Saturday, February 03, 2007

Plasma TV Money Pit

My wife and I have been drooling over 50" plasma TV's for about 2 years now, but since we already had a rather large TV, we just sat back and watched as we knew the prices would plunge, eventually.

Being the first on your block to have one isn't always the smartest move.

The same Panasonic units that started around $5K when we first saw them recently dropped to $3500 last year and within 6 months was selling for around $2800 at Costco. We sat back and watched the prices further plunge to $1999 before Christmas and then jump back up a few hundred after the holidays.

So here comes SuperBowl, not that I'll be watching it as we affectionately call it SuperBore, but that's a different rant. However, the SuperBore gave the stores an excuse to run yet another sale so when they put the supposedly $2799 priced TV back on sale for $1999 with FREE SHIPPING, and a coupon for an extra $150 off, we finally broke down and yelled SOLD! to the gentlemen in the back for $1849.

Then comes the fun part as they try to shove an extended warranty down your throat for $500 which includes replacement for damage due to those scary POWER SURGES. Sorry, at the rate TV's are dropping in price I could replace it with a lesser model 50" for $1200 so I don't think I'll need that warranty. Not to mention the fact that for a mere $99 I can get a decent UPS with surge protection which also keeps the DVR and DVD player powered up when the electricity goes off which is a huge bonus.

Not that the electricity goes off very often, but these damn Comcast DVR's lose their TV Guide when they lose power and it takes almost 2 days to completely restore the damn thing. We also have a Tivo that doesn't have that problem, it retains the TV schedule after a power failure, but Tivo also doesn't have a dual-tuner unit with both inputs that are full digital cable capable. Needless to say, the UPS unit will come in handy.

Now you either need to wall mount this damn TV or buy a big ass TV stand. Being that we couldn't agree which wall to mount the thing on, we ended up buying some big ass TV stand with a mounting bracket on the back so the TV is elevated a bit more for better viewing than just sitting on top of the stand. Living in California also makes having the TV secured to something in the event of an earthquake also a better idea than leaving it loose on top of the TV stand. The best part is the mounting bracket on the stand is articulating so it will easily swivel without scooting the TV on top of the stand.

Well hell, when you've already spent all this money why stop without adding HOME THEATER SURROUND SOUND to the package. I thoroughly expect to have the neighbors calling the cops when they hear constant shooting sounds as I love to watch cop and mobster shows.

Expect to see my house surrounded by a SWAT team on the local news...

OK, here's where these screwy companies selling this high-tech stuff piss me off as I notice I'm about to be ripped off.

Well, you'll need an HDMI cable and those start at $99.

BULLSHIT! They only start at $99 if you're suckered into buying MONSTER CABLE! You can get other brands starting around $10 and even with gold contacts like Monster Cable for a lot less.

Get this, if you buy a TV from the store it's free delivery but they wanted an extra $50 for delivering the TV stand.

Excuse me?

I'm spending all that money and you want yet another $50 for delivering the TV stand even though it's coming with the TV that has free shipping?

Wait, that installation service you want me to buy for $400 doesn't include assembling the TV stand either?

Where do you install the TV then?

The answer I got was "Wall mount or we set it on the floor."

Excuse me?

Even Staples will assemble things staring for as little as $15 and you tell me for an extra $400 you'll come in and leave me with a TV on the floor and a TV stand in a box?

OK, all my bullshit alarms are going off now, I know when I'm getting screwed.

Fine, delivering the TV is free, you're delivering the damn TV, but kiss your $400 setup service goodbye.

We ran out and got a TV stand and the sound system and it'll be ready to go when the TV arrives, and I won't be paying any $50 for delivering it, nor will you get $400 for doing something half-assed like leaving it sitting on my floor.

I'll do the installation myself and do it half-assed for free.

So I've got my less expensive HDMI cables ready to go, TV stand and home theater sound, the cable company has enabled HDTV service, I'm good to go.

The only thing missing is the TV which is supposed to arrive tomorrow afternoon.

How many of you expect a rant tomorrow when everything goes to hell?

Be prepared for part 2...


Anonymous said...

Don't buy a decent tv and then let yourself down with a cheap cable. What a cunt.

IncrediBILL said...

Well anonymous cunt, if you knew shit about cables then you could have a rational discussion but you can't.

Considering I used to work in electronics R&D I think I know a little about cables, and Monster Cable is just over priced brand name cable.

The gold contacts for premium connections you can get on cables about half the price, whoop dee doo, and for longer cables it's the shielding that protects the cable from picking up noise, and Monster Cable doesn't have a lock on shielding.

If you want to pay twice the price for a brand name, be an ignorant cunt, see if I care.

Besides, who said I paid anything for cables at all?

Turns out the cable company will give you the cable FREE to connect the TV to their digital cable box.

So it was FREE you stupid cunt! ;)

UKSBD said...

Did it arrive OK?

IncrediBILL said...

Yup, it showed up OK, but there's more to the story when I get time.

tm said...

Cables are the bigest ripoff in the business. Customers dont understand anything. Strange how a computer user would understand that a $99 monitor cable would not make his computer look better but falls for it on a digital TV. Its digital people its just like a computer. Get the lowest cost one you can find as long as it doesnt break it will work.

I worked on one of these HDTV and stereo install contracts (most likely the same store your talking about. ) until I found out that they were selling the service for $400 but I was only getting $45 and $60 for the contract installs.

I got sick of being asked by the customers to run wires in the walls for free and mount TVS on the wall for no pay.

Thats why no one wants to work for them they dont give the $400 to the contractors.

CT Media said...

Way to lay into the anonymous cunt !

It's also amazing how the big box stores rip you off totally for the wall mounts.

As an EE and knowing a little about the skin effect I actually bought into the Monster Cable bullshit for speaker wires. I think it total BS for signal cables though.