If you're reasonably frugal, chances are your various entertainment devices have quite the age range. There is nothing wrong with that. After all, the Next Big Thing is often overpriced and full of glitches. Think about how much people were spending on plasma TVs in the early 2000s, only to watch those gorgeous, crisp screens burn out. The great thing about being a penny pincher when new products come out is the fact that you don’t risk purchasing faulty equipment based on untested technology. However, at this juncture, there are a number of tried-and-true products that are guaranteed to improve your viewing experience with high-quality graphics.
On the topic of plasma TV, you might have noticed that LCD screens reign supreme and are shockingly affordable. Gone are the days when you couldn’t buy a flatscreen for under two grand. This is a purchase you should consider even if you already own a flatscreen. Most of the newer LCD models have much better graphics (1080p in most cases) and will improve your experience with all input devices (games, DVD players, cable, etc.) as a result.
If you still have a desktop computer, you probably upgrade the CPU more frequently than you do the screen. The result is high-speed Internet as viewed through a monitor the size of your refrigerator. Even if you’ve upgraded within the past five years, your viewing experience will likely be improved by switching to a newer computer monitor. In addition to improving picture quality, a new monitor may use less electricity than older models.
Another reason to wait before you invest in new technology is the fact that new technologies never arrive on the market alone and, Apple and Microsoft notwithstanding, there is almost always a definitive victor. There was a time, for example, when Blu-rays and HD DVDs were sold alongside each other. Now, HD DVDs have gone the way of Betamax, plasma screens, and the Zune. Blu-ray DVD players are much cheaper than they used to be, especially if you like to buy used or refurbished electronics.
If you enjoy gaming but can’t stand to shell out full price, chances are you’ll see a lot of older consoles for sale this year. While the Xbox 360 continues to reign supreme, Nintendo’s planned release of the Wii U promises to shake up the gaming universe in 2012. If you’d rather stick with what you know, you can choose the console of your choice. Existing systems offer a number of additional services, such as connecting to Netflix and other online sources or, in the case of the Playstation 3, playing Blu-ray DVDs.
Waiting to upgrade is a reliable way to save money. It allows you time to wait to see if new products will outlast their hype or go the way of the Zune and plasma TV. This is especially relevant when competing products are on the market, as you can see which product comes out on top without spending a dime. When you are in the market to upgrade a few elements of your home entertainment devices, you should upgrade your TV, your computer monitor, your DVD player, or your gaming console. Upgrading will improve the quality of your leisure time by providing cleaner graphics.