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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got back from the Fry's Electronics in Sunnyvale, and found that they are now carrying the Sampo 34" Widescreen HDTV. AND, the price for this beauty is only $2499!!!


I wish I had waited a month to buy mine. Getting it local would make me feel better in terms of service/exchange. And, saving a few hundred dollars would have been nice too.
 

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Last week the Fry's in Wilsonville, OR had the Panasonic 34", don't know the model number, for $1599. Very tempting!


------------------

"I want my HDTV Set!"
 

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Great price yet past experience tells me that Fry's is about the last place I want to buy a big ticket item from. They buy inventory on the spot markets that they're not always authorized (by the manufacturers) to sell or service. They have blown up several computers that I brought back for minor fixes.


My rule with them is if you're certain that you know what you want and can find service elsewhere - go for it if they have a killer price. If not then keep looking.


I own a Sampo and am reasonably happy with it. Other folks on this forum are having significant problems with theirs. Check the thread Using the Sampo Service Remote for details.


Curtis
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Now, even Buy.com has the Sampo..
http://www.us.buy.com/retail/product...044509&loc=111


Their price is kind of high, $2900. But it's nice to see it more widely available.


Next, it would be nice to see an HDTV decoder come down to the $250-$300 price point. It's amazing how many people have HD capable TV's and are not using them for HD. Many don't even know about HDTV, and it's availability.
 

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All,


After reading all of the wonderful reviews of the Sampo, I went out and bought it from Fry's for the $2499 price advertised. A couple of my friends came over with their Video Essentials and Avia DVDs to calibrate it. I didn't have the service remote so I couldn't get the picture to it's full potential but it was pretty darn good. During the calibration, however, we noticed some color distortion on the left and right sides of the tube about 3-4" in from both sides. Most of the distortion was on the right. I relocated my "shielded" satellite speakers and degaussed the set. Most of the color distortion went away except for a sizable portion on the right. One of my buddies told me to give it a little while so I did. A week later the distortion was still there. The problem is very noticeable during solid color backgrounds, for instance, the blue screens you see when you select between inputs w/o video feeds. It's easier to see the problem with the non-progressive component input selection(YCBCR) because theres less flicker. When watching cable or DVD video via the YCBCR inputs I would find myself distracted and looking for this problem and I would notice it more often than not. I spoke to tech support and was told that the production of tubes of this size wasn't perfected and that they had already alerted Toshiba of this problem. I wasn't convinced this was the problem. I was hoping the internal speakers were to blame. I went ahead and had my first Sampo exchanged for a second one even after I had gone back to the store and witnessed the problem on the display model. When the second Sampo arrived...the same problem was there and even more pronounced. Three out of three with the same problem... not looking good for TeamSampo. I decided to open up the bad boy and pull out the speakers on the right side. After pulling out the "woofer" and tweeter, I degaussed it and saw no improvement. In addition to this problem, I began to notice a buzzing sound eminating(sp?) from the rear of the set. It was definitely louder than whisper level. I also noticed a power supply deficiency that has been discussed in this forum. During sudden bright scenes the picture would blackout. I noticed this problem watching the Fifth Element through a Denon 2800 progressive DVD player. The set would hiccup on the scene underneath the space cruiseship when a couple of guys were using flamethrowers to get rid of space rats in the wheelwells.


Sheesh.


I really do like the picture quality(minus the color distortion), 720p capability, vga input, and low price.


I really dislike manufacturing defects and poor build quality. I forgot to mention that I eventually lost the ability to select between the AV1, AV2, and YCBCR inputs for the first Sampo. After speaking to tech support, I was informed that this was a defect with one of their boards and that if I had electronics experience they could mail me the latest revision of the board so that I could install it myself. What kind of onsite service is that?


If I'm going to be shelling out $2499+tax for a television, I want it to last. If I could only fix the color distortion problem, I would possibly overlook the other issues...possibly.


Who's next? Panny Tau 34wx50, Loewe Aconda 32"(30"v), ...? I want a 16:9 flat screen HDTV with as many features as the Sampo as possible and a price tag under $2800. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks in advance,


Mecha
 

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Forgot to mention that both of the Sampos I evaluated were from the August 2000 build.


Attention Sampo owners without the color distortion problem, please give us the build date(s) of your TVs.


I also forgot to mention that the power supply hiccup didn't occur when I used an HTPC to watch the Fifth Element via the VGA port.


-Mecha
 

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Mecha,


If it is an option, you might try moving it to a location at right angle to where the set is now. The relationship of the earth's magnetic field to the set can make a big difference.


When I was a kid working in a TeeVee repair shop, I always asked the customer which wall the set would be backed up to, and would set purity up with the set in the same position in the shop.


Bob Smith
 
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