If the Consumer Electronics industry had its way, we’d all upgrade our TVs and home theater gear like clockwork every single year. Certainly, the companies involved try to tempt us into doing so by adding new features and gimmicks (such as 3D or internet connectivity) with each new product generation. However, the reality of the situation is that most consumers consider the purchase of an HDTV or projector to be a major investment that should last a long time. How long has it been since you last upgraded yours? How old is your primary home theater display?
As a home theater reviewer, I probably upgrade my gear more often than the average viewer. It’s important that I keep up with the latest features (like 3D) in order to evaluate them and review new movie discs. I also need to take advantage of year-to-year improvements in picture quality. For example, the 720p projector I had six years ago really wouldn’t be adequate to review Blu-rays by current standards. (I’ll be honest; the fact that I can claim some of these purchases as business deductions on my taxes helps a lot.)
My current home theater display is a JVC 3D projector that I’ve had for a little under a year. Before that, I had a previous (2D) JVC model that lasted me about two years. I hope to get a little more time out of this one. Although the latest and greatest models may squeeze out a bit better performance, I don’t see any major developments on the immediate horizon that would compel me to upgrade again right away. I’d really like for my next projector upgrade to take advantage of new long-life lamp technology such as LED or laser. At the moment, the few models that offer that are obscenely expensive and have a lot of tradeoffs for picture quality. It may be a couple more years before another projector tempts me. (Keep checking this blog to see if I have to eat my words about that.)
How about you? When was the last time you replaced your main TV or display?