When we moved away from North America in 2006, one of the things that we left behind, but have discovered wo do not miss is a large screen TV. Nowadays, many households have a HDTV monster anchoring the living room. Due to space constraints, our own living room has been partially transformed into a home office/library, and so we've found ways to replace the big TV with smaller, more optimal ways to get our entertainment on...
It's been about a decade since we last paid for cable, and we haven't really missed it. Since there are now new alternatives to watching your favorite shows or movies, you don't really need to be tied down to a TV schedule. While these solutions won't work for everyone, they are still interesting to consider when you decide on what to get for your family room.
By far, computer screens have started to replace TVs everywhere. Whether it's in dorm rooms, usually an iMac will do the trick, or in home offices, TVs are becoming rarer because of the prevalence of large computer screens. Most people now have 22" to 30" screens, and these will easily replace an HDTV. Granted, the smaller sizes aren't perfect for watching movies with your friends, but in a pickle, we've watched movies on a 17" laptop screen and we were fine with it. If you have a multi-monitor setup, it's even better. We can already see four screens, placed close to each other, replacing a very large HDTV.
If you haven't used a recent LCD projector, then you should try one. Even the old ones are quite incredible once they're setup in your family room. We've played Xbox 360 on one, and hooked up our computer to watch a few movies. We were flabbergasted at the image of these large screens. The Epson projector we used resulted in a screen that was about 9 feet. Needless to say, playing Wii or watching cartoons can be almost mind-blowing, if you've never used one of these routinely.
Once dismissed as a novelty, video display glasses have come a long way. It's not uncommon to see someone on a plane watching their favorite movies or shows using one of these. Most of the newer models can display 2D and 3D movies, which is pretty convenient. These come in handy in a variety of different settings, especially if you tend to travel or need a big screen with a small footprint.