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RCA F38310 HD Direct View TV- good price? questions...

597 Views 14 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  PPS
I am looking for a TV for my new place. I recently went and saw a used RCA F38310 38 Inch High Definition Direct View TV. The person that was selling it had HD broadcast hooked up and it looked pretty damn good, although i did see some artifacts(owner attributed that to being far away from HD source). The set was bought in July 2000 and looked to be in pretty good shape. He is asking $900 for the set+stand(no ext waranty). I might be able to bring him down to +/- $850, is this a good deal? If not, how much is? i ve read some reviews of the set and many people seem to have some major issues with it. I ve listened to the fan noise and it did not bother me much. I also tested the DVD there Moulin Rouge, and was not all impressed with the quality, i tseemed like it was a little grainy at times.. is it his dvd player? he said it was prog scan.

I am located in central san jose, ca. Anyone have any idea regarding the quality of the HD signal i can get using a table top antena?

Any known issues i should look for before i buy the set? any known problems that i can check for?

Any info wuld be appreciated...
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If I was going to buy a used RCA 38" it would have to have a EXT Warranty. I think this still could be done for a price. The way most companies do this is if the original Warranty has expired they send a Authorized Tech to test the set for any problems, if there aren't any

then you can purchase the Warranty from them. I don't know what RCA

charges to come out and do this diagnostic service but it might be under $100. On top of the price for the Warranty. Since there have been many

known problems with this unit it would pay just to have the set Diagnosed

If it is worth $900 or not is a seperate story.
i dont know if i'd want to pay extra for a warantee, but the guy said he has never had any problems with the set (seemed to love RCA) :rolleyes:

How do i tell what the version of the tv is? i heard they fixed a lot of the issues in the later versions.
I would see if I could get a warranty (3 year minimum) and then offer him this price subtracted from the $900. I really like mine, but is it a question of WHEN, not if it will have problems. Why is he selling it?
who do i contact regarding extended warantee? from some of the reviews i read, it seems like the RCA warantee is subpar as well. He is selling the set because he wants to buy plasma due to lack of space.. he is an older gentelman and seems to be pretty truthfull. He said his brother also owns the RCA and has never had any problems with it. I guess i am thinking risk vs return... would lets say $800 be worth it. I'll try to find out about ext warantee
1) check the model #. Look for a plate on the left side behind the speaker or on the back. It should state "F38310JXn n=a number. if it's JX1 or 2... be very careful! JX3 be cautious. JX4 or YX5, you're still vulnerable to problems.

Bottom line is... all of these sets have sub-rated capacitors on the power supply card for the DM-1 module. You need to ask is he's had any repairs perfomed on this set. If need be, take the back off of the set and check for yourself. The old (bad) caps are brown and rated at 85 degrees C (not sureabout the voltage). The correct caps are rated at 125 degrees C and are blue.

Take his persuasive sell with caution! If he's had this set for awhile, he knows what he bought AND he knows what he's selling! You could potentially "buy" into a problem(s).

I have an F38310 and recently had my set die after a year and a half. had to have the caps and some diodes replaced. Fortunately, I was well aware of this potential and had an extended warranty.

I don't know if you can get a warranty as a second owner, but if the caps haven't crapped out yet on this set... they will! So, proceed with caution and don't go by the seller's word. Check fpr yourself.

If you are not technically challenged and have soldering skills... you can perform the cap upgrade yourself. Either way... I would shoot for no more than $750. It's a good set once the upgrade is performed and usually some 'tweaks' via the service menu. There's plenty of info here and other forums. Good Luck! (and... don't be fooled by the "little old lady that only drives her car to church on Sundays!") ;)
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It's a good set once the upgrade is performed and usually some 'tweaks' via the service menu. There's plenty of info here and other forums. Good Luck! (and... don't be fooled by the "little old lady that only drives her car to church on Sundays!") ;) [/b][/quote]

I bought the service manual for this set, but the instructions for accessing the service menu don't seem to be right! It says the following:

1. Press and release the POWER button to turn the instrument on.

2. Press and hold the CH DOWN button.

3. Press and release the TV-DIRECTV button.

I've tried this procedure many times, but it does not seem to work. Can anyone help? Thanks!
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I believe the pressing is done simultaneously. I've only done it once. :)
That is correct... the CH Down and TV buttons MUST be pressed "simultaneously" from the Front Panel (not the remote).
Originally posted by reybie
I believe the pressing is done simultaneously. I've only done it once. :)
Tanks, reybie and Ratman! I tried doing it simultaneously, and I seem to enter the first page which shows the P and V, both at 0, but I cannot increment the value to 76 as instructed by the manual. And I AM using the buttons on the top of the set! I wonder whether my particular set has a problem with those buttons when the menu is active! They do work normally to change channels and adjust the volume. Well, thanks, guys! You got me to access the menu. Now I must figure out why I cannot increment the value to 76.
Onec you're in "service mode", you can use the remote to change the P: and V: values.

Beware!!! make absolutely sure that you WRITE DOWN the V: values PRIOR to making any changes! That way if you foul up, you can always get back to where you started.

Good luck!
So far we've owned this set for about a year (JX4 model) with no problems but I'm wondering if the "upgrade" to the caps should be done anyway. But as the saying goes: "If it ain't broke...

'Got it for under a grand at a CC here in Houston WITH a five year warranty from CC. In fact, now that I think about it, I had the "Regional" service center give the set a "check up" as it WAS a demo model that had not been used much. For once I actually believe a salesman at an electronics retailer. He said that the set had pretty much been as my wife and I had found it at the store- -in a dark corner turned off. The "Odometer" in the service menu validated his statement...

The only thing I haven't done (I can be lazy sometimes) is hook up the HD dish. Then again, that was recently purchased...


PS: The ONLY complaint so far is the OTA receiver's low sensitivity. At least it's low compared to other sets I've owned... I know I've even read that somewhere about this set. One other thing that I believe I've read: Does this set use the same tube as the 'Aconda'?
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well thanks for the input guys.. didnt have the cojones to take a chance on a $900 tv that has a bad history. Ended up getting the sony wega 36sv13. Pretty happy with the purchase
Same tube as the "Aconda", but way different electronics.
I recently saw the F38310 at Best Buy as an Open Box item for $999.00.

It sat there on a low shelf, sort of out of the way, for a few weeks.

Now they moved it to a prominent high traffic location. It's got two big signs near it "Originally $2500.00" "Now Open Box Item price $1800.00" !

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