture floating around the internet…

      Hello Giggles
    • Entertainment Tonight
    • VIDEO: Driver Licenses From Nine States Won’t Be Valid IDs for Domestic Flights in 2018

      Beginning Jan. 22, 2018, travelers from nine states will no longer be able to travel with only their driver’s licenses.

      Travel & Leisure Video
    • 7 Drugstore Moisturizers That Will Work Wonders for Your Skin

      Instead of spending tons of money on luxury skin care, we suggest using drugstore products that work amazingly well for a reasonable price.

      The Cheat Sheet q
    • ‘Monster Mom’ Sentenced to 43 Years in Prison for Killing Her 11-Year-Old Daughter

      On Tuesday, an Illinois judge dubbed a 35-year-old woman a “monster mom” before sentencing her to 43 years in prison for the 2014 murder of her 11-year-old daughter, PEOPLE confirms. Addressing the courtroom, 19th Circuit Court Judge James Booras questioned how anyone could treat their child the way Nicholette Lawrence did. “Who would lock a child up in a closet furnished only with a sink and feed the child only a bowl of cereal a day?” Booras asked aloud, according to a court transcript obtained by PEOPLE.

      People
    • Candace Cameron Bure wore a white, bejeweled gown to the People’s Choice Awards, and it lit up the red carpet

      Fuller House star Candace Cameron Bure tends to rock stunning looks both on and off screen. That’s why it comes as absolutely…

      Hello Giggles
    • We Simulated The NFL Conference Championship Games, And There Was One Giant Upset

      The 2016-17 NFL Playoffs has found its final four with just the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, and Atlanta Falcons remaining after a highly entertaining Divisional Round. If you take Madden 17’s Wild Card predictions from our simulation of the entire NFL Playoffs, coupled with our simulation of the Divisional Round individually, Madden 17 is sitting at a cool 6-2 heading into what should be a very interesting Championship Round.

      UPROXX
    • Alibaba founder Jack Ma has a brutal theory of how America went wrong over the past 30 years

      DAVOS, Switzerland — Alibaba founder Jack Ma thinks America went wrong over the past 30...

      Business Insider