I think I want a TV between 37" and 42". That way, it won't be any smaller vertically than my existing old-school 27" CRT. I also know I want 1080p and 120/600 Hz. Specs like that should be available for close to $500 in a few months, I have a feeling, if they're not already. I'm not sure what other numbers matter.
I need to buy a stand. And a universal remote. I don't know anything about universal remotes these days, except that they're uber-fancy and cost a lot more than I'd expect them to. (Apparently you can spend $200 on a remote??)
And I need some sort of DVR setup. As far as I can tell, the options are:
|Tivo||Really easy to set up and use||I hate monthly fees, and lifetime subscription is $400. So much less control (No auto commercial skip? I've had that in my standard-def DVR since 2003! No place-shifting either?)|
|Windows-based computer with Media Center and CableCARD (either roll-your-own, which recently got easier, or buying prefab system)||More control than TiVo, no monthly fees||Ugh, Windows. Ugh, CableCARD. Edit: Less "ugh" on CableCARD, but ugh, prefab systems, and ugh, all roll-your-own CableCARD options are also $250 and are sold out everywhere.|
|MythTV||Tons of control, costs whatever I want, no monthly fees||Uber-complicated, might never be completely smooth UI (i.e. usable by roommate), requires separate $250 box to do cable in HD|
|added from comments: Cable company's DVR||Free up-front||"Dumb as a post", not much storage, costs even more per month than TiVo|
I'd like to do it all for about $1200. Should be doable. Just want to make sure I do it right.
And I need to be smart about spending around $8, not around $80, for cables and stuff.