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Is it really worth it anymore?...

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Old 05-23-2008, 12:40 PM   #1  
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Hi everyone, I've been doing alot of reading as of late because i'm looking for a new set. I have a Sony plasma 42" which most people have told me to trash because of the problems it has at the moment. On that note, it was really nice when it was working but it only lasted around 4 years. It was a good four years but the price that i paid for it at that time, is it?. I think it was $4000 or more that i paid for it, can't really remember. And it lasted four years instead of the 20- 30 years like what i was told. So with some calc, it would come out to be about a$1000 dollars a year. So with some thinking, and it was hard and reading, Lcd vs Plasmas threads, I came to conclude that if these new sets have alot of problems and do not last as long, I've haven't heard of many lasting longer then the 4 years, then why are we even looking at these sets until they perfect these panels. I know many of us still own the old crt tvs and are still working right?. Besides the sizes and bulkness of the old crts, They last alot longer and have better picture then these new panels. I am back to my 20 year old crt at the moment and it got me thinking of maybe looking at a widescreen big screen size crt then one of these new panels, if these new panels are only getting me 4 years. When the crts are still working 20 years later. Is there any logic to what i'm thinking or am i wrong about everything?. As of now it makes sense to me. So, how long has any of the members here had there new panels trouble free?. This would be interesting.
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:50 PM   #2  
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You make some good points about how long these new tvs last. Keeping that in mind, you might be better off buying a second tier brand, Vizio, Olivia, etc., and enjoying it by spending less and not expecting it to last 20 years.

I think some will last longer than 4 years, some not. Most probably have a 5 year life span before we won't spend what it will cost for repair and get a new one.

So, look for last years 720p models or get a second tier brand. HD is great and worth it if you don't get too carried away with the newest bells and whistles and pay a fortune.
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Old 05-23-2008, 01:06 PM   #3  
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You raise interesting and important issues. I'm not sure anyone can definitively answer your basic question: How long with these new flat panels really last? Let's face it, the application of this technology to consumer based HDTV products is still new. Manufacturers like to assert that sets will provide thousands of hours before they reach half-brightness. But none of them will warrant the units for that period. I have owned my oldest flat panel (a Sony LCD model) for two years and with moderate usage, I have not seen any fall off in image quality. But I have several CRTs well over 20 years old. To be perfectly candid, I share your concerns. But what choices do we really have? There just aren't that many CRT based HDTVs available anymore.
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Old 05-23-2008, 02:41 PM   #4  
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i wouldnt let one bad apple discourage me.
i have 4 of them ..3 are 15 inches and one 32 inch lcd, the 15 inch are about 5 yrs old, constantly in use, and i think going strong.
agree to maybe try the second tier brands, for not a big hunk of change.
btw, i bought a 21 inch toshiba, in 1985, died after 6 months..$400 down the drain.
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Old 05-23-2008, 03:32 PM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bob Jones View Post
You raise interesting and important issues. I'm not sure anyone can definitively answer your basic question: How long with these new flat panels really last? Let's face it, the application of this technology to consumer based HDTV products is still new. Manufacturers like to assert that sets will provide thousands of hours before they reach half-brightness. But none of them will warrant the units for that period. I have owned my oldest flat panel (a Sony LCD model) for two years and with moderate usage, I have not seen any fall off in image quality. But I have several CRTs well over 20 years old. To be perfectly candid, I share your concerns. But what choices do we really have? There just aren't that many CRT based HDTVs available anymore.
Granted, but have warranties really changed all that much since the heyday of CRT or CRT RPTV? I can't fathom that the warranties were much different if at all.
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Old 05-23-2008, 05:04 PM   #6  
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Originally Posted by awol View Post
Granted, but have warranties really changed all that much since the heyday of CRT or CRT RPTV? I can't fathom that the warranties were much different if at all.
I think the point he was making is that these mfg "claim" they will work and have a "rated" panel life of 60,000 hours until half brightness, but no warranty covers that long a period if they are wrong.

I have had my oldest HDTV since 1/2005, after returning a bunch of them from 2 other mfg that all had issues. I bought the BB 4 year extended warranty for it because it covered unlimited lamps, but it also came in handy when the light engine "tunnel" collapsed and they replaced the light engine.

We just do not know how long these HDTVs using new tech will last at this point. I do not think CRT based TVs were as reliable in the earlier days compared to now. In fact, I remember my father's console (real wood consoles too) that broke down at least once per year and needed new tubes (before they moved to IC chips).

CRT is so much more mature and refined that mfg were not getting the repeat sales they are getting now because they lasted so long. That could be part of WHY I think these will not be as reliable for a few years to come also.

We basically have no choice anymore because everyone is abandoning CRT displays from the stores to the mfg. Getting a lower tier brand with an extended warranty might be the smartest route to go, but them you will not likely get the cutting edge PQ/SQ/features with them.

We are all just guinea pigs I think.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:29 PM   #7  
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Wow, great pointers from everyone. Shouldn't these mfg's claiming longer life for these panels prove themselves?. There should be something done, so that the consumers are aware that they don't last as long as they say. It is a little misleading. At least that was the main reason why i purchased the panel in the first place. With that being said, are there any big widescreen crt tv's available at the moment?. I know they are really bulky but i have the room and space for one, like a 60 incher or so. That would be fine by me, for now anyways until they the mfg's perfect their technology better.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:37 PM   #8  
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Also to add on the warranties, I did buy those three year extended ones and funny thing is it expired in jan. 08. It was a christmas gift to myself lol. The plasma panel lasted several month's after that. It's like my panel has a timer that is set at the time to run fine until the warranty period is over. It's just my luck i guess.lol
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Old 05-24-2008, 05:42 AM   #9  
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Modern flat panel sets use the same essential electronic technology as CRT in terms of boards, semiconductors, etc.
The primary difference of course is the panel.

LCD panels in particular, as a technology, have been around for a long enough time to have established lifetime and failure rate statistics available to the manufacturers. Additionally, the basic technology for LCD is the same as that used for conventional semiconductor manufacturing. There is no known failure mechanism that might affect LCD panels any differently that any other semiconductor device.

I, for one, fully expect these sets to run, and run, and run (damn, where's that energizer bunny smilie when you need it?); 10, 20 years easily.
Will some fail along the way, yep - some CRTs failed as well, but most will not fail for many years.
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Old 05-24-2008, 07:06 AM   #10  
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qazxsw2c, what was the rated panel panel hours for the Sony? Is it a 60k hour panel? Just curious. Sony makes great LCD's but their Plasmas were the worst product ever.

I have a 3 year old Sharp 37" 720p and the pic still looks great - paid $3k - it retailed for $4500.

Don't be shy, go and buy a LCD flat panel right now. Many first name brands like Toshiba are under $1000 for 42" 720p (42AV500) and this weekend Sears has a 2008 Toshiba 1080p for $1049.99 (42RV530U). If the Toshiba lasts you 4 years you only spent $262 per year and that is less than .72 cents a day. Can't buy a soda a day for that!

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Old 05-24-2008, 08:15 AM   #11  
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Costco has a 2008 42" Philips 42TA648BX 1080p delivered for $999.99 thru Jun 1st. For 4 years that 68 cents a day.
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Old 05-24-2008, 08:25 AM   #12  
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Target has the 2008 Philips 42PFL3603 1080p for $998 until today - 5/24/08. 3year extended warranty is $59.
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Old 05-24-2008, 10:56 AM   #13  
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As noted, CRT's are a very mature technology (decades and decades of experience and field data), while neither Plasma or LCD are, so any estimates of lifetime for these newer technologies are just that--estimates, not really based on real-world data.

The panels themselves will probably last a long time, but it's the other electronics, especially the power supplies, that are likely to fail.

Unfortunately, the problem now is products are no longer designed to be serviced at a component level, as it adds cost. Mostly they are designed to be replaced for free under the warranty (building that into the price of the product) or replaced with a refurb or factory second at a discount price if the product fails outside of warranty. The few remaining CRT's out there are also built this way now, so don't expect the same kind of lifetime out of them as in the old days.

I used to think extended warranties were a waste because if a product was going to fail, statistically speaking it would fail during the warranty period. Now I don't believe the manufacturers are designing these products for long lifetimes and having a "replacement" warranty outside the factory warranty can be a good investment for the right price (bearing in mind that these technologies come down in price over time--don't get an extended warranty that costs $400, as you'll be able to buy a new, better display for that in the future).
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