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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well,


I've trolled these boards for months, and learned probably more about TV's than I ever wanted to know. I learned the pros and cons of every major plasma brand, and made an informed decision. Thanks AVSFORUM members.


In the end, I chose the lowly Samsung PN-58B540 plasma from Sam's Club, along with their HT-BD1250 Blu Ray Home Theater In A Box. The TV was only $1998, and the HT was $567. And I just picked them up in my local store in my friend's pickup, and brought them home in pristine condition. Even as a novice, I set them up in 2hrs, and everything plug and played together in perfect harmony.


Here was MY situation. I sit 16ft away from my TV, in a well lit 20ftx20ft family room, which has 4 north facing windows BEHIND the televison. And I chose this Samsung over the 2008 Panasonic TH-58PZ800U and 2009 Panasonic TC-P54G10, TC-P54V10 and TC-P58V10 (which never showed before my wife's entertainment center arrived from NC).


I read WAY too much on this board, and then finally went and saw all these plasmas in Sears and Best Buy. I really TRIED to like the Panasonic's "superior black levels" and Picture Quality, but I always found myself adjusting the Panasonics to look like the Samsung's "Movie Mode". I found the Pannys to look fuzzier, dimmer and a bit too warm in skin tones than I LIKE. I had high hopes for the THX modes after reading the expert reviews, but the G10's THX mode was so dim, my wife probably would not "let" me use it to watch a movie :). Even in Movie Mode, I could adjust the Samsung to be nice and bright, and still have the realistic colors that I just loved.


I had higher hopes for the V10, but I just wasn't impressed when I watched the V10 vs. the older TH-58PZ800U in Magnolia. It did have deeper blacks, but it was crushing them in every setting in every mode, obscuring detail that was plainly evident in the TH-58PZ800U and the Samsung PN-58B540. This was obvious even to my untrained eyes. Is that normal for a V10m or was this a bad set? The G10 looked much better than the V10, in that respect, and was comparable to the Samsungs. In any case, I wasn't paying more money for something that looked worse.


In the end, the three primary deciding factors were:


1) I always seemed to like the BRIGHT, SHARP, REALISTIC colors of the Samsungs over the Panasonics, especially in Movie Mode. I even preferred the Samsung over the Pioneers, though I shouldn't have...


2) There was a lot of bang for the buck buying the bottom end of Samsung's new 2009 plasma line, and I couldn't tell the difference between this set and the $3300 PN-58B860, at Best Buy, at a savings of $1300 dollars!!!


3) Sam's Club had the best price and an infinite RETURN policy. So I figured that if the Samsung plasma buzzed like a bee, turned pink, developed Zebra stripes or just detonated like a Claymore, I was covered (some guys on this board are insane nit pickers ... sorry
) As I see it, I just bought into a free low end Sam's Club upgrade to the C, D, E model as the years go by, in case anything goes wrong. You can't beat that deal. I don't even have to arrange for warranty work, or worry about buying an extended warranty.



Anyway, here is the "First Light" report, as they say in the spook sat world...


As a complete novice, coming from a Sony 36in WEGA CRT, I hooked everything up in about 2hrs. The PN-58B540 is light as a feather compared to my beloved 36in Sony WEGA (which took me and a special ops dude to carry into the basement). In any case I turned on my new plasma home theater system, loaded a Blu Ray round in the chamber (Journey to the Center of The Earth) and sat back. Well, my family room started vibrating and shaking, and then my jaw just about dropped out of my mouth when I saw the picture. Holy ****, it looked like I could just walk right into the screen, it was so real (Movie Mode). It was way better at home than it was in the store. Their was a lot of wood in the first office scenes that seemed to exactly match the oak in my wife's new entertainment center, and it seemed as if I was actually IN THE MOVIE. A couple of scenes had some nasty looking, fanged deep sea fish, which I swear JUMPED right out of the screen. Me, my wife and kids were all literally ducking for cover from this "3-D" effect. Is that normal for a plasma? Wow, I never had so much fun watching TV in my life.


Anyway, all of this was had with the low end, Filterbright, 3-HDMI, non internet, buzz bomb, pink hued, zebra striped disaster of a Samsung plasma, coupled with their horrible sounding, cheapo HTIB Samsung solution



All kidding aside, I believe that I definitely made the right choice for myself and for my family's finances. I like the peace of mind knowing that I can return the set, and either get my money back or the newer wiz bang model, if I have any of the aforementioned problems. I'll have to say, the best part is that I no longer have to deliberate on what to buy, I can just sit back and enjoy.


Thanks again to all you AVSFORUM members for all the advice.


P.S. I decided that I have neither the time or patience to do all that break in picture stuff you guys are talking about. I'm just watching it with no sidebars, and hoping for the best. And for the buzzing, I can detect a hum when my ear is up close, just like in the store, but it is a non issue. Once you turn on any sound, you can't hear it. My DVR also makes a hum, which I think is more noticeable. My wife and kids noticed nothing, and I'm not telling them anything. Later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I had a hard time believing it as well, but here it is:


// samshelpcenter.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/251


HDTV's don't seem to have a 90day exemption, like they do at Costco. And even that is better than Best Buy or mailorder.


I have NO plans on abusing this policy, but I'm hanging onto the box, packing and receipt like they were gold. I like the idea of having that Sam's return/exchange/refund policy strapped to my ankle, just in case. A 100% satisfaction guarantee is really unheard of.
 

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I have been told the same thing by a Sams Club associate - bring it back ANY time if you are not satisfied. So 3-years down the road you could become dissatisfied because the NEXT BIG THING has been released, and you can return your old TV for the new TV. Keep your receipt and note all of the language of their policy.
 

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Careful, there are trolls lurking about that will post every quote, every review, and every mishap in an attempt to disprove your happiness and convert you to Panasonic.


You don't have to worry about a break-in really, I never did any with my B650 and love it to death.
 

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I was intent on purchasing at Costco because of their exemplary customer service. While they now have a 90 day return (because of the abuse mentioned earlier on this thread...) the do increase the warranty to 2 years.


I had occasion to return a set some time ago and they couldn't have been better. Really made a believer out of me. And, the set is gorgeous.
 

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Sam's Club made me a believer about a year ago.


I had purchased a TV for my daughter, along with the very reasonably priced extended warranty. Set went belly up just after the manufacturer's warranty expired. Called the extended warranty company and they ran in circles trying to find someone in my area that serviced my brand of tv.


After about a week of them being unsuccessful, but still trying, I called Sam's. Ended up talking to the store manager and he said bring the old set and receipt in and I'd get a complete refund.


I returned the set and not only got my money back, but the cost of the extended warranty to boot. Why the warranty? The Manager said that it didn't seem to be doing us any good getting the set fixed, so we shouldn't pay for it!.


The cash didn't stay in my hands long as we picked up another set (bigger size, different brand) and were out the door in about 15 minutes.


Sam's not only got their money back on the second tv purchase, but I've spent a ton of cash with them since, knowing that they place customer satisfaction before store process.


They are for real.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by aydu /forum/post/16988314


Sam's Club made me a believer about a year ago.


I had purchased a TV for my daughter, along with the very reasonably priced extended warranty. Set went belly up just after the manufacturer's warranty expired. Called the extended warranty company and they ran in circles trying to find someone in my area that serviced my brand of tv.


After about a week of them being unsuccessful, but still trying, I called Sam's. Ended up talking to the store manager and he said bring the old set and receipt in and I'd get a complete refund.


I returned the set and not only got my money back, but the cost of the extended warranty to boot. Why the warranty? The Manager said that it didn't seem to be doing us any good getting the set fixed, so we shouldn't pay for it!.


The cash didn't stay in my hands long as we picked up another set (bigger size, different brand) and were out the door in about 15 minutes.


Sam's not only got their money back on the second tv purchase, but I've spent a ton of cash with them since, knowing that they place customer satisfaction before store process.


They are for real.

It never ceases to amaze me that people will pay for an extended warranty at Sam's Club when they have a lifetime return policy. And don't even say that the extended warranty provides home service. Who wants to wait months for a part that the manufacture says is back ordered (but never really is), only to find the part doesn't fix the problem? Most people would love to have a lifetime return option of an LCD or Plasma TV since the life expectancy is about 2 years, and then you go and throw money away on an unnecessary extended warranty.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_Blough /forum/post/17003750


It never ceases to amaze me that people will pay for an extended warranty at Sam's Club when they have a lifetime return policy. And don't even say that the extended warranty provides home service. Who wants to wait months for a part that the manufacture says is back ordered (but never really is), only to find the part doesn't fix the problem? Most people would love to have a lifetime return option of an LCD or Plasma TV since the life expectancy is about 2 years, and then you go and throw money away on an unnecessary extended warranty.

In my case it was just ignorant consumeritis. I did not know about the return policy at that time.


At the time, the warranty was very cheap. The set + warranty was still well below what I could have gotten from other local outlets.


Knowledge is power and no more extended warranties from Sam's for me.
 
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