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

    • Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh says replay decision was the ‘worst call he’s ever seen’

      Jim Harbaugh has been known for using a bit of hyperbole from time to time but it sounds as though he was really, really, really upset at a call in the final few minutes of No. 2 Michigan’s 41-8 win over Illinois on Saturday. Wolverines quarterback John O’Korn had completed a third-and-nine pass to Drake Harris that officials […]

      NBC Sports q
    • 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
    • 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 […]
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 12 Next-Level Twists on Sweet Potato Casserole (13 photos)

      Your Thanksgiving table deserves something new and exciting this year. From Delish

    • Parent punches student in the stomach in a school hallway, then just walks away

      (CNN)It happens so fast you almost miss it. A man walks down the hallway of a school, crossing paths with a young boy. Suddenly, without provocation, the man reaches down and punches the boy in his stomach. He then casually walks toward the door. The boy falls to his knees, doubled over in obvious pain. The man pauses, just for a second, to look over his shoulder at the boy, before walking out. Surveillance video captured this shocking encounter, which happened last week at the KIPP DC Spring Academy in Washington DC. The boy in the video, 7-year-old John Mclean, told CNN affiliate WJLA that the punch to the gut was "real painful." It was painful for John's mother to see as well. She says the

      CNN 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • Under Armour May Be Wearing Out Its Welcome

      Short-sellers are crushing the apparel company's stock.

      The Street q
    • Pregnant Mila Kunis Goes Grocery Shopping With Ashton Kutcher Weeks Before Her Due Date: Pics!

      The couple looked laidback ahead of welcoming their second child.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • Donald Trump's Statements Cause Backlash for D.C.'s Trump Hotel

      José Andrés has officially ended plans to open a restaurant inside the forthcoming Trump Hotel. In a statement, Andrés cites Donald Trump's recent disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants as the reason for his decision. More than half of Andrés' team is Hispanic, and the chef himself is a Spanish immigrant who became a naturalized American citizen in 2013.

      Eater DC q
    • 4 Dead Giveaways That Your Partner is Cheating on You

      Are you just a side dish, or the main entrée? Here's how to find out if your partner is cheating on you with someone else.

      The Cheat Sheet q
    • Bella Thorne looks like a live-action Jessica Rabbit in this incredible red dress

      Bella Thorne is a red-hot fashionista and we are totally obsessed with her latest look. The 19-year-old actress has a history of…

      Hello Giggles
    • Report claims iPhone 8 will feature a revolutionary new design that no one saw coming

      Next year, Apple is expected to release a completely redesigned iPhone 8 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone. Following three consecutive years of seeing the same design reused in the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone 7, Apple is expected to make dramatic changes to the appearance of its next-generation iPhone, and to the technology included inside the device. Previous reports have stated that the new iPhone 8 will feature an OLED display that covers almost all of the phone's face, and the home button and fingerprint scanner will be embedded beneath the screen. The phone is also expected to have a glass back instead of aluminum, and metal will surround the outer edges as it did on the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4. According to a new report, however, these claims have it all wrong and the iPhone 8's new design will be unlike anything the world has ever seen. DON'T MISS:  iPhone 7 Plus vs Google Pixel speed tests: Yup, Android still gets crushed According to everything we've heard so far from tried and true sources, next year's iPhone 8 sounds pretty terrific. The new OLED screen is long overdue and Apple's removal of the home button may finally let it shrink down the overall size of its iPhones without decreasing the size of the displays. Fans are excited enough as it is, but now a new report claims that Apple's upcoming iPhone redesign is far more revolutionary than any previous rumors claimed. "The next iPhone will be, I am told, a clear piece of glass (er, Gorilla Glass sandwich with other polycarbonates for being pretty shatter resistant if dropped) with a next-generation OLED screen (I have several sources confirming this)," wrote longtime tech blogger and current Entrepreneur in Residence at UploadVR in a post on Facebook . "You pop it into a headset which has eye sensors on it, which enables the next iPhone to have a higher apparent frame rate and polygon count than a PC with a Nvidia 1080 card in it." He says the next-generation iPhone will be clear — as in, completely transparent so that users can see straight through it — so that Apple can use it to power an augmented reality experience similar to the one offered by Microsoft's HoloLens. "The phone itself has a next-generation 3D sensor from Primesense, which Apple bought," Scoble added. "Apple has 600 engineers working in Israel on just the sensor. It's the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. It's the first product introduction in Apple's new amazing headquarters. It's a big f**king deal and will change this industry deeply." He continued, "Also, updates from new sources: expect battery and antennas to be hidden around the edges of the screen, which explains how Apple will fit in some of the pieces even while most of the chips that make up a phone are in a pack/strip at the bottom of the phone." This all sounds absolutely incredible... and completely implausible. First, we're years away from having technology that would enable Apple to build an iPhone like the one Scoble describes with a battery and antennas "hidden around the edges of the screen" that would last longer than about 4 minutes on a charge. We've seen some pretty spectacular tech as far as transparent displays are concerned — check out this invisible TV from Panasonic , which is incredible — but scaling it down to a device the size of a smartphone isn't happening in 2017. Beyond that, this contradicts everything we've heard so far from the most reliable sources in the world when it comes to leaking Apple's plans, such as The Wall Street Journal and KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Scoble has plenty of sources in the startup world and he's had some scoops in the past, but he doesn't quite have the kind of track record with Apple scoops that would make us confident in these outlandish claims, however much we'd love for them to be true.

      BGR News
    • Nerlens Noel needs knee surgery, as the 76ers' injury woes continue

      When last we heard from Nerlens Noel, the spring-heeled string-bean shot-blocker was looking for the Philadelphia 76ers to shake some action in their muddled frontcourt rotation. The Kentucky product called a Sixers roster that features him, 2014 No. 3 pick Joel Embiid and 2015 No. 3 pick Jahlil Okafor “silly” and saying last month, “I would have figured management would be able to get something done this summer” to alleviate the positional overlap. Well, there’s been a new development that might help Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo and head coach Brett Brown figure things out for the next few weeks.

      Ball Don't Lie
    • Man murdered wife's family and then killed her as she attended funeral service in 'evil plot'

      A man has been found guilty of executing an "evil plot" in which he killed his sister-in-law and father-in-law to lure his wife to their funerals, where he then murdered her. Samuel Velasco Gurrola, 41, conspired to kill his wife Ruth Sagredo and her family with the help of his two siblings in the US town of El Paso in Texas. As Ruth Sagredo joined her sister's funeral procession, Gurrola murdered her.

      International Business Times UK q