Call me a late adopter, but I have finally gotten rid of all CRTs in my house (partially as a space saving measure in preparation for our upcoming move to a smaller house, although this may just be a subconscious way of justifying the expense ;) ). I replaced my 32” CRT TV with a 37” LCD TV and my 19” CRT computer monitor with a 22” widescreen LCD monitor. The difference is amazing, although my remaining video equipment isn’t quite up to par (particularly my DVD player, which is not upconverting and seems to have a broken component output).

I’m thinking of hooking up my old modded Xbox (original, not 360) and relying on the absolutely amazing XBMC (Xbox Media Center) software. Sure, an Xbox isn’t quite as sleek as an Apple TV, but in terms of features it’s actually surprisingly close, and better in some respects. I can stream movies (in pretty much any format including DiVX) and music over the network or store them on the 160GB hard drive inside the Xbox. There are also plugins to view Youtube videos, movie trailers, listen to Internet radio, and more. But I digress…

My Wii also looks much better on the new TV. Even though the Wii only supports 480p. this actually is a significant improvement over 480i. But now I’m starting to wish I had an Xbox 360 or a PS3 to really get some high def gaming on. :)

The 22” computer monitor is also a world of difference from my old 19” CRT (which was getting close to the end of its lifetime with annoying brightness and color distortion issues anyway). I have hooked it up to both my Linux / Windows dual boot machine and my Macbook Pro, although I find myself using the Mac for pretty much anything these days (a topic for another day, perhaps). I’ve been getting neck pains from staring down too much at my Macbook screen lately, and hooking it up to a nice big monitor helps a lot. But the new monitor has also prompted me to boot into Windows (it had been a while…) and try out some games. Overall the picture quality is great, but it’s surprising how many reasonably recent (1-2 years old) games still lack proper support for widescreen aspect ratios. Still, I might have to do some more gaming on my PC again.

Bye bye, good old cathode ray tube…