Buying a flat panel TV on a whim before the Superbowl (or the season premiere of True Blood if, like me, you're super duper gay) is fraught with peril. You need to get that bad boy home and connected before the game starts and your chili boils over. Looking at a random sampling of TVs for sale at a store while using your smart phone to comparison shop is going to be virtually impossible. That's because retailers are gonna pull that "put it in the cart before we tell you what the price is" bullshit. You know how that goes, right? You've gone to the electronics store, you've found the TV you want. You're standing there in front of it trying to find out if you could get a better price somewhere else, but your fucking iPhone isn't connecting, and then you have to keep clicking through to make sure you're looking at the same TV, and the whole thing just makes you feel like you have to poop really urgently. Your choice is to either buy the TV and rush home, or risk doing a "big potty" in an unsanitary big box electronics store toilet. Fuck that shit. There's an easy and safe way to do this, and FiPS is here to help you.
STEP 1: WHERE TO BUY YOUR FLAT SCREEN SET
The answer is Costco. And before you all start crawling up my ass and whining about how Costco is not actually in Park Slope, let me just remind you that your options for buying a flat panel within the strict confines of the neighborhood aren't just limited -- they're barely in existence. So stop being a little bitch and put your ass in a Zipcar for this one.
The Costco in Sunset Park is a wonderland of bulk shopping, and their deals on flat screen TVs are hard to beat. That's not to say that you can't beat their prices, but, keep in mind, this is an impulse buy. You're not comparison shopping here. I've done some preliminary research for this article and, in painting this in very broad strokes, I can tell you that the television set of your dreams is going to be about $100 cheaper at Costco than it would be if you were to buy it online, and have it shipped to you at home.
If you don't have a Costco membership, or if you don't have any friends with one, or you just plain don't have any friends, you'll have to factor in the $55 of a Costco membership. So maybe it's going to be a wash on price, but you're not going to have to take a day off of work to sit at home waiting for your TV to arrive. And you're getting instant gratification, and that's the whole point here.
Costco recently changed their hours, so they now open at 9 a.m. every day (including Saturdays and Sundays), but most people haven't caught onto that yet. People still think that they don't open on weekends until 9:30 or 10 a.m. So until the great unwashed throngs of customers figure that shit out, there's still a sweet spot on weekend mornings where you can actually find a parking space, get in, get your TV (along with a couple of rotisserie chickens and a giant 12 pack of paper towels), and get out before the place turns into a giant flaming warehouse of insanity. Keep in mind that you can't buy booze before noon on Sunday; if buying a giant cube of bourbon is on your 'to do' list, you should go early on Saturday.
STEP 2: WHAT TV TO BUY
Buy a Samsung LED LCD in the size of your choice. The last time I bought a huge flat screen television on a whim (I do this all the time, for whatever it's worth, so I really do know what I'm talking about), I went with a 55" Samsung edge-lit LED LCD. I have never regretted the purchase. These television sets are sexy. I guarantee you'll get a half-chub just looking at it in the store. They are wafer-thin, and even the largest ones are light enough for two people to lift it out of the box. They're mostly screen, with just a simple black border of about an inch and a half -- very tasteful. And the picture quality is top-drawer. People come over to my house to watch Mob Wives and they ooh and ahh at how horrible Big Ang's lips and boobs look on my humongous, crystal clear television set. I'm pretty sure that half of my friends only hang out with me because they know that I DVR everything and they can come over and watch their shows on my extremely gorgeous and delicious television set.
Ideally, you'd be getting the back-lit set, but I don't know if Costco sells those. The edge-lit is fine, if you ask me. They've got them in a wide range of sizes, so even though you're dying to overwhelm your tiny Brooklyn apartment with a 60" set, you can get something smaller if you're a total pussy (or just really poor). The smallest, and most pointless of these Samsung sets is 23", and you can get it for under $300. If you want to settle in the middle for something that's large enough to impress your friends, without making them question the size of your dick, a 46" set is probably your best bet.
Some of the larger sets come with the 3D option, but that's going to set you back a bit. The Superbowl is not in 3D, as far as I know, so I don't know what the point is of that. But Costco sells 3D sets, in case you really, really want to watch Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland with your buddies after the big game.
Most importantly, almost all of these sets are pre-configured to have sex with the internet. You just shove a cord up the ass of these TVs and the next thing you know, you're watching You Tube videos of cats flushing toilets in gorgeous, hi-def LCD glory. You can also stream Netflix or Hulu selections without a Roku box, or rent movies from any number of on-line services -- and there are a lot of them. Even if you don't yet have Fios, you can ditch your cable, and get a lot of good content, easily and legally, through the interwebs.
STEP 3: WHERE TO PUT YOUR NEW SET
This is a showpiece. You're going to want it to be right smack-dab in the middle of your living room, or living room-type-space if you're in a studio. You want your TV to sit on a console or a book shelf at eye-level. Do not, whatever you do, mount your TV on the wall, really high up. Eye level, people! EYE LEVEL! Don't be one of those people who thinks, 'Oh, I don't want the TV to be the focal point of the room, so I'll mount it above the fireplace.' Those people are idiots. You're buying a beautiful TV because you want your life to be awesome, and breaking your neck while staring at a set that's mounted four inches below the ceiling is just plain wrong. And besides, these Samsung sets come with stands that allow them to swivel, so that you can angle it to the side. So just use the stand that comes with the set, put it on a piece of furniture that's at eye level, and you'll be just fine.
AND ANOTHER THING:
I'm anticipating that some ass-wipe is going to leave a comment suggesting that FiPS is shilling for an advertiser with this post. Why is it that whenever we actually find something that we like we're accused of coddling for advertisers? Can you people look in the sidebar to see that neither Samsung nor Costco is advertising on FiPS? Have you noticed that we label posts that are sponsored? Or, is it just that you're jealous of us (me), because we (I) have a really sexy flat screen TV set?