Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Bumpy Road to a Flat Screen...

The Facts

We bought a 60" TV for our family room. We moved a TV from the family room to the office, a TV from the office to our bedroom, and a TV from our bedroom to the guest bedroom.

His Side

Every man knows that, when it comes to a television, bigger is better. Most men also know that women do not agree with this sentiment. That means it can be a struggle to convince your wife that an upgrade is in order. When you do suggest something like this, though, the next question out of her mouth is usually “why?” The correct answer is “it needs to be bigger” but that doesn’t usually fly. So, we have to come up with other answers like “Well, when there is bright red on the screen, it jumps a little. Also, it’s an older TV and there are good deals right now.” If that works, you jump for joy and start looking at big, beautiful TVs.

For me, it was a little different. The first time my wife mentioned getting a new TV, she was looking at a 50 inch. We already had a 42 inch so, if we were going to upgrade, we needed to go a little bigger. We stopped looking for a while until there were some ads for TVs on good deals. So we shopped... and shopped... and researched... and looked at reviews... and shopped. Finally we were wavering between a 55 inch and a 60 inch smart TV. We agreed on the 60” but for very different reasons. I like that it is bigger. I think she likes it for the Smart TV aspect. Either way, it’s bigger, so it’s better.

I know it’s expensive, but here are my thoughts on money:  we both work hard at our jobs to earn money and money is meant to be spent. Don’t get me wrong, saving is good and important, but you’ve got to treat yourselves once in a while. This just happened to be a pricey treat. But, as you already know, I love movies and a better TV makes for a better movie viewing experience. Also, one of my favorite things to do with my wife is just relax on the couch and find something to watch on TV while we chat and hang out. So, we will definitely be using the new TV; we didn’t just buy it for the heck of it.

I knew 60 inches would be a lot of TV, but I wasn’t sure exactly how much TV it was. The box barely fit in our SUV with the seats laid down. And the reality of how big 60 inches of TV is hit me as we were installing it.

I figured installation would be a piece of cake after putting in a storm door last weekend. It wasn’t. First we had to take down the old wall mount which required a 4mm security hex wrench. In layperson terms, that’s an allen wrench with a hole in the middle of it... and it’s hard to find. Lowe’s nor Home Depot could help us so we had to drive a good distance away to an Ace Hardware. I’m not sure why the makers of the wall mount wouldn’t just require a normal tool to put it together, but that’s their prerogative I guess.

Once we got the old one off, we put the new one up and didn’t run into many issues until we actually had to hang the TV onto the wall mount. It should have been an easy thing:  you hook the brackets on the back of the TV into the lip of the wall mount. Well, the TV isn’t light and Kristi was having a hard time with her side, so we had to call in help. This time, help arrived in the form of one of her brothers. He saved the day. Having an extra set of hands really helped and we finally got the top hooked. The bottom piece, however, didn’t hook in correctly. What this means is that the TV is not going to fall off unless you come in and push up on the bottom of it... so don’t do that.

After installing the big, new TV in the family room, we were pros and it was relatively easy to install the old 42 inch into the office. Well, the stud finder we were using told us there was a stud where there wasn’t so we put a couple extra holes in the wall, but we eventually got it up and secure. Then we moved the old 32 inch from the office into the bedroom. It’s on a stand so that was an easy installation. Finally, we moved the 24 inch into the guest bedroom. Is four TVs too many? Maybe. Do I care? Not at all. 

It took all day when I thought it was a four hour job, frustrations were minimal, and we got everything installed; so, I consider that a win. And the TV is amazing. I already love it and can’t wait to watch a blu ray on it.

Her Side

So, we bought a RIDICULOUSLY HUGE television and I was ok with it. Shocking, I know. Let me explain. The TV we used in our family room is one I brought into the marriage, so Nolan had no say in it. I purchased it from Craigslist, so it wasn’t a new item; but it did its job well... for me. The color had recently started messing up. In particular, all things red would jump around the screen as if to say “catch me if you can.” It starts to make you feel crazy when images move for no reason on the screen, so we started to entertain the idea of a new TV. Nolan jumped at the opportunity to get something bigger and better, because bigger apparently equals better when it comes to electronics. 

Nolan and I have very different views when it comes to making purchases. I’m a saver. I always have been and will most likely always be. AND, when it comes to big purchases, I have to justify why the money needs to be spent. Nolan, on the other hand, is willing to part with money for something that isn’t a complete necessity. I would like to think that we met in the middle on the TV. I agreed to a TV because of the issue with color because, after all, it was starting to annoy me every time we watched a show. Nolan wanted a TV because I was willing and, let’s be honest, he would be stupid not to run with my willingness to make a large purchase. 

We researched some TVs and finally bit the bullet. That was the most painful purchase I have ever had to be a part of. I kid you not when I say that I couldn’t watch Nolan swipe the credit card that day in Best Buy. I kept repeating in my head “It’s okay, the color was going out, you need it” (as if that would help ease my mind... yea, right). The purchase was made and out of my mind because we had to wait for it to arrive at the store since we clearly can’t choose a TV that they have in stock... that’s just too easy. 

We finally picked up the TV and now I feel like I sort of know what it’s like to bring a baby home from the hospital for the first time. Every turn Nolan took, I urged him to be careful and not go too fast as to not disturb our precious cargo in the back. He did a stellar job and we arrived at home all in one piece. When we got home, we knew we wouldn’t be able to install it that night so we put it in our living room so it was out of the way.

We finally decided to tackle the installation process on Friday evening. Because, what better way to spend your evening than to put up a TV? Well, as most things go for us, we ran into a road block. Before installing the new TV, we had to take the current TV off of the wall mount and it required a tool we did not have. We searched three different stores and, fittingly, the last store we checked is the one that had the tool we needed. Thank goodness, because I was convinced we would have to break the wall mount to get the TV off! 

Once we got the old TV off of the wall, the installation of the new one was underway. The brackets went onto the TV nicely and, similarly, the brace went on the wall without any issues. I thought we were out of the woods and the TV would be up in no time... but it didn’t quite work like that. We called in help in the way of my brother, Jason, and he was able to help us get the TV up on the wall. The wall mount didn’t work exactly how the package proclaimed; but, by that point, as long as the TV was secure I didn’t care. And my brother assured us that it wouldn’t go anywhere. So far so good!

We did do a game of musical TVs and now have a TV in almost every room in the house. It is, admittedly, a bit excessive; but, at this point, I don’t even care! I was worried that our new 60” TV would make me feel like I am in a theater in my own house (not a feeling I’m fond of), but it fits nicely and it actually looks great on our wall. 

As crazy as it might sound, installing the TV was way harder and more stressful than installing our storm door. If we messed up the storm door, it would stink and we would be out the money for the storm door, but that wasn’t much. Messing up mounting a TV on the wall has much higher and more expensive consequences. Thank goodness for a husband and brother who know what they’re doing!

Before and After

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