Farewell Sony Trinitron

Farewell good friend

          It is time to say farewell to a long trusted white noise friend. For the last several years, 1989, my home view into the wide world of visual media was a 19” Sony Trinitron TV. Three moves over more than 2000 miles, my Trinitron has never failed. Early cable stereo–no problem, digital signal–no problem, and HD digital signal–oh yes.

          Although it works with rabbit ears (analog) on 1-125 channels, I’ve mainly used as a monitor for pay-cable converter boxes. It is wired for a 75-ohm antenna input, comes with a remote, and built-in sleep timer. To use it with a digital signal and hook it up to DVD surround, I added a GE 3 in/out AV switch and stereo converter. To receive HD, all I needed was an HD receiver from the cable company.

          As a solid state round edge CRT, I can’t express the amazing depth of analog color and picture sharpness. Never fuzzy or washed out, no shadow, and the colors are still true. The focus is dead on. Sony built this one to last.

          I got it in 1989 from Target on a rain check. I was in the market for a 12” or smaller, second TV, and found one at Target on sale. Bait and switch or not, the electronics employee gave me an extremely generous Rain Check, half-off any TV. I never bought a 12”, and a few months later, they received a shipment of brand new Sony’s. The 19” was amazing, a TV’s TV if such a thing existed, and with the Rain Check I purchased it for $150. The full price was $299 in 1989, which is about $540 in 2010. No small amount for the last year of my on/off again BS degree with two jobs, quick printer and grocery store produce clerk.

          From day one, this Sony has preformed amazingly. Initially as easy to hook up as some new sets, and unlike new sets, no input choices to make at setup. Simply push the program button on the remote and all available channels are live.

          You may be asking yourself, as I have for the last couple of years, why replace it? The technology has advanced so much, there are some things I just can’t do without jumping through high hoops or developing converters in my virtual garage. I cannot hook it up to a laptop or set top media streaming device. The add-ons on add-ons use a good mile of wire, and I use a crib sheet, a map of Oz, to re-hook when I replace components or need a service call from the cable company. It is a modularized set up, but the wires are extreme eyesores. I don’t have enough cabinet space to hide them all. A new set promises to reduce the level of complexity at least exponentially.

          I’ve chosen a 32” Vizio 1080p HD LCD, Eco TV with four HDMI ports and a thickness of 2.2 inches. It should use a lot less energy than my Sony, and 32” is plenty for my 10 x 20 foot apartment living room in San Francisco. It integrates perfectly with my other complements and into my Skandia shelf system. It will easily move to the bedroom, if at some point, 3D or OLED (organic light emitting diode) paper become standard fare in the future. I shopped the Sony’s, but for value and quality of image, the Vizio won out in all my research. Not to mention, it is made in Irvine CA. Time will tell, if it will hold up as long as my faithful Trinitron.

          The downside is that I have no room for the Sony and it may just become toxic electronic waste. I will try to find it a new home with friends and local recyclers like CRC, even Goodwill. I will miss its simplicity and quality. Thanks, 19” Sony Trinitron; you’ve been a great friend.

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