The first time I needed a tv was the first time I lived alone--sophomore year of college. My grandmother died that year, and I inherited her very nice television, which I then used for the next five years until I moved to Rhode Island.
When I told people I was moving to Rhode Island with only what fit in my car, and I was selling Grandma's tv, people were appalled. I got at least two offers of tvs "so small it won't even take up that much room", and finally my new landlady in Rhode Island, whom I hadn't even met at the time, gave me a rather nice tv to use for the duration of my tenancy. After that, I moved in with BF, who had a tv, and a couple years ago, he upgraded to a nice flatscreen.
Now, I'm in the situation where I'm going to be living by myself for a year, and I'd like a tv, but the nature of my tv watching has changed. Presently, I can watch tv on my laptop. That works fine when I'm just half watching something, or for the treadmill, but then I can't really also use my computer. I could certainly get a nice tube tv off of freecycle for no money at all, but more than half of the tv/movies I watch are streaming from netflix or Virgin Media TV, so I would need a tv that plugs into my laptop, or some kind of streaming device like a Roku. Plus, there's watching movies with friends, which I wouldn't want to do on my puny laptop. What's the point of living alone if you can't have slumber parties!?!
So I really don't know what the best solution is. I don't want to spend a lot of money since this is temporary, but I also don't want to have a lot of hassle associated with a leisure activity. Anyone have any suggestions for me? Is there something I missed?