What to look for when buying a used RPTV?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Cagri, Mar 30, 2003.

  1. Cagri

    Cagri Second Unit

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    I need some advice here please. A friend of mine decided to replace his Sony RPTV with a plasma screen, and he is going to sell the Sony. It is a wide screen, I don't know the model number yet, it is about 60 inches. He offered swapping it with my several months old Loewe Calida 32" tv, he said he would put it in his bedroom, and I will pay him something on top of it. His Tv is 3 years old and he hasn't even calibrated it, probably he used it with factory settings till now. I will check if there are any burn in first; and obviously won't get it if any. Is there anything else I should check except burn in? I don't have any experience with rear projections, I remember reading somewhere that they don't last too long. Can I find the total running time of the set in the service menu and what is the reasonable acceptable time? Any other thing I should look for? It looks like a very good deal since I have a very large wieving area and my Loewe is a bit small although it is a great set... This Sony is huge, I would love to have it but I wouldn't want to get a TV which will die in a short time. Any advice will be appreciated.
     
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Cagri,

    I would not trade a 3 month old Loewe plus cash for a 3 year old rptv of almost any kind, especially one that's probably been run at torch level.

    Conventional wisdom around here is to avoid used rptvs unless one knows for sure it's been run at reasonable contrast settings and even then it's a very risky proposition.

    There is no total run time recorded in the service menu on Sony sets.

    Current Sony widescreens are very nice but the ones prior to about the 02 model year were not among the best as far line doubling. DRC on the older sets was kinda fuzzy, and there were a few other issues with these that are no longer present on current models.

    A better plan if you really want a much bigger screen would be to sell your Calida and put the proceeds toward a brand new big screen set. Quite a few good new sets are available in the 47-53" screen size for less than $2k.
     
  3. Robert P. Jones

    Robert P. Jones Second Unit

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    I agree with MOST of what was just said.

    However, I have always been a used "thang" buyer, and RPTV has been no exception for me, even tho the HDready I now use was purchased new.

    Use an allwhite screen to test for screenburn. If it is there at all, forget it. It will never go away.

    Check for the contrast level used, and when he tells you that he never took it over 55, read between the lines and sense if this is a dork who might be lying to you, or an incredibly insightful videophile, which will be pretty obvious if you look at his surroundings, his system, etc. If the latter, and there is no screenburn, I'd at least give going for it the benefit of the doubt, tho the other considerations mentioned above make sense, and should be factored in also.

    I counsel my clients that properly calibrated and properly run - ie, no torch mode, average viewing time per week, among other things - today's RPTVs have every right to a 10 year life expectancy. I have repaired and calibrated 18 year old curved screen, fold-out the mirror Mits's, and had their owners say, "That (now) looks like the day I bought it, 18 years ago!"

    Mr Bob
     
  4. Cagri

    Cagri Second Unit

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    Thanks for replies. I have done some reading and yes, used RPTV buying doesn't seem to be favoured in the forum.

    I am thinking to check the set for burn in, if it is fine there, and if the contrast/brightness settings are not too high by chance (although that would be a big surprise to me), I will assume that the TV has about 10 years life left and offer a swap with my Calida, no cash.

    What do you think?
     
  5. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Before buying, if possible:

    Turn the set off, unplug it, open up a hatch in back and look inside at the three CRT tubes. If there is a brownish stain suggestive of the picture outline on any of them, don't buy. Use a flashlight if needed, and it probably will be needed since you have to see through the red, green, and blue cellophanes (more likely a sturdier material) covering each tube face.

    Even though the set is unplugged, high voltages may remain potent inside. Don't touch any of the electronic components.

    If you do not see such stains (burn-in) that does not mean you should buy it. A three year old TV is quite ancient when we are talking about the latest technologies in convergence setting, de-interlacing/doubling, comb filter for regular broadcasts, adequate input jacks, etc.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  6. Robert P. Jones

    Robert P. Jones Second Unit

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    Hey, Allen. Long time no see. I used to see your handle a lot on this forum. Of course I used to spend a lot of time on this forum, too...

    True about the brownish stain indicating normal tube wear which has nothing with "screenburn" - ie, uneven screen wear. But for a 3 year old unit, SOME amount of brown stain will probably be present, indicating NORMAL amount of very even and therefore not inappropriate tube wear.

    In which case you are now having to make a judgment call, since even with some tube wear, there could be no screenburn. Just a trapezoidally shaped pattern of darker phosphors on the face of each gun - not uneven in their burn, and therefore indicating very normal screen wear.

    An allwhite screen is still the best way to know if there is any screenburn, or uneven screen wear/aging.

    I think Allen is saying that if there is ANY aging that is visible by now on the phosphors, you probably shouldn't buy it. Perhaps that is true. It would definitely be true for a 1 or 2 year old unit, but at 3 years you're getting on the borderline of whether it would be just starting to be visible or not.

    I would allow for just a little, if I were in your shoes. But Allen's is a good point also. It's hard to make a judgment call on something like this when you are not a professional in the field.

    Very few RPTVs contain any filters or colorations in their light path, BTW. Sony seems to have colorations in their coolant, but very few other brands. Use the flashlight, as Allen mentioned, and play with the angles with which you hit the CRT face with it, and with whether you hit it straight on or off to the side.

    You'd see it even more if you remove the lenses entirely. If you do, pick one and remove it, WITH THE TV OFF, so you don't take a chance on a screw dropping down into live circuitry. And so you don't accidentally mix the 3 lenses up, upon reinstallation.

    Mr Bob
     

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