I picked up a new 46 inch XBR BRAVIA LCD HDTV from Best Buys a couple of days ago and hooked it into my existing system (Hybrid HDMI 7.1 receiver, 7.1 Polk speaker system, etc, etc). And, yes ... I could have bought one online ... I did buy my 40 inch XBR BRAVIA LCD HDTV from an internet vendor last year ... but dealing with those guys in Brooklyn left me a bit shaky about buying anything of substance from them again. So, I decided to pay a few hundred more and save myself the aggravation and trepidation of last year ... I figured leave the New Yorkers to New Yorkers ...
I bought the 46 inch set because of the outstanding picture and quality of the 40 inch XBR BRAVIA LCD HDTV I purchased last year. The idea being to put the larger 46 in set in my "home theater" space and move the 40 in to my bedroom; where I also have some decent middle-of-the-range A/V equipment. I had been wanting to upgrade a couple of components in my "home theater" (center channel speaker, new integrated remote) and thought the purchase of the larger set provided just the opportunity to revamp a few items - just some tweaks.
When I picked up the 46 inch set, I noticed the box felt lighter and the external packing was not as sturdy as I recalled for the 40 inch set. When I got it home and extracted the TV from the box, I noticed the box and packing were a great deal less robust then the 40 inch set ... the 46 inch set was cheaply packed in comparison. Then I saw there were no cooling fans in the 46 inch set ... unlike the 40 inch set which has a top mounted/center 120mm cooling fan. Then ... to my complete surprise followed by terrible heartbreak ... I saw why this set was poorly packed and was missing any active cooling ... the set was "Made in Mexico." I quickly ran into my bedroom and looked at the back of the 40 inch set ... "Made in Japan."
I hooked up the 46 inch set ... turned on the HDTV Cable Box ... tuned it to the best reference HD channel ... and noticed the picture was not nearly as good as the 40 inch set. I did my best to adjust the picture with the custom controls ... but, to no avail ... this is simple not the same quality set as the 40 inch ... its like a knockoff ... it probably is a sanctioned knockoff. The colors and contract are as bad as a cheap, crummy 50 inch VISIO plasma you can pick up at Sam's CLub for less than $1900! Oh man, was I ticked off.
I wrote a scathing email to Sony ... noting among other things, besides the horror of paying $4000 for a TV made in Mexico .... that the warranty card was printed in Spanish ... "Guarantia de Poliza" and though I cannot read Spanish, it appears that all warranty issues must be referred to Mexico City to the independent Sony de Mexico subsidiary. So we are paying $4000 for Sony Model KDL-46XBR2 HDTV's that are made in Mexico ... ? Oh, and Sony's reply ... a form-letter email advising me to call them because the issue I am raising is beyond the scope of email. Right ... let me waste my time calling some guy in Rangoon, India ... I am sure he will be able to put things right (LOL).