When we moved into our apartment, we had a major snafu. We live on the second floor, accessible only by a very narrow staircase with a 180 degree turn. In other words, it’s not the easiest unit to move into with large furniture. Thankfully, our entertainment center was the only casualty, because it was just too big (and heavy) to make the turn in the stairwell. After several frustrated hours of inching along, screaming and beating our heads against the wall, we finally gave up and donated the unit to the Salvation Army thrift store.
Of course, that left us with no entertainment center, and a large, heavy 36″ tube TV that is still sitting on the living room floor. We haven’t been able to unbox our home theater system or any movies or video games because we have no place to put them. It also left us without a place to display our family photos and the beautiful decorative figurines we had bought years ago. We have been looking for some audio visual equipment, for our new tv.
So we began our hunt on sites likeÂ http://directics.com/xilinx-fpga for a replacement. The problem is, everything we can afford that is remotely eco-friendly is also designed to hold a much lighter flat panel TV. Looks like noone is making furniture for heavy tube TVs these days. We scoured through thrift stores and Craigslist looking afor an older piece, to no avail. We’re tired of looking at all these boxes and watching TV on the floor way below comfortable viewing height, so we decided to sell this TV and replace it with a flat panel model.
Of course that made my football watching husband happy, but it made me happy too because — let’s face it — flat panel TVs are a lot nicer to look at. Not exactly justification for replacing a perfectly good, fully functional TV, but at least both of us are happy with the decision.
Finding a TV that’s both green AND affordable, however, is a tougher task. We found some reasonable green options, like Phillips’ EcoTV (which apparently is no longer available new), Sony’s BRAVIA EcoSeries and Samsung’s energy efficient LED series, but we’re not really in a position to shell out 4 figures for a TV, like the Chicago screen rentals provider does when working for festivals and concerts, right? Not even close. So we started looking into buying a used or refurbished TV. After doing a lot of research, however, we learned that might not be such a good idea. LCD and plasma TVs are pretty costly to repair. So much so that many companies recommend replacing rather than repairing them. That made my green spidey senses start buzzing, but apparently this is a problem with all newer TVs, regardless of brand, so we don’t want to take the chance of buying an already defective used TV. We also don’t want to buy an off brand TV, which often come with poor or nonexistent customer service or warranties.
The top 3 brands recommended to us? LG, Panasonic and Sony. Next, we started narrowing by energy efficiency and other green characteristics. Where many of the more expensive green options are energy efficient AND have features like using fewer heavy metals and recycled, recyclable packaging, the more affordable options don’t have those features. In fact, the only truly green component is that most of them are Energy Star qualified.
Good, but not good enough for me. I want to know whether they use energy while on standby, which is a big reason TVs are such energy hogs. I want to know how far they were shipped and whether the packaging contains styrofoam. I want to know if they have auto-dimming features that maximize energy use by dimming the backlight based on the level of lighting in a room.
Suffice it to say I have turned what could have been a simple TV buying experience into a crusade to find the most sustainable option. I’ve officially become a crazy green shopper.
Does anyone have any suggestions for finding a greener TV? I’ll take any help I can get, and I know my husband is ready to get on with this process. Feel free to share your experience in the comments below. I’ll be forever indebted to you 🙂