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January 18th, 2019

market changes

Back in 2008, having learned of the approaching digital television transition, we invested in a new television: a 24" Samsung model. As it turned out, we didn't get much use out of it as a TV: the one broadcast program we were following, Lost, had such reduced signal strength after the transition that we couldn't see any image. Instead, we used it for DVDs. When we moved to a one-bedroom apartment, it was a real puzzle where to put it, since we didn't have a place for our entertainment unit and had it hauled away—and then I got a bright idea: Since it had multiple ports, we put it on C's desk as a monitor for her computer (very useful when she was writing papers!) and also used it for watching video. We kept that arrangement after moving to Riverside.

Now, just over ten years later, it's stopped working and has to be replaced.

My first thought was to go back to Samsung; it's hard to complain about 10-year longevity, and the multiple ports were very handy. But looking at various suppliers, including Samsung itself, showed that things had changed. In the first place, it was no longer possible to get a "television" that was under 32"; most of them were 40" and up, really not a good fit to C's desktop, where it would have to live. To find a smaller model, I had to look at "monitors." But in the second place, in that category, nearly everything Samsung makes now has a curved screen. I had my doubts about that, and some reading online suggested that curved screens give a more immersive experience if looked at along one specific vector, but the image is distorted if you sit anywhere else—and we occasionally show video to guests. I'm not sure who Samsung's target market is now, but it doesn't seem to be us.

What we're going to try now is an Asus model. It's slightly larger, 27", but we can make that work; it has Bang and Olafsen speakers, which C says is a good line; and it has multiple ports and comes with a DVI-to-HDMI adaptor cable, so we can still use it with both the computer and the player. The reviews we saw sounded generally favorable, so we're hoping for the best.

Sorry, Samsung, it was a great relationship while it lasted, but we seem to have grown apart.

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