This week I gave myself an early Christmas Present, and had a flat-screen TV installed in my bedroom. Nothing helps celebrate the birth of our Lord like 40 gleaming inches of High-Definition programming.
It's actually a pretty sweet setup, with all the cords hidden in the wall, and the components neatly hidden in the next room. In the grand scheme of things, the TV itself wasn't all that expensive. What really gets you is all the extras: the wall mount, the electrician to install an outlet 6 feet up the wall, the Blu Ray player, the HD-DVR,....it goes on.
The other cool toy Best Buy put me on to was the Harmony 890 Universal Remote. In order to have all the components hidden in the next room, you need a remote that can send a signal through walls and cabinets. It's got a million features, and you actually plug it into your computer to program it. Additionally, there are these little sensors you apply to everything you want to control with it. Apparently it will also turn on your fireplace, dim the lights, and perhaps prepare a romantic dinner for 2.
I had purchased all these components a couple days before the Geek Squad could come out to put it all together - so my apartment looked like an electronics storage depot. Normally I'm pretty handy with the home improvement and electronics projects, but I get a bit squeamish about hanging thousands of dollars on the wall with just a few screws - so I let the pros do it.
While I was waiting for the big install day, I decided to plug in the Blu Ray player and see if it lived up to the hype. After the test run, I innocently forgot to take the DVD out before the installers got here. A few days later when the guys got everything all hooked up - they turned the power on ...and sure enough, there it was. Cocktail (and Tom Cruise) in all their gleaming bartending glory. Personally, myself and the Geek Squad guys thought this was extremely awesome. You, gentle reader, may draw your own conclusions.