I had no idea Stone Phillips had wrinkles. I thought he was ageless. But my uncle's 62-inch, high-definition TV showed me how wrong I was. I looked at my uncle and said, "Wow, the man has aged."
After recently visiting my uncle, and after watching his TV, I fell in love with high-definition. In comparison, my regular 35-inch back home looked blurry and hurt my eyes. I've had the TV for about three years, and it weighs a good 150 pounds. I decided I wanted that high-definition experience at home. It was my husband's birthday, so I had a perfect excuse, too.
The first decision we had to make was between plasma and LCD. Plasma works really well if you have a dark room, with no glare at all. We have a lot of windows in our den, so we have glare everywhere. The LCD TV was the perfect fit.
We tried to buy a 46-inch, but my husband and the salesperson couldn't get it in the car. We "settled" for the 40-inch, which we could only fit by taking it out of the box. The model we bought, the Sony KDL-40S2010 Bravia S-Series LCD Digital Color HDTV, is flat-screen and high-definition and retails for about $1,700. It's also much lighter than my old TV.
I wanted to hang the Sony on a wall in the corner of the den. To do so, I had to get a full-range-motion wall mount. The Vuepoint mount itself cost $300.
Of course, my husband wanted to use a cheaper bracket, but I explained that we bought the five-year warranty for the TV for $150 and that the wrong mount would probably negate the warranty. There was a less expensive wall-mount model for $80, but it only held a TV up to 37 inches, and I didn't want our investment to land on the floor.
Some assembly is required to hang your TV with the Vuepoint mount. I consider myself mechanically inclined and pretty good at reading instructions and putting things together. The men I know never read instructions. I told my husband, "This is going on the wall, and we spent a lot of money. I'm reading the instructions. Back off."
This mount says it will fit any kind of TV, but it wasn't perfectly adaptable to mine. The hard part was figuring out which screws I needed. The wall mount comes with a long plastic roll divided into 15 individual pouches, each full of screws, washers, and other hardware. I only used four of the pouches. The longest screw fit perfectly into three of the four pre-drilled holes in the back of my new TV, but one of the screws couldn't go in all the way without hitting something. I didn't want the screw to pop through the screen, so I had to measure it and cut it with my Dremel tool. After that, the mount attached to the TV fine.
Altogether, installation took about two hours. It went up on the wall without too much trouble — just the four holes in the wall that I needed to attach the mount. I leveled it, but we have a solid-wood wall, so we didn't need to find a stud.
If you're hanging your TV on the wall, you'll have to have some shelving or table for your components. The plugs on the back of the TV are easy to get to, though — the wall mount doesn't get in the way at all — and the TV comes with some great organizing straps for your cables.
Now my husband calls me every afternoon and tells me, "I love my TV." And when I recently watched Grey's Anatomy, I saw two zits on Ellen Pompeo's face. I hope to see more zits in the future — and moles and wrinkles. The HDTV is even good for self-esteem. ■ — Amy Mathews