Projection TV repair/cost questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Phil O, Feb 18, 2003.

  1. Phil O

    Phil O Agent

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    I have a 6 year old Magnavox 55" TV...not a great TV by any stretch of the imagination. However, recently playing a XBox game...the picture just tripped out and it appears the convergence has gone on the fritz as the colors are separated for images, etc. . I was in some heavy graphics on MechAssault on XBox Live at the time. I seriously wonder if XBox didn't lead to or cause this problem? Or, it was just a problem that suddenly appeared during the game. I paid $1400 for this TV back in 1997.

    Given that...I just had a local repair guy come out and give me his take on the lowdown. He did agree that there was a convergence problem. He also took one look at the problem picture and said the coolant in my blue picture tube was contaminated and needed to be drained/replaced(hmmm....good eye). I indicated that I didn't have a problem with the picture before the convergence problem suddenly appeared. He went on to say this dirty or contaminated coolant problem was common to my brand of TV and I could probably get away with not replacing the coolant for a while at the cost of picture quality. I guess I'm curious as to if the blue picture tube coolant is dirty...then why aren't the other picture tubes' coolant contaminated? He gave me an estimate of $500 for repairs to the TV if he did both jobs(convergence/blue picture tube coolant). Of course, he's not completely sure as their going to take it in and look into it further at the shop. At that time, they will get back to me with a firm estimate on repairs... probably in addition to any fees for lugging the TV around and coming out.

    Does anyone know if $500 is reasonable for probably fixing the convergence IC and draining/replacing the blue picture tube coolant? I'm trying to decide what my options are. I either pay 1/3 of the TV cost to fix the damn thing OR I suck it up and buy a completely new TV which probably entails upgrading to HDTV. In that case, I would be stuck with a 55" TV with the problems indicated above. I guess maybe I should have vouched for the extended warranty although maybe the costs would have come out about the same given what those add-on warranty programs go for.

    Anyone knowledgeable in TV repair care to comment? What would you do in this situation? I could buy a brand new 55" 4x3 projection TV for probably just over $1,000 now. It seems kind of a waste to support an aging TV with $500 repair costs which may end up being more after all the lugging it around and visit costs. Are there people out there who buy broken projection TVs with the intent of fixing them and selling them. I imagine if I knew how to do the work...it would probably cost less than $100 to fix. I am just trying to figure out my options.

    There's nothing worse than having a broken projection TV on your hands. This sucks. I know...you get what you pay for but all TVs are subject to breaking down at any time. There are no guarantees.

    I'm open to some advice on any of the topics above.

    thanks, Phil
     
  2. Phil O

    Phil O Agent

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    It's okay if noone has an opinion.

    I'm already in the hole $109.95 just for them coming out and telling me they can't fix the problem at my residence AND to pick up and return deliver the TV.

    Once picked up, they will do their estimates and get back to me. If those estimates breach $400 - $500 , then I might as well take a freaking sledgehammer to that TV and buy a new one.

    Is that what your supposed to do? Beat the hell out of your broken projection TV and buy a new one?

    Imagine paying $600+ to fix a six year old projection TV that probably isn't even worth $500. That is freaking highway robbery.

    I've got another idea...roll that TV out on to some train tracks and film it being smashed by a train.

    Sure, projection TVs are great and all...except when they break. Then, you wish you had your little handheld LCD screen you can then just chunk in the trash bin and buy another one.

    Blah blah blah...[​IMG]
     
  3. Phil L

    Phil L Supporting Actor

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    You could get a 47 inch Panasonic 16:9 HDTV for as little as $1200. I wouldn't invest $500+ in a NTSC TV.
     
  4. Mike Hamilton

    Mike Hamilton Stunt Coordinator

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    Donate it to a charity that accepts such items for internal repairs (to keep the handicapped or such with work, I guess)
    for the price you have already paid (or better yet, if they give you a receipt for a higher amount, take it!)

    Then peruse the market place.

    BTW: The information on the screen at the time of the collapse has nothing to do with the problem...coincidental.
     
  5. BrianDB

    BrianDB Agent

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    Got a Costco near by? I will never purchace a Television from any other place than Costco. That is as long as they continue to have their reurn policy in place. As long as you can prove you bought it from Costco, they will refund the full purchase price for any item if the customer is unsatisfied.

    Out of warranty and broke? Take it back.

    Newer model cheaper price? Take it back.

    Not big enough and light on features (DVI)? Take it back.

    Granted the selection at their Warehouses is not overwhelming. What they do stock are generally above average quality sets. This of course would be my opinion.
     
  6. Phil O

    Phil O Agent

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    I was thinking about the 57" widescreen Toshiba at Costco. I was wondering about their return policy because it stated since their not an "authorized dealer" the manufacturer warranty was no good.

    That's a pretty cool return policy. If that's true, then my next TV purchase will be from them. It's kind of weird, though, cause your basically saying you can wear out the TV and when it breaks...just return it for a new one. At some point, that return policy is no good...right?

    I'm not sure I'm ready to buy a new set at this point. Most of the material I watch is 4x3 and not 16x9. I have been reading the existing threads on the 4x3 versus 16x9 HDTV debate. A 4x3 HDTV might be best suited for me given that I tend to watch more TV than DVDs and the lack of HDTV programming available. I would definitely have a burn-in problem with a 16x9 and I probably wouldn't like to stretch a 4x3 image to fill the screen.

    They took my TV and I should know in a few days what the damage(estimates) may be. I'm not much of a videophile so I'm not in a hurry for HDTV. I have a basic HT set up which does me well enough. Basically consists of this 55" TV, a Klipsch bookshelf surround system, an early Pioneer DD receiver, Xbox/DVD player, direcTV, sony megachanger, and vcr.

    I will keep you'll informed.

    thanks
     
  7. BrianDB

    BrianDB Agent

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    I have read of a story of a gentleman who returned a perfectly good Sony 5 years after purchase and after a short discussion with the manager he was offered $500 towards a new set.

    I have the firm belief that if you were to bring in a broken Mid to High end TV within a reasonable (say 6-7 years) timeframe. You would state to them " I am not satified with the life expectancy of this product." I have no doubt that a full refund would be offered.

    Any Television over $1000 IMO should last no less than 10 years.

    Another story was a couple in the Bay area returned over $5000 in furniture 1.5 years after purchase due to a layoff. They recieved a full refund.

    These are 3rd hand. However my dealings with Costco leads me to believe that they are based in fact.
     
  8. Carlos Picart

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    As far as 16:9 vs. 4:3, I too was worried about 16:9. Trust me.. even with a ton of 4:3 material in stretch mode.. a 16:9 set has been an improvement in my home. I can barely stand watching material on 4:3 sets anymore.
     
  9. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Is Costco's extremely lenient return policy in writing somewhere? If so, I will tell my in-laws to buy their RPTV from there. I'll want it in writing though and that it cannot be altered after purchase.

    _Man_
     
  10. BrianDB

    BrianDB Agent

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    Posted on the wall behind the Customer service table and also @ Costco.com in the Customer Service section under Return Policies.
     
  11. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Sounds great! I think I'd need it written on the receipt though like most big stores do.

    The only problem I forsee w/ the liberal return policy and no warranty service is physically returning the TV. The 57" Tosh is huge and weighs 230lb. And if you need to move it up or down a flight or more, that adds to the difficulty. I suppose if you only intend to return it if/when it clearly malfunctions, then that would be fine. Definitely, not something where you'd return based on a relatively "minor" issue like typical out-of-box performance.

    _Man_
     
  12. BrianDB

    BrianDB Agent

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    Drop a couple of C-notes to a couple of local heavies and let them do the work. It's better than paying a repair man 500+ to maybe get it back up to new specs.
     
  13. BrianDB

    BrianDB Agent

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    If you are worried about the policy going away, don't. This policy has been in effect from the start in the 80's. They place language in thier purchasing contracts that requires the vendors to accept returns at any time.

    The only time this has changed is due to abuse regarding computers and laptops. That is now limited to 6 months. Any purchace before the new policy went into effect is still subject to the old policy (no time limit).

    To Costco this is one of thier founding policies. I do not believe it will ever go away.
     
  14. Phil O

    Phil O Agent

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Just got the call back on my projection TV. The lowdown is two of the three picture tubes have coolant that is bringing down the picture quality because apparently a fungus grows in the picture tubes...especially on the Magnavox TV. I've got fungus. But, that job in itself to replace the coolant which includes dis-assembling and re-assembling the TV tubes is a job that is under $100 apparently.

    He goes on to say my convergence board is bad and that estimate alone with parts, labor, etc. is $600 (*#*# #*#*). Apparently, with these Magnavox convergence boards, the whole board must be replaced as for some reason Magnavox doesn't supply individual components to the boards and that is what is skyrocketing the cost...the cost of a new board. He went on to say he may be able to find a re-built board but the cost would still be high(over $500).

    Total estimate: $689 TV worth: who knows but not $689...maybe $400

    At this point in time, I either hate Magnavox or I hate projection TVs or both. Seeing as how I could buy a new TV for not much more than the cost of repair, repair is out of the question. That TV didn't even last 6 years. I'm not sure I learned anything from this other than Magnavox sucks. Whose to say it wouldn't have happened with another brand TV all the same?

    I just don't know what I'm going to do now. Argh. I've got a huge TV to dispose of first. I've got to go through the whole 16x9 or 4x3 HDTV debate. Then, I have to pick a TV. I liked the price of the Toshiba 16x9 57" HDTV from Costco so it may be a good option if I can handle stretch mode(or maybe even I can't?).

    That's the story, folks. I'za beza screwezda.
     

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