Buyout and LCD Possibilities

Since I haven’t heard for a week on what the story is with my TV, I called the warranty company to find out.

I ended up speaking with Dolores, a very nice lady who was probably the most helpful person I’ve talked to yet in this ordeal.

Apparently, the warranty company hasn’t heard anything from the TV repair shop confirming that the set is unfixable. Dolores submitted a request for a status update from the “authorizations department” and I should be getting a call back by Friday. If I don’t hear from them, I should call them to find out what’s what.

I inquired about the whole process, and here’s what I understand it to be:

If there’s something wrong with your warranty-covered appliance, they first try to repair the unit. If the cost of repair will be greater than 85% of the cost of a new unit, they first do a bunch of research to see if they can get the parts and such at a lower cost and bring it to under 85% of the new unit cost. Failing that, they move to “buyout/replacement.” At this stage, they have a week to evaluate whether they can find a “comparable unit” to replace the broken item with. If they can, you get a replacement item. If they can’t, they refund your purchase price with applicable sales tax, excluding the cost of the extended warranty proper.

So: repair, replace, refund. That, as Dolores’s Great Uncle Enoch would say, is “the whole schtick.”

We’re in buyout/replacement phase, so I should already have heard back. Something has slipped through the cracks, so we’re nudging the authorization department to get them going on this.

In all honesty, I’m hoping for the refund. I’ve been researching TVs like mad lately. I joined Consumer Reports online to see what they say about TVs, I’ve been reading the AV Science Forum to see what other owners have to say…

I’ve pretty much settled on LCD-based technology. I don’t fancy the screen burn-in that plasma can provide when gaming, and the DLP “rainbow effect” has turned me off of that. I’d go with LCoS, but it’s so expensive there’s no way. So, LCD. I considered a direct-view LCD, but the most I can afford would be like a 32” one, which is too small. So I’m in LCD rear projection land.

Looking at those sets, I’m liking the Sony series. The existing owners seem pretty happy, and I do have a certain brand-affinity for Sony. Aside from this TV issue of late, they’ve never let me down, and I’m hesitant to really blame Sony for this one - it’s a technology issue common to sets that size, not limited to Sony. The leading sets right now are the KDF-55XS955 and the KDF-60XS955, 55” and 60” sets, respectively. The Live Color feature on the XS series sets seems to be a make-it-or-break-it feature for many of the existing owners, and the ability to do gamma correction and whatnot in the user menus (that is, without having to wade through the service tech menus) is a big plus.

I’ve never been a fan of the whole rear projection thing, but I’ve seen these in the stores and they’re pretty nice. It’s unfortunate that there’s really only one [very expensive] LCD set on the market that does a full 1080 resolution natively (without scaling down), but I don’t have the $13K to drop on that right now. These sets are, if I recall correctly, 1386 x 788, so the 1080 hi-def images get scaled down, but the rest actually have to get slightly scaled up.