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It's the moment no technology enthusiast wants to face: my old 42-inch plasma has gone to the great TV repair shop in the sky. Click through this gallery for a step-by-step look at the replacement process, and also read the full story on how a CNET editor shops for a new TV.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Libe Goad/Dan Ackerman
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Honestly, it seemed slim back when I got it five years ago.

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The collection of consoles and boxes connected to my television.

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A hitch in my wiring plans: the Slingbox (which itself has pretty spotty performance of late) doesn't support HDMI connections.

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I make no excuse for this tangled rats' nest of wires.

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My secret shame: my current setup consists largely of component video connections.

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Maybe I should have gotten the Vizio.

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Bon voyage, Maxent! Also, does anyone want to come over and help me carry this thing down three flights of stairs?

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Semi-carefully labeled cables, all ready for the new TV.

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The box arrives with no visible damage.

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Inside the box, with the stand helpfully packed right on top.

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The new Samsung weighs about half what my old 42-inch did.

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I always start with the instructions, seriously.

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Despite all the advancements in TV technology, no one has figured out how to make the instructions more understandable.

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Setting up the stand, I drilled one wall mount into my exposed brick wall, and it's not a task I want to repeat.

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Screwing the set into the base.

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The assembled television and base, ready to test.

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My able assistant pauses to examine the packing materials.

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The moment of truth--time for a power test.

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It's hard to see, but this is the set actually turning on for the first time, passing the DOA test.

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Flipped around and ready to be wired up.

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A Final Fantasy game, via PS3.

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A peek at Call of Duty: Black Ops, via Xbox 360.

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A close-up view of the brushed-metal screen bezel.

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At 1.4 inches deep, this is a plasma that's as thin as many LCD sets.

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