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.

media, movies comments edit

Jet Li is one of the baddest ass guys out there. Followed closely, though in a different fashion, by Luc Besson. So when I saw a movie coming out that involved the both of them, there’s no way I could pass it up.

Unleashed is the story of Danny (Jet Li), a guy who has been brought up like a dog - collar and all - by a British loan shark named Bart (played by Bob Hoskins) and is used to help in collecting on overdue accounts. Primarily this involves beating large numbers of burly guys to a pulp in what looks like an effortless fashion. Eventually Danny escapes and befriends a blind man (Morgan Freeman) and his daughter (Kerry Condon), who help him re-learn what living a life is.

It sounds sappy, but it was really cool. There was just the right amount of action - really cool action, I might add - mixed with story such that the whole thing felt very balanced. You don’t come walking out of the theater thinking, “Man, the story was so light,” or, “Man, there definitely wasn’t enough fighting in there.”

That, plus some great acting on the parts of all of the cast, combined to make one of the best movies I’ve seen in quite some time.

Those folks who like to overanalyze movies will definitely find some holes. Like, why would a blind guy who has no idea who this 40-year-old man in the dog collar is decide to take him in and treat him like family? But don’t overanalyze the thing. Just roll with it. It’s a good ride, and you’ll like it.

I’ll definitely be picking this one up on DVD when it’s out. Highly recommended - go see it.

I’m working on resolving defects for the current project I’m on. One of the defects is that, intermittently after a reboot, a particular machine configuration can display something a little odd under certain circumstances.

Gotta reproduce, so that means reboot, reboot, reboot…

I got a puzzle called “Masterball” from my aunt like a month ago. (This will all tie in, just wait.) It’s sort of like Rubik’s Cube, but a sphere instead of a cube. I mixed it up and have been messing with it on and off ever since.

The defect resolution:

Both rebooted and logged in/out several times in succession. Solved “Masterball,” a puzzle similar to Rubik’s Cube, while doing that many reboots, but was unable to reproduce the noted defect.

Very, very stimulating stuff.

The weekends, lately, have generally brought with them yard work. Several people, including my parents, impart pithy phrases like “Welcome to the joys of being a home owner!” when I say this, but I think they’re missing the point:

I don’t think the yard work is necessarily all that bad. I’d much rather do the yard than have to put up with neighbors in attached units who double park you in or smell like freshly pissed pants. Yard work is a cake walk in comparison, and I am happy to do it if that’s the price I must pay for dwelling independence.

Anyway, yard work. We’ve been killing/pulling the weeds, then putting down anti-weed cloth in the flower beds that, hopefully soon, will be barkdusted over. Unfortunately, the nice weather is primarily during the week, so on the weekend, when there’s time to actually do the work, we’re constrained to a couple of hours prior to the rain setting in. A little at a time isn’t hurting us, but it’d be nice to really just make some progress.

In other news, for insurance purposes I’ve been cataloging my comic book collection with ComicsPriceGuide.com. Just from a curiosity perspective, it’s interesting to see the stats it’s coming up with, like the publisher I have the most comics from (so far it’s Dark Horse). Very keen.

I haven’t heard from the TV folks on what the story is with the TV “buyout” going on, but I’m starting to investigate what’s out on the market as far as TVs are concerned. It’s a toss-up between LCD and DLP, and in the LCD arena it’s more of an “LCD rear-projection” than an “LCD direct-view” sort of thing because giant LCD panels are a little cost-prohibitive at the moment. Pending on how long I can push out the purchase, maybe the price will go down. That said, not having a TV in the main room is sort of a pain.