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Photograph: Erica GannettBill Abt

Scoring a Perfect Picture


Buying a TV in mid-January is not unlike purchasing an AC unit in mid-August or a turkey in mid-November. They’re in high demand. As the Super Bowl nears (February 3 this year), that old television suddenly seems inadequate.

“It is definitely a common thing,” says Billy Abt, co-president of Glenview’s Abt Electronics (1200 N Milwaukee Ave). “It’s much more common when the Bears are competing. When they were last in the Super Bowl, I think we doubled or tripled our TV sales that month.”

TVs konk out eventually, but before that happens, people usually want a bigger screen or the new technology. Among the newest is the Ultra HD, a.k.a. 4K, meaning 4,000 lines of resolution versus HD’s 1,080 lines. TVs keep getting bigger, thinner and more affordable. Why would someone not want to upgrade for the biggest football game of the year?

“You can get a 50-inch HD TV today for about $500, where five years ago you were talking about $2,500,” Abt says.

LG shipped its first Ultra HD to Abt in November. It costs a cool $14,999, but its 84-inch screen has more than triple the resolution of an HD screen. Was that a brick that just flew through your TV screen? Looks like it’s time for a new one.

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