RCA F38310 16X9 HDTV Owners?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gary Tjia, Jul 18, 2001.

  1. Gary Tjia

    Gary Tjia Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 13, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Hi all RCA F38310 owners,
    How do you like your RCA 38" HDTV so far? I am in the market for a HDTV direct view TV and would like to know what you think of this RCA TV. I am also waiting to see the new SONY 40XBR750 that is scheduled to be available in the fall.
    Let me know what you think. Thanks!
  2. ChristopherK

    ChristopherK Auditioning

    Mar 1, 2001
    Likes Received:
    I had a thread here previously, reviewing the F38310 and my experiences with the first 6 weeks of ownership, which was lost in the board troubles a little while ago. You can still find it by doing a search on either the AVS Forum or at the Home Theater Spot for "F38310".
    The first thing that I think many of us would tell you is that there are quality control issues with this model. For many owners, including myself, there are a number of issues that you may experience, in any combination, including a "squeezed" image along the left and right edges of the tube (my problem), excessive fan noise, discolorations in the corners, and some inputs blanking out intermittently. Most of us have only experienced one or two of these problems in any given set, and if you do as well, then it's best to have purchased it from a dealer who can easily replace it with another one. If you buy from an Internet vendor, your only course of action may then be through a service center, and I personally have had bad luck with the centers in my area.
    Having said that, I personally wouldn't want anything other than the F38310 for my situation. I live in a bright apartment in LA, and so I need a direct-view set, and have good reception for OTA HD broadcasts. Aside from the "squeeze" issue, the picture is very nice on DVD's (though I'm currently using the internal converter/line-doubler as I don't have a progressive scan player), and beautiful on true HD programming (Smart Travels on PBS is really impressive). Even if I didn't have all the light to deal with, I'm still an apartment-dweller, and don't really have room for a decent-sized RPTV along with all of my components.
    If you are a "tube" set person, either by situation or by taste, then there isn't a better set, especially as a total HDTV solution, to be had for the money. I looked at a lot of tube sets before buying my RCA, and neither the Loewe models nor the Wega's could really compete with the combination of size and economy of the F38310's widescreen image. The 4:3 picture is roughly equivalent to a 30" set, and can be soft on DBS and cable pictures due to the conversion to 540p, so keep that in mind as well.
    I still recommend this set over any other tube model, but with the caveat that you absolutely need to research what you're getting into before you buy one. Know that you may need to return it for a replacement, and make sure that the dealer is willing to do so without giving you a hassle.
    Good luck.
  3. JakeR

    JakeR Stunt Coordinator

    Jan 28, 2001
    Likes Received:
    RCA TVs are a joke. Do a Search on this forum for the number of people who have had problems mere months after making the mistake of buying one.
    This set was recalled last year due to faulty production. RCA in general is just a despicable company. I will never, ever fathom why anyone would even contemplate buying one.
    If space is a problem, consider the Toshiba 40H80. Properly set up and calibrated, it will deliver an outstanding picture. It also weighs less than the RCA set and makes a small enough footprint for any type of living situation. (There's one in my average-sized bedroom.)
    Buying an RCA virtually guarantees you will regret it.
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Jun 3, 1999
    Likes Received:
    I wouldn't dismiss Thomson's products so easily. (And this, from a Sony/Toshiba fan.) My only concerns re this company's products would be the occasional reliability issue, but the 38-inch widescreener is impressive.
  5. Pete K

    Pete K Agent

    Mar 31, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Tomson Multi Media had no trouble replacing my set after I complained about the inept service center here in Temple.
    The set is beautiful and I've no problems with the replacement. The pictures with DVDs are stunning. And as with any set, quality is dependent on the source. Some cable channels look very good indeed while others are mediocre at best.
    Just realize it has no video out so whatever recording you will be doing will have to come from an outside tuner (vcr, additional satellite tuner-etc). Since there is no video out, RCA does not provide the outstanding guide plus gold--something that is found even in their 250$ TVs. But this is mute if you have satellite or a digital cable service provider that provides a good on screen interactive guide.
    The fan noise is just the same as my first set--totally un-noticeable unless you walk by in the middle of the night after the environment has beeen "quiet" for a while--then you'll notice--if you make a concentrated effort to be listening for it.--In other words-the fan noise is a non issue.
    My only other concern is if another quality issue does arise after the factory warranty expires--even with an extended 3d party warranty--what happens if the service center can't figure out how to make things right (as happened with the 1st set)--will RCA be so quick to replace it then--or the "insurer" of the extended warranty provider?
    Still--I agree for the price this is the set.
    The next set I would consider would be one of the Philips-
    smaller sized, no built in hdtv tuner--but with guide/gold and video outs--at about a thousand bucks more...
    ...and it seems to me like, doing a search of all forums, there are quite a bit of quality issues with mits and toshs
    also. And Sony doesn't have a comparable model in the price we're talking about here.
    So RCA I recommend.

Share This Page