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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There's a Frozen Purple Snake in the Black Grass.

Ok, this is nothing more than my ranting about the state of HDTV.

All the companies that make HDTV's have a long long long way to go before they get any kind of quality or reliability built into these things. It's is very depressing to spend big dollars on these things only to find the major companies simply walk away from their products.

The DLP chip is a great product, and as far as I know the chip does not give trouble. But the companies that put them in TV's are not doing a good job at all. Out of nine DLP's in our family in the last year only ONE is still with us, so that must be a real fluke?

For me LCD's do not cut it; maybe someday they will, but it's not ready for me.

Plasmas are now appearing very promising; but no one will service these things, and I have learned the hard way you have to have someone to stand behind their product. I have seen way too many plasmas that are defective out of the box or die quickly.

All companies seem to fall into the trap, lets' get it to market first if it don't' work right we will worry about that later - or hope the customer just gives up on it No one company seems interested in making a quality product with any amount of reliability in it.

My latest DLP has been out for 7 weeks now, yesterday they installed everything new inside the box (only 6 months old). As soon as the tech saw the black grass (he wrote on the ticket - rising sun pattern), it played about 5 minutes, and then the firecrackers started. I said what is that noise? He said I don't know? - I never heard that before! They took it away last night. I called the factory company twice - the rudest people I ever talked too, so far their basic response has been tuff

So I took our HD recorder from the den, and hooked it up to the 20 year old 32 Trinitron, so we could watch 24 and Jericho last night. Man, I forgot what black detail is all about. That set was only $400 new. And a 26 year old 24 Trinitron still work perfectly. The only two TV's left in the house, that actually work!

Yea, I'm all for HDTV, let me know when they make one that works!

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8,253 Posts
It's stories like this that just help reinforce to me the fact that I went with "dinosaur" CRT RPTV was a smart (and relatively inexpensive) move.

Yeah...CRT based sets have issues, too.

"Convergence will drift". Mostly true, but my set is pretty freakin' solid in that regard. I have a pretty sensitive eye to such things, but I don't find myself constantly tweaking conv on my current set (Hitachi 51F59A). I got it all dialed in (after overscan reduction) and after a couple of touchups since then, it's been rock solid---and gorgeous!

"You'll get burn-in". Again, this can be true. Especially if left in "torch mode" (contrast too high). But if you dial in your video settings to reasonable levels and vary your programming, phosphor burn can be avoided completely.

"They're freakin' huge!" Very true, although my current set is about 20+ inches deep and sits on the floor. Bulk was not an issue in my case.

Really, the only major repair work I can see coming down the pike in the next 5-10 yrs would be replacing a conv IC or 2 at some point. That's it. Looking at either a 400 buck service call or (for those handy at soldering--I am, fortunately) $20-$50-ish pay out for parts and the cost of my own free time to fix it myself. Beyond that, I think I can handle watching 10 yrs of beautiful HD on my new/old HiDef brontosaurus. And it cost me just under $900 delivered at the time.

All I know is that I wish you luck, HoustonPerson.

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730 Posts
I think a lot of the quality issues stem from companies trying to bring prices down as low as possible. The majority of people out there only spent a few hundred for TVs in the past. They're not willing to cough up thousands now. A better picture just isn't worth it to them.

Rear projections also have to be cheaper to compete with flat panels. If prices were the same, most would go with the space-saving plasmas and LCDs.

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1,156 Posts

Originally Posted by koan

I think a lot of the quality issues stem from companies trying to bring prices down as low as possible.

I agree, it's basically the 'walmart effect'.

The mass consumer only sees dollar signs ($), they don't know much or care about picture quality and features.

They just see a 46inch flat panel for $900 and buy it. In order to maintain a competative market share, non-walmart manufacturers must attempt to drop prices to stay at least in the ballpark.

The result of these cost cutting measures is cheaper parts, less lead time for quality, less customer service, less compatability, and overall a product that is less reliable.

Still, the walmart brands are low in quality and reliability also, but just cheaper.

As prices are driven down, so is quality/reliability/performance.

I read a consumer reports article that showed most HDTV manufacturers were at about 11% to 15% defect rates. That was data from consumers and not actual manufacturer data.

But consider some manufacturers like Sony and Samsun are selling 1-2million digital TVs annually.

It gives you an idea of what the industry considers as "accpetable losses".
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