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Pioneer HDTV for only $2999 at Costco

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Old 01-16-2005, 08:58 PM   #1  
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Default Pioneer HDTV for only $2999 at Costco

I just saw a Pioneer PDP-4312 HDTV Plasma at Costco for only $2999. I cannot find any information regarding the quality of this product. Does anyone have any information about it?
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Old 01-17-2005, 12:07 AM   #2  
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I've often seen stuff at Costco and have done some researchl. For the most part the panels at Costco are 2nd and 3rd generation to whats more current. In this area of merchandise Costco resells excess inventory and is not noted for most current merchandise.
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Old 01-17-2005, 12:59 AM   #3  
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Default I just picked mine up tonight

I'm still deciding on whether or not to keep it.

According another forum, there are some people having issues with this set. However, it was sitting next to a Panny TH-42PA20U at Costco and doing a good job of beating it. I'm still positive the Panny's blacks beat this model hands down, but the TH-42HD7UY model cost another $400.00 more after tax and adding an HDMI Slot.

I also had to buy a Toshiba DVD with HDMI to do the upconverting thing. I bought the monster HDMI cable and have been swapping back and forth with the less dramatic HDMI cable that came with it. Not noticing a huge difference at the moment.

I'm really tired now so forgive any errors in this post. So far, it's doing well. The speakers are alright considering they are 12 watts-of course there's not alot of bass.

One thing I'm concerned with is the number of HDMI ports. I physically can't add another port to this panel. The Panny 7UY has that ability plus the Blacks (one person from AVS already returned his 4312 for the Panny cause he couldn't live without the blacks-I could be doing the same thing). I would like to hook up Comcast Digital Cable now. This will require a DVI to HDMI cable for the STB. However, this takes up my HDMI for the DVD player. I want to run component out, but according to Best Buy this player can only upconvert using the HDMI jack.

I heard or read there was an HDMI hub available? Anyone know where one of the hubs are and the details.

Another selling point that Costco has is the ability to return the unit if not 100% satisfied or if a pixel goes out-even 4 years later. Save the receipt, manuals and maybe the box (not sure on the box).

I even considered the Vizio HD42 with tuner since it's going on sale today for $2,000. But the Pioneer had it beat with it's PQ.

I believe another forum mentioned that the 4312 is closely related to the 433 CMX. It's funny that you can't get the manuals for this model on Pioneer's website. This model is exclusive built by Pioneer for Costco. Plus, it's marketed as the pdp-4312, but out of the box on the back it reads pdp-4304 (don't know what's up with that). The manual also states a pdp-4314 version. There's also a 50 inch version PDP-5004C which is on sale for 4,499.99

I'm noticing on some DVDs like Star Wars Return of the Jedi (widescreen) that it's necessary to zoom 3x times to fill the screen. I don't want to burn my screen at a young age, but the screen looks better not using the zoom. I'm afraid of the black bars on the top and bottom. A full screen version of Star Wars Attack of the Clones looks just fine.

I would have preferred the PDP-4345, but that one's starting at above 4K. In the 4K plus area the 50 inch is the way to go.

I will mess with the set tomorrow after work and maybe post again to let people know if it still gets my vote.

Until then I hope I made a good decision.
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Old 01-17-2005, 10:28 AM   #4  
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Yea, thats the great thing about Costco. Is their return policy. The Pioneer 4345 is about $4299 out of Beyond Plasma in N.Y. Their noted as an authorized internet dealer on the pioneer website. Extended warranty is pretty reasonable too.
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Old 01-23-2005, 02:42 PM   #5  
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i just saw the Pioneer PDP-4304 at Costco and I'm seriously considering it. Also comes with a stand and speakers as well and as mentioned b4 an HDMI slot. If anyone has any more info. on this set I would really appreciate it.. for the money it looks pretty hard to beat. I'm a little concerned about a plasma because I would playing ALOT of xbox on the set, and am concerned about burn-in.
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Old 01-23-2005, 09:07 PM   #6  
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Default Make sure Costco is an authorized reseller

Costco most usually isnt, as I was looking at a JVC 42" plasma, the one with the built in Subwoofer... anyway, Costco is most usually not an authorized reseller, so the manufacturer won't honor the first year of warranty.... as far as the return policy is concerned...this is from an electronics department's sales person at Costco, and I quite" It is at the manager's discretion"....... hmm...... makes you wonder, doesn't it????????
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Old 01-23-2005, 09:41 PM   #7  
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Default I've had it a week now

So far I have tried DVD with HDMI at 480P, 720P & 1080i. Excellent picture. Tonight I hooked up the laptop-aspect ratios 4:3 and Wide look good, watch out for burn on the 4:3. Screen kick in automatically at 3 minutes. This is hard coded.

I have an X-Box, but I don't really have time to play it. I might try it just so I can tell you what I think of it on the big screen. I would be extremely concerned with screen burn on this one. The manual states the repeated short burst of static images over time will cause After Image or Lag Image. Extended static images for several hours like the score counters and headers & footers will cause it as well.

I would suggest to switch inputs from x-box to a movie-just so you get the pixels in motion.

I'm watching Star Wars: Attack of the Clones right now. It really looks good using the Toshiba HDMI SD-5970 at 1080i. I had a monster HDMI cable, but didn't see a difference with the generic HDMI cable that came with the Toshiba. I'm actually listening to the movie with just the 12 watt speakers-not enough bass though. Those explosions off the x-box need the sub woofer.

SD tv looks better than I thought it would considering it's sending thru a composite input-just like the x-box would use. I will get the Digital Comcast box tomorrow which I'll run component with digital coax to my new Panasonic SAX70 (that arrives this Thursday). I also pickup a Harmony 659 universal internet learning remote. It's not working with switching the inputs on the Pioneer. But most of the other stuff works on the remote. The remote will set you back $150.00 but it's worth every penny if the wife likes it.

You can actually program lights, air conditioning, fans if they are IR compatible. I can't wait for HD. It sucks there's only a couple channels available, but I want to see it in my house and not some demo at a store.

I picked the Pioneer due to Costco's return policy. It like purchasing a Plasma with an extended warranty without buying the warranty. I would have otherwise picked the Panasonic TH-42HD7UY or the ED version of it. The blacks on the Pioneer are okay. The greens are surreal. I'm watching Star Wars in movie mode. It's a full screen version.

My wife likes the set. She says it almost has a 3-d effect on the movie. She hates the burn in factor-so I may have to consider the Sharp Aquos 32" LCD to trade in at Costco.

I'm rebuilding my home theatre at the moment. The wife is thinking I should wall mount the Plasma. Right now it's on a swivel stand-remember the Pioneer has a static stand. We can watch it from anywhere downstairs. I was originally going to put it in the bedroom-which the speakers are good enough to do that. Surround in the bedroom might be a little overkill.

The unit itself looks great-all black. The Vizio Plasma unit at Costco is $2,000 on sale. That's a 42 HD unit, but it didn't look as good as the Pioneer. It took about an hour at Costco walking back and forth between the two sets (they were about 30 feet apart-I wish they could have right next to each other) The Akai 42 ED at $1,700 or so wasn't even a consideration. The Panasonic 42 ED was next to the Pioneer at $2,400 or $2,500. It's picture wasn't as great as the Pioneer which surprised me.

I also like the way these units were packed for shipping. Very simple and easy to unbox. It's better if you have two people when unboxing and setting it up-even if you're not wall mounting it.

It does collect dust and it's easy to scratch according to the manual. Use the lint free cloth supplied. I have not cleaned it yet. Not noticing the screen door effect that people talk about.

Is that enough commentary? Or are you asleep already.

Sorry for the rambling...
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Old 01-23-2005, 10:11 PM   #8  
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Default Jatmobile questions?

The PDP-4304 aka 4312 are exclusively manufactured for Costco by Pioneer. The 50 inch model states this on the Costco website. Have you seen this model anywhere else? Is this an older model in disguise?

If they are 2 or 3rd generation panels as stated in this thread, it looks pretty good in use. However, that comment about manager discretion is not a great thing to hear. I was told by Costco staff that the only products they do not accept for return are laptops, PCs and food.

Does anyone know what generation panel Pioneer is currently producing? Panasonic's generation is 7, but I do not know Pioneers.
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Old 01-24-2005, 09:52 AM   #9  
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Default Shagg.....I am sorry but I have to say... "buyer beware"!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagg
The PDP-4304 aka 4312 are exclusively manufactured for Costco by Pioneer. The 50 inch model states this on the Costco website. Have you seen this model anywhere else? Is this an older model in disguise?

If they are 2 or 3rd generation panels as stated in this thread, it looks pretty good in use. However, that comment about manager discretion is not a great thing to hear. I was told by Costco staff that the only products they do not accept for return are laptops, PCs and food.

Does anyone know what generation panel Pioneer is currently producing? Panasonic's generation is 7, but I do not know Pioneers.
I know that the price Costco offers on the Pioneer is unbeatable, but for a few hundred dollars more, wouldn't you want the peace of mind of knowing that
1. Yes, your unit will be fixed right.
2. If not fix-able, it will be replaced.
3. You don't have to pack it up and haul it to the retailer, everytime you need service.

I was seriously considering the JVC model that they had, since the galss was made by NEC/Fujitsu, and all JVC had on it was the electronics and the sound. What turned me away from the purchase was the vague answers that I was given by the sales rep. on their return policy. If I was you, I would get it in writing that they would accept the TV back, 4 years down the line, if anything goes wrong with it.

Here is some food for thought!!! You must have paid sales tax on the TV, right?(unless you are in NH, or DE). What if you had bought the tv online, and the money you saved on sales tax, had you put that money towards and ext. warranty plan from lets say warran-tech or Philips???

Hopefully, none of what I have said would become of any concern to you, and your tv will give you years of trouble free operation. But the truth is, most of the TVs they sell, they are not authorised resellers on.

Good Luck, and once again, I don't mean to dis-hearten you... really..
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Old 01-24-2005, 12:20 PM   #10  
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You'd be surprised to hear that they are authorized dealers on some of those tvs. Namely, Panasonic claims Costco as an authorized dealer along with Circuit City and Tweeter. Find out if they're authorized Pioneer dealers for that added peace of mind.
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Old 01-24-2005, 07:41 PM   #11  
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I got an email about a month ago from pioneer concerning Costco. They are an authorized dealer of Pioneer.
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Old 01-25-2005, 10:04 PM   #12  
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Default Great news for my 4304

Thanks to PDonnell for confirming Costco as an authorized dealer.

And I understand Jatmobiles critique-honest feedback is why these forums exist. I maybe rolling the dice in some ways, but a 3 year warranty costs $480.00

I'm already big $$$ into my home theatre setup. I pushed my spending limit to edge to get HD. Had to hold back on the speakers-don't want to bust the MasterCard.


Next monitor will be SED-after I get promoted of course.
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Old 01-27-2005, 09:53 AM   #13  
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Default costco return policy experience- np

I returned a dvd player 1 year later with no problem, and this past summer returned a 2+ year old dehumidifier. i had the original receipt.
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Old 01-29-2005, 08:43 AM   #14  
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Keep in mind that "authorized dealer" status probably has no impact on warranty especially if you're hoping for full return.

I bought my Pany PWD from a local authorized commercial dealer listed on Pany's website. Great service and price.

However:

1. No return policy. I buy it, I better like it once I take delivery.
2. The manufacturer's warranty does not specifically require purchase from an authorized dealer. Broadly covers all units purchased in US or PR.
3. Warranty makes no provision for returns. Simply provides coverage of parts and labor costs incurred by an authorized service center for covered repairs.
4. I was fine with above limitations; I wasn't expecting more.

Don't confuse a given retailer's willingness to make a concession (i.e. allow a full return / replacement) as a contractual obligation. If you're really expecting such ability, you better make sure you have it in writing and know whether the guarantee is provided by the retailer or a 3rd party finance / insurance provider.
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Old 01-29-2005, 07:28 PM   #15  
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Default Slowmo-Panny question

On your Panny 7 series, do you have a wobbler or orbiter? I have several 7uy at my work and need to set the power management to maximum to protect against screen burn.

Thanks for the advice on the warranty and in writing statement. I will be going to Costco tomorrow and inquire about this issue with a manager.

I am currently watching an HD channel INHD2 and it's really impressive (God I wish every channel could be HD). I'm feeling better about my purchase. I was really afraid that I would need to trade for the Panasonic. But it's doing a good gob.

I hooked up the X Box and I going to try it out. Thanks for your help.
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