Oh yeah check out that bad boy the 32 inch Proscan. RCA’s “in your face” answer to Sony’s Trinitron and Pioneer’s Elite series harnessing the best of TV technology circa 1998. That was back in the day when you had to call in atleast 2 buddies to help carry a beast like this when moving and if you dropped this TV on your foot you were definitely going to the emergency room. Not like the featherweight slim LED TV’s of today that my 9 year old could move himself. I took a picture of this relic from a rather odd angle with bad lighting because I literally can’t move it any further by myself. In short, a man’s man TV. Or some would say a cheap man’s TV. And the reason I know so much about the Proscan TV is because this monster has until about a week ago, been the primary TV viewing home experience for me and my family the past 15 years. RCA may have gone out of business but not in my house.
Truth be told I didn’t even care about replacing the TV the first 8-10 years. TV technology at the time was good enough for me and 50 inch plasma TV’s back then would set you back a good $3-4K. Why get a SmartTV when I had hundreds of physical DVD’s that I could ignore and store in my house taking up precious room while collecting dust? The real shunning began about 3 years ago. Buddies dropping by for a Sunday afternoon watching football slowly dwindled. One friend walked in to my house one Sunday afternoon to watch the 49ers, took one look at the TV and walked out immediately without saying a word. Since then I send him (just him) a Super Bowl party invitation every year with a picture of the TV on the front of the card telling him to RSVP ahead to guarantee I could make room for him. Last year I had my Comcast cable boxes updated and asked the installation technician how much to upgrade to an HD signal. He just looked at me and said “Why?” When the Comcast guy shuns you and gives you the virtual “L” pasted across the forehead you know you’ve hit bottom.
So 2 weeks ago I drove down to the local Best Buy with a stack of gift cards accumulated from 10’s of thousands of dollars in DVD purchase rebates on my credit card and headed over the TV section. The discussion with a very nice sales lady went something like this.
Sales lady – “Can I help you sir?”
Me – “Yes I’d like to buy a new TV”
Sales lady – “Is there a particular set of features you’re looking for in a new TV?”
Me – “Yes I’m looking for a 50 inch TV that has new features developed since 1998”
Sales lady – “You have a TV from 1998?”
Me – “Yes. Please don’t shun me”
Sales lady – “No worries. Are you going to give it to a museum or something”
Me – “I would but I can’t physically move it out of my house. We are going to stack the kids toys all around it until they move out for college which is about when I’ll be ready to upgrade my TV again”
When I finished picking out the TV from the Best Buy Labor Day Sucker sale the nice sales lady said they would bring the Slim LED TV around front to load into my car. In my customary fashion I waited for 3 large men to come by to load the TV but the sales lady brought out the TV herself and loaded it in the car, with one hand, while texting her friends.
Installing the new TV in my living room was relatively pain free save for lifting the old TV off the stand and moving it 2 feet which is where it still sits at this moment. When i turned on the new TV for the first time an impressive graphic display of HD awesomeness appeared before my eyes and that was just the TV set up wizard. Even the set up prompts were impressive and intuitive. “I have detected Comcast Cable as your primary provider” (yep)…”I have detected your home wifi and connecting now” (impressive)…”I have determined your top 10 favorite shows after analyzing your DVR saved programs and past viewing habits. Would you like me to recommend shows to you automatically?” (tears rolling down my face) Once the set up was complete the TV crescendo built up while the TV automatically downloaded a software update. In the background set up music I swore I heard the words “Looooooosseeeerrrr” whisper into my ear.
The next morning was like summer Christmas in casa Donut Monday. The kids reiterated their love for their father and the wife said rent something “frisky” on the Netflix app later tonight, in HD. My Comcast guy looks me in the eye again.
Until my next TV revolution circa 2028