Before the Great Furniture Hunt, there was the Great HDTV Television Acquisition. I hadn’t really thought much about our new TV until word got out that we had it. I know it’s an awesome set, but I didn’t know how awesome until I mentioned to a few people what we bought.

People — OK, men mostly — would start salivating and pepper me with questions, as though I’d just told them I rode on the Space Shuttle. "Tell us more! Is it just like they say? Is it like you’ve seen God? Two of my colleagues invited themselves over to watch football, and I’m afraid my Dad’s going to want one for Christmas.

For the record, it’s a 46" Sony Bravia Full HD 1080, WCG-CCFL, 7000:1, HDTV with HDMI. I have absolutely no idea what all that means except that the picture is simply gorgeous, especially when viewing HD channels. And that’s all I need to know. The above picture is a shot I took on the actual set. Soak it in, baby. Soak it in.

Buying this TV was very easy. For me, at least. Dave did all the heavy lifting, researching the differences between multiple brands of HD sets, the features offered on all of them, and what add-on purchases you should make for the best possible viewing experience.

When it was time to make the purchase, we went to Tweeter in Whitehall, PA on good authority that they know what they’re talking about and don’t strong-arm you into making a buy. We were pleasantly surprised at how true this turned out to be. I’d give a shout-out to the guy who helped us, but I just can’t remember his name. Sorry, Tweeter Guy.

Here’s how it all started. It could have gone a lot faster, if I wasn’t so annoyed by the stupidest things. The list is long and I sometimes wonder how Dave puts up with me. But that’s a post for another day.

"Kath, now this is the one we should get. It’s the Sony Bravia XBR3. The best."

"I don’t like it."


"It has a shiny frame."


"See. It has this stupid shiny frame around it and it’s going to annoy me."


"Because I’ll see all the light reflected in it. It’s distracting."

"Oh, for God’s sake. You hate everything, don’t you?"

"And how long have we been married and you don’t know this already? Where’ve you been?"

Now we’re in big trouble because I’m not going to let Dave buy the set he really wanted and we start looking around at all the other models. The ones that don’t have the distracting shiny frame.

Tweeter Guy is just the most patient salesman in the world. He graciously shows us around and explains all the features of the other sets, trying to get us as close as possible to the desired one. But first I make him change to a different movie that’s running on nearly all of them because there happens to be a big bug crawling around in one scene. I can’t look at bugs, real or otherwise. I can’t even look at them in print. Freaks me all out. Dave rolls his eyes. Tweeter Guy is right on it. He can smell a sale and he’ll do whatever it takes.

Once we have the sets showing non-bug-infested movies, I now insist that he show us other channels. The stores will always demonstrate HDTVs in high definition mode for obvious reasons. It just looks so much better. But I need to see how a non-HD channel will look. He puts on the Food Network and now we have a face full of Emeril "BAM!" Lagasse. Ugh. Switch it back to HD, please.

After about an hour of looking at all the sets in the store, and Dave and Tweeter Guy discussing the finer points between them, we finally settle on the Bravia 1080, which has an un-shiny frame. We plunk down a rather large amount of money and off we go.

When the set arrived, Dave gave the delivery guy 25 bucks to set it up and configure the internal settings just right to get the best picture. And what a picture it is.

There is one fact that I’m sure all the actors and actresses in Hollyweird are lamenting with the advent of HDTVs and that’s that their faces look incredibly bad. I urge you, if you buy an HDTV, prepare yourselves for some of your favorite stars looking really awful in high-def. You can see all their flaws and all the makeup they use trying to hide their flaws. HD is brutally unforgiving. I never want to see Larry King in high-def. EVER.

What looks best, of course, are all the HD channels. With our cable provider we get about 20 of them. Regular channels still look better than they did on our old set, so there are improvements there, too. To give you an idea how mesmerizing it is to watch TV in HD, I’ve become a fan of the Discovery HD Theater channel. It features a program called Sunrise Earth which runs a full hour with a camera trained on a single scene in nature.

Yesterday I watched a sequoia tree for fifteen minutes. A tree. For fifteen minutes. Next week they’re airing an episode called Milk Cows in the Morning and next month is Bison before Breakfast. Swear to God. And I’m going to watch it and love it. Think I’m crazy? You go and buy yourself an HDTV and see if you don’t find yourself staring at cows and bison and trees and come back and tell me if it isn’t the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen in the televised world.

I gotta go. Wildflower Elk just came on.

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