For Our Viewing Pleasure: Buying A Bigger TV

I’m not sure any of you have noticed, but we have a tiny TV. Well, some of you have definitely noticed because you keep laughing at us and commenting about how overdue we are for a bigger one. And as the resident man of the house, I have to say I agree. Our little 26-incher made sense in the old house, where our den was so narrow that I could practically change the channel with my toe…

But now that we have a bit more space in our current living room (we actually miss the cozy-ness of our first living room, but love having extra room for Clara to play/run around), the phrase “we really need a bigger TV” gets uttered anytime a subtitle pops up, a news ticker rolls across the screen, or we have anyone over to watch a movie with us. Yeah, we can’t read those things without standing up and walking halfway across the room. But a new TV is something we’ve just been putting off and putting off, which is surprising considering how much TV we watch.

But ever since we got the tip that February and March were the best times to buy a TV (supposedly these post-Christmas, post-Super-Bowl months are the television industry’s slow season, and when demand is low, prices can drop) we’ve been waiting for the right moment to seize the day and just upgrade already. And after a bit of research, a bit of chatting with my brother-in-law Martin (who went through a vigorous research process of his own a few months ago), and a bit of price checking – we narrowed it down to these two TVs – a Vizio and a Samsung, both sold at Target:

They’re both LCDs, both 1080p, and both in the neighborhood of 40″. They were also both eco models that only cost $17 a year to run, so they’re very low on the energy scale (the lowest we saw was $15 a year for a costs-double LED). The around 40″ size wasn’t any magic number that we calculated, it’s just what we arrived at after discussing that we wanted something big, but not crazy-big (and when we held up a tape measure at home, it felt right). Both had 4+ star reviews on Target, Amazon, Walmart and a few other sites that came up on our Google search. Any idea what we ended up choosing?

Naturally, we went for the $100 cheaper / 2″ larger Vizio. But that $449.99 wasn’t our final price. You know us and our coupons…

The reason we wanted to buy our TV at Target was:

  • They were having a temporary price cut – taking it from $479 to $449
  • We have a Target credit card, which gives us 5% off every purchase – knocking it down to $427
  • Target randomly sent us an “additional 5% off all HDTVs on top of the 5% for using your card” coupon (I think coupons like these go out to Target cardholders) – shaving it down to $406
  • We had a couple of leftover Christmas gift cards, which left our final out-of-pocket cost at $356

Which isn’t bad considering our much tinier TV was purchased for about that much five years ago (we think that old TV will either go into another room or get craigslisted). So after 15 months of staring at our too-small TV and saving up/stalking sales, we brought that baby home. And Burger couldn’t have been more excited to watch… the news? Seriously Vizio? You thought this lady was the most exciting graphic to show on your box? Can’t a guy get an exotic underwater scene with fish and coral in all colors of the rainbow? Or at least a charging bull or a running horse or something with a little speed/excitement?

Before we set it up, we wanted to try to capture exactly what sort of an upgrade we were making. So here’s a pic of our old TV:

Ridiculous, isn’t it? It’s a bit exaggerated because this is a small picture of a small TV, but you get the idea. So we broke out the new guy just for comparison’s sake. It’s starting to look a bit better, right? It’s also starting to look like we’re gonna need a bigger media console too (we’ve been planning to build something from scratch or retrofit something from the thrift store, so we’ll keep you posted).

Here’s that view from the couch with the new TV on. Hey look, now you can actually tell that we were watching Cougar Town now! As in, all of the letters are readable now (again, this isn’t a life sized photo, it’s a small picture of a TV across the room, so in person it’s a lot bigger and reading small things like the subtitle are now no sweat). Whew.

Oh and we tethered it to the wall with a wire that came with the TV along with a screw and heavy duty anchor (we may eventually mount it on the wall, once we figure out what’s going on under it so we can determine the height, etc). But for now this will at least keep it from tipping.

Hopefully this is just the beginning of updating that whole area of the living room. We definitely think it needs a bigger piece of furniture – preferably with more storage and a bit more height – to ground our big new TV friend. But until then, we’re just happy to give our squinting muscles a break… and of course we’re happy to have the Cul De Sac Crew back in our lives.

Is anyone else making any television upgrades lately? Or just watching some good TV? Now that the book shoots are done, maybe we’ll actually have time to watch the boob tube again! So much catching up to do. But you know we’re up to date on The Walking Dead so nobody spoils that for us. Haha.


  1. Carol N. says

    We have a really big living room too and just upgraded to a 60″ tv. We found a great price and pounced (it was our late Christmas gift to each other) and then the next Sunday we noticed it was $100 cheaper so we went back and got the new price. Sweet! And we love it. We have enjoyed it for everything from football to old movies.

  2. says

    Congrats on the new TV! I would have gone bigger :) But I think you’ll love having something bigger to watch your favorite shows.

    I know you guys are Dexter fans during the fall, but what are you watching right now??

    • says

      The Walking Dead! Well, that just ended. We also watch The New Girl, Awake (so good!!!), Bethenny Ever After, Thirty Rock, Modern Family, The Challenge, and The Voice of course.


    • says

      you guys watch Awake?! i’ve really been trying to get into it since it seems like the perfect thing to fill the void in my TV watching left by the end of LOST and Medium. but there’s something about it that makes it hard for me to pay attention. i have to keep rewinding and rewatching scenes to keep the two worlds straight.

      i guess i’m used to watching too much reality tv where everyone is yelling. but, is it just me, or does it seem like everyone on Awake talks in hushed tones all the time?

    • says

      Haha, it’s true. I love the premise so much, but I’m not super attached to the characters yet. I’m hoping they grow on me though, since the mysteries every week are fun and John and I love trying to figure out who orchestrated the crash and why (and which reality is real).


    • Jessie says

      Bridget, one thing that helps me distinguish the two worlds is the look of the worlds. The world where the son is alive, you’ll notice is very dark and “greenish” tinted, and there is a lot of green (green clothes, green furniture, green dishes, etc.). The world where the wife is alive is very crisp and warm and is tinted red. And of course there’s a lot of red all about. I like that they do this, because I would get frustrated trying to look at his wrist to see if he’s wearing a red bracelet or a green one.

  3. says

    We are upgrading an old dresser into a tv stand/entertainment center in a few weeks!!! I’m so excited to hide this garden hose size pile of wires and cords!! I will be documenting it on my blog and it will be white with gray insides where the drawers had been. the new tv looks great! good job!

  4. Hannah says

    Yay for new TV’s! I bought a new one last February actually, and it was a similar upgrade (26 to 42). I got an LG 42LE5500, and I LOVE it!

    Also, thanks for showing that you anchored it to the wall. Unfortunately, there was a death locally about a TV that fell on a little girl. Safety first!

  5. says

    YES! We are so in the market for an upgrade. We still have the huge “tube” TV and haven’t splurged for the “flat-what-everyone-else-is-using TV.” We’re still shopping, but this random light green stripe that appears here and there on the TV is about to make us make the trip sooner than later! I need to get my hands on some coupons.

  6. Penny says

    We just upgraded our TV and my awesome hubby mounted it on the wall above our fireplace. Huge improvement! And we’ve ditched cable and are now relying on Netflix and Hulu Plus. And we added The Walking Dead to our queue. And we just finished our taxes. Lots of excitement!!

  7. Paula says

    Can you use the old TV as an additional computer monitor? I used to have an extra monitor hooked up to my laptop and LOVED it. You can have separate windows open, look at things on the larger screen – it was great. I think most TVs can be used for this, but I don’t really know (what I had hooked up was an actual computer monitor).

    • says

      Haha, that thing was tiny! It’s so funny how we thought it was 32″ in our memory and then we measured it and we were like… uh… it’s even smaller???


    • Kelsey S. says

      Sherry, were you measuring on the diagonal? One of those tricky things with TVs is that the measurement they give is from corner to corner, not straight across. So who knows, you may have had a 32″. Either way, I’m glad you’re happy with your upgrade!

    • says

      Yes, I was measuring it on the diagonal! We just thought it was bigger than it was- it’s funny in the store all the tvs look smaller since Target is huge with giant ceilings!


  8. Kate says

    The hubby and I recently started watching Sons of Anarchy on Netflix and we just can’t get enough! I think we watched 12 episodes last Sunday when we were in our post St. Patty’s Day couch-coma.

  9. Emma says

    Yay upgrades! We use a shaker style dresser for our TV, and the two larger drawers provide great DVD/games storage, while the top two drawers are great for the remotes, etc. Jealous that you’re up on The Walking Dead – we opt for Netflix over cable, but wish season 2 were available already!!! :)

  10. Amber P. says

    Did you love the season finale of Walking Dead?? I did! Now I can’t wait for season 3. Good job producers of the show. You will get to see all the gory details with your big TV next season!

  11. says

    Our new (bigger) TV was the one “home decor” thing my husband got excited about. I let him take care of all the details because, honestly, I have no idea what’s good and what isn’t!

  12. says

    It’s always a big day when you upgrade the TV. The first thing we watched on our new 40-incher was American Idol… I swear I could see Paula’s pores (I’m dating myself- we updated a while ago…)

    I DID go from a 9-button flip phone to an iPhone 4s over the weekend. Talk about upgrades… I have so much info now it’s almost system overload…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *