In our house as in many others, the TV is the center of the entertainment universe. We watch our favorite shows on cable TV. We watch Blu-ray movies and DVD's. We stream Netflix and other services. We use it to play video games. So last night when in the middle of programming, the screen went dark...we all shuddered. The 'Black Screen of Death' had taken our TV.

TV's have a shelf life. We use ours almost constantly. The only time it isn't on is overnight. Our home is no different than many others. The TV is the core of our entertainment budget. As a family of five, we don't go out to tons of movies and events. It's simply too expensive. But when you've got 46 inches of HD goodness in your living room, who needs to? As we all stared at the 'Black Screen of Death' last night, part of me was sad and another was happy. I was sad because this TV and I had seen some great times. We watched tons of movies together. Saw some epic endings to Packer football games and Cardinal baseball games. But all good things come to an end. I was also saddened by the fact that I'm going to have to drop several hundred dollars I hadn't planned on spending in the next few days.

I'm happy though because of the advances in TVs. We bought this one right before all the 'smart' TVs came out. So now, I can get one with all my favorite apps built right in. TVs are also lighter and thinner than before, and with the advance of 4k technology, they look even better too. My research has begun on what model will grace our living room next.

As I carried our old TV out to the garage last night, it felt like I was about to bury a family member. In a way I was. No one sees more of you than your TV. Goodbye my 46 inch friend. I think it's time for an upgrade.