A Sony by any other Name

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Iver, Aug 29, 2003.

  1. Iver

    Iver Second Unit

    Sep 23, 2002
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    My Sony KV-27S46, a 27-inch basic Trinitron as the name implies, purchased in 1999 for $420 plus tax, has an annoying new habit. The TV spontaneously generates the black background used for various menus. It does this frequently and the only way to get rid of it is to momentarily de-power the set.

    The original KV-27S46 unit had such a loud click from the internal power relay (the automatic switch that handles the high-voltage circuit activated when you hit the little power button on the front of the TV or activate the power from the remote) that I exchanged it for another new unit, my current, Manufactured in Mexico November 1999 TV.

    My ears may have been a bit over sensitive on that relay click, but the blacking-out of half the screen qualifies as a major shortcoming.

    What really annoys me is that this TV was pricey for its size and features. Of course, I knew part of the price went to pay for all that marketing and advertising Sony undertakes. But I was hoping for at least minimal quality control from a manufacturer charging top dollar in their product's category (basic 27-inch stereo TV's).

    This Sony replaced a 27-inch Sharp stereo set which had been working perfectly for the past ten years. That Sharp replaced another Sharp that had also logged in quite a few years of dependable service.

    I have been happy with the basic performance of the Sony. It's user-friendly (to me, anyway), sensibly laid out (both physically and menu-wise), and the color fidelity is quite good.

    But a major system failure four years into the TV's service life, even if it's a fairly-easily-correctable digital failure, is not reasonable. If Sony is going to project this image of making quality products, and charge top dollar for that image, then they need to deploy the quality control that will back it up.

    It is true that in today's world of cutthroat consumer electronics competition, all the major manufacturers have to have, for example, a $99 DVD player. And that means farming out production to a country with lower wages than Japan. Otherwise, they simply could not provide products at the lower price points and companies like Oritron would walk away with the market.

    But wherever their products happen to be assembled, Sony needs to give their customers the quality control for which they are paying. Until that time, when shopping for anything more complex than a clock radio, this consumer will be investing his cash in the products of companies that put more of that money into careful manufacturing and less into marketing.
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

    Apr 15, 1999
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    By chance did this start happening after the recent power outage you guys had back in NY?

    I had a 92 model Sony 27" set that performed perfectly for 4 years, then we had a major power outage here in California in 1996 when the set was 4 years old. It was turned on when the power went out. As you know, the on-off button only triggers a relay to actually power up the set completely (that clicking sound heard from inside the set when you hit the button) so if the power's out you can't really turn off the set--it will try to come back on when power returns unless you unplug it.

    I didn't think to unplug the set when our big power failure occurred. When the power came back it was in fits and starts, with some periods when the lights in the house were dimmer than normal.

    The set came back on ok, seemingly, but after a few days started doing what you describe. I'm convinced it was caused by the power fluctuations that were occurring after the power failure.

    On the other hand, it's not all that unusual for a tv to need some sort of repair after 4 years of use, regardless of the make.

    You bought a $420 tv, and it's acting up after 4 years of use--could have happened with any brand. On average, according to Consumer Report's frequency of repair records, Sonys are among the 3 or 4 most reliable 27" sets around.

    You certainly have a right not to choose Sony when considering a new set in the future, but to make a wholesale condemnation based on needing one repair in 4 years of use is a bit extreme, and not really fair.

    Bad stuff happens, welcome to the real world!
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Jun 3, 1999
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    I could not agree with Steve more. What he said.
  4. Michael Silla

    Michael Silla Second Unit

    Jul 27, 2001
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    Hmmmm...I didn't realize the old triniton power supply worked that way. For what it's worth, I have the same model numbered TV that has been working for the past 5 years with nary an issue.

    Well, the only thing that irrates me is the IR unit inside the TV's ability to pick up the remote signal a bit too reliably. It sucks sometimes to kick your foot on the couch and glance (I swear this it all it takes even if the remote is pointed in the opposite direction) the power button during the season finale of American Idol :b

    Too each his own I suppose but yah, what Steve said [​IMG]


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