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How to Search for a Flat Screen TV – College Edition

Searching For A Flat Screen TV In College

Jason, my fellow TSB writer, wrote up an article last week on things you should know when purchasing a flat screen tv — good thorough write-up, but I have some things I’d like to add.

The viewing needs of a young professional and a college student vary slightly (mainly because college students are broke). So without further adieu, I give you extra tips to keep in mind if you’re about to buy a TV, or have already bought one and are looking to supplement your purchase.

Everything Old is New Again

Yes that sub-heading was taken from the title of an ER episode. Deal with it.

Regardless, of what type of TV you settle on purchasing, I would encourage you to buy refurbished. Refurbished TVs were at one time purchased by someone and then returned for some reason. After being returned, the TV was sent to the manufacturer’s factory where it was checked out, repackaged and more or less restored to like-new condition.

A few years ago, the savings on refurbished TVs used to be a lot larger, but now prices for LCDs, LEDs and Plasmas have dramatically dropped across the board. Still though, you can save some bills by opting for the used route.

For example, a 32” LCD that would cost you $500, runs you $370. (If you’re hitting up your parents for money, make sure to send them the link of what the new TV would cost.) Refurb Depot is a good place to start your search.

Throw It Up on the Wall

Not only does it look cool to mount your TV, but you’re also going to have peace of mind by screwing it into the wall.

Date night in front of the flat screen

Date night in front of the flat screen

Most flat screens have a pretty small base that do a poor job of providing a sturdy foundation. You never know what might happen if some hoochie drinks a little too much jungle juice and bumps your TV, or whatever it is placed on. There was a time when I didn’t have my TV mounted and I would always be wary of passersby who got a little too close for comfort.

Put those fears to rest by putting your TV up on the wall.

Now there are basically three different types of wall mounts. You have the basic one that keeps your TV flat against the wallmounts that tilt and those that are full motion.

I would highly recommend spending the extra money to get a full motion wall mount. These babies are capable of swiveling all over the place since they have an extra arm. Say you set-up your wall mount so that it faces your couch. Now if you have a normal wall mount and you wanted to watch from your bed, you would be looking at it from an angle. It might not be a horrible angle, but an angle nevertheless.

With a full motion wall mount, you can be lying in your bed and have your TV turn to face you. It might not sound like a big difference, but trust me, once you see someone else with it, you’ll be jealous and wish you spent the extra $30-$40.

Check out eBay for the best deals on wall mounts.

Laptop Connectivity

With your new TV, you no longer have to awkwardly lay in bed with your girl while you watch some movie on your laptop. You now actually have the freedom to spoon on your couch if you so desire.

A lot of people still for some reason purchase S-video cables to hook-up their laptop and TV; S-video cables are a relic of the past by modern day standards.

Most laptops nowadays have an HDMI-input, which is standard on all TVs that have been made in the past few years. An HDMI connection provides much better quality as compared to an S-video cable. At local electronic stores a decent HDMI cable can run you $15. Highway robbery! Buy an HDMI cable online where it can cost under $3.

And if you are really lazy and don’t want to stay planted on your couch, splurge on a remote for your laptop.

Implement all these steps and your pad will be the place to be whether it’s game-time or date night.

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About Mustafa Shaikh Mustafa Shaikh is an aspiring writer living in Berkeley, CA. Not willing to give up his college days just yet, he lives only a few blocks away from his beloved campus. He hopes to write a best-seller within the next couple of years and live off the royalties of it for as long as possible.

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