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New plasma TV, but with an unfortunate surprise!


skonopa
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On the 1st of November was my birthday, so I decided to treat myself to something VERY nice!!!

I went over to Best Buy to look at this 65-inch Panasonic ZT-series plasma display that I've been wanting for the past couple of months. They had it marked down to $3,600 (from the original $3,800) and I was tempted, but really wanted to wait until after the holidays. I made mention to the salesman that unless there was a really sweet deal, I am going to wait. He asked me what was a "sweet deal". I said something like, oh, $3,300 (looking back, I should've said $3,000). Anyway, he goes and tells me to wait a few minutes. He took off to go talk to the manager. About a minute or two later, he comes back and tells me for $3,300 it is mine! So, I went and sealed the deal and told it would be delivered that next Wednesday (November 6th). To put things in perspective, here is a somewhat dated photo of what my rig looked like before the arrival of the new TV:

home-theater-setup.jpg

I was still trucking along quite happily with this really nice Mitsubishi 55-inch Diamond series CRT rear projection TV. I've had that thing for nearly 10 years, but it really was still doing really well and still has an excellent picture.

Anyway, the Wednesday arrives (and it was actually a very beautiful sunny day here, in the 70's even). Since I still had the setup pictured above, I could not really do much with the new TV until the weekend, so it pretty much got dropped-shipped to my living room:

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I went at took the cover off the crate to at least inspect the TV and make sure everything that was supposed to come with it was there:

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I did a quick inspection of everything and I did not see or notice anything amiss (more on that later).

In the meantime, I was also shopping around for a TV stand/credenza on which to put this TV. Yeah, I thought about wall-mounting it, but I preferred something a little less permanent and easier to deal with. So the search was on for a new piece of furniture. You realize how hard it was to find a piece that my RC-7 center channel speaker will fit in, will take a 65-inch TV and fit in the space I had for it? Everything else was either just not available anymore, had to be custom-ordered and would take months to arrive, or just too flat out expensive. I ended up finding a really nice media credenza in cherry at the Big Screen store of all places. It is made of real cherry wood (not that fiber board stuff) and even made in the good 'ol US of A. In fact, the sales guy at the Big Screen store told me it would have been at least till the middle of December to get the unit I found brand-new in a box delivered. I told him I really did not want to wait that long to get it since I was planning on setting up the new TV over the weekend (especially considering it was Vetern's Day that upcoming Monday, which I had off from work, thus making for a long weekend to do this). He then offered me the floor sample for $300 off the listed price and I took it.

I got one of my friends and one of my neighbors over to help me dismantle my current setup. It took all three of us to move that big old 55-inch Mitsubishi CRT rear-projection TV down into my basement. Thank god that I have a rear door straight into the basement, so we just walked it out the front door and around to the back instead of having to try to get it down the stairs. Also required a bit of moving and re-arranging of some furniture. For example that big cabinet on the left side of my rig, which houses CDs and DVDs, I've moved into another corner of the room.

Afterwards, with a bit of sweat-labor, get this beautiful new TV all setup:

TV-setupSmall_zps2bd356fe.jpg

Looks sweet doesn't it? That credenza that I was able to find turned out be absolutely perfect, although I did take a hacksaw to the back of it to open it up somewhat to allow that RC-7 to fit in from the back and to get more airflow in the lower part where my DirecTV receiver and HD-DVD player will reside. There is a grill that fits over that opening where the center channel is. I was all excited to get to watch some football as well as try some video games and blu-ray disks on this thing, untiiiiiil......

crack-1Small_zps9493dd8a.jpg

crack-2Small_zps94289094.jpg

Yup, that is exactly what that is! Upon getting setup and about to get it hooked up, my friend discovered that there was a CRACK in the corner of the friggan display panel!!!! (cue up that scene from Star Wars Episode 3 where Anankin/Darth Vadar learns of Padme's death), Yeah, you can only imagine how pi$$ed I was to find a crack on a brand-new $3,800 plasma TV. I did not even realize that crack was there until we got it setup and into the direct light. Heck, you can't even tell that there was a crack in it from looking at the picture above. It was not until we got it up and got a good close look at it until we discovered it. Anyway, back to Best Buy to raise some $#!+ with them on this one. That was brand-new, right out of the box so I am pretty darn sure that crack happened during the shipping/delivery process. The entire time that TV was on my property, it was never mishandled in anyway (it was kept vertical, plus it was never bumped nor dropped nor otherwise stressed in anyway). So, this upcoming Wednesday (the 13th) they will be back to pick this TV up and deliver a replacement. And this time, with all the furniture and other electronics now all setup and in place, I am going to have THEM unbox, inspect and setup the TV.

In the meantime, I found this rinky-dink little LCD TV down in my basement that I wanted to use to at least test the rest of the setup to make sure I got everything all hooked up again. For such a dinky little TV that I only paid around $150 a couple years ago, it actually has a pretty nice picture. It was one of those TVs I kept around in case I needed a video monitor that I can setup easily. Glad I actually had the thing as it came real handy here.

dinky-TVSmall_zpsb8ef4930.jpg

Well, hopefully after Wednesday when the replacement TV arrives and we get it setup, I'll report back with my impressions of how this TV actually looks and performs. At least from a physical, aesthetics point of view, this really is a nice looking TV and from what I saw of the one at the store and from the reviews that I've researched leading up to this purchase, it does have on hell of a picture. Just can't wait till I see that awesome picture in my own home.

Edited by skonopa
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Many of them get cracked in shipping. I was lucky that my new 60vt60 came in perfect shape from Cleavland plasma.

Those VT-series plasmas are really nice and highly recommended for those that don't want to spend the money for the ZT series. I darn near bought that exact same one you have myself, until I saw that 65-inch ZT60 model.. :o Glad to hear that yours arrived flawless. Nice rig you got there as well. Yeah, I kinda feel like that kid that finally got that new toy he was asking for since summer for Christmas only to discover that it is broken and needs to be sent back. :angry:

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You had me going for a minute. I am glad that BB will replace the unit. I hope you have an extended warranty for safety!

I will fully admit the Best Buy guys really treated me very well and handled this nicely. I guess it also helped that I have Elite Plus status there and a fairly regular customer, so they know who I am. At least that also means that when this new set has a chance to break in, I will get a free professional ISF calibration, which I plan to fully take advantage of! It is because of situations like this that is why I much rather try to deal locally for major purchases instead of doing it online.

And yes, I actually did buy the protection plan/extended warranty. I typically don't bother for most cases, but for something this expensive and this fragile, I figured it would be prudent to spend the few extra dollars on one here.

Edited by skonopa
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Careful with that calibration. No personal experience with geek squad calibration, but I've read over on AVS of several people having very bad experience/results with best buy calibration. Seems the popular opinion is too find a professional calibrator, with all the proper equipment. Again, just what I've read. After dealing with the headache already, wouldn't want you to have to have another one. Congrats on the new tv, looks dope.

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Hey Steve, Sorry to hear of the issues that you have had regarding the new TV. However, you did get a great deal on the unit and after your new one comes in you will have a great setup to watch some upcoming ball games.

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You could return the tv and and get 125" screen and projector. For what you paid you can get a pretty nice set up. 2500 for a really good projector and 1k for a really nice screen. :rolleyes:

Unfortunately, that's not practical in all applications.

I watch Blurays on the projector but wouldn't watch TV on it. Next spring I'll upgrade my 720p 50-inch to something in the 60-65 inch class.

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My point was that some people just have no place for a projector. The room must be light controlled and for those of us that have to use the room as a multipurpose area (living room) it just isn't doable. I would imagine apartment dwellers would encounter the same issue. I wish I had a room in my house that I could devote to a projector/HT but it just isn't cut up that way.

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You could return the tv and and get 125" screen and projector. For what you paid you can get a pretty nice set up. 2500 for a really good projector and 1k for a really nice screen. :rolleyes:

i probably could, but it won't happen. And for multiple reasons:

  1. In this particular room, a projector and screen is just not practical at all. Yeah, I could renovate one of the rooms down in the basement to put in a dedicated theater with projector and screen, and I even gave it serious consideration, but in the end I would probably hardly, if ever, actually use it.
  2. I use this rig for much more than just watching movies. In fact, movies is a very tiny fraction of what I use this rig for. I find I watch quite a bit of "regular" TV, such as football games and things off of History Channel. I also like to play video games on this rig as well. These are just much better served with a good, high-end TV than with a projector and screen.
  3. There is much more to it than size. For example, I've yet to see a projector come even CLOSE to the quality of image that this particular TV is capable of displaying, short of getting one of those ridiculously expensive, really high-end units. Yeah, the image a projo puts out may be bigger, but if it looks like $#!+..... Just like it is a lot more than how much wattage your amp is a capable of putting out. It may put out 200 watts, but if it sounds like a$$..... Granted, I've seen some pretty nice pictures from some of those projectors, but not good enough to still overcome reasons #1 and #2 for my needs and usage.

So yeah, as somebody already pointed out, a projector and screen is not always practical and is certainly not the end-all-be-all of video display solutions.

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My first Kuro arrived like that .

It took a month for a replacement to show up .

I also still have the broken one which they did not want back .

Is that a pic of the broken one working?

I am actually curious myself. If you still have the broken one, did you try hooking it up and see if it still works? If it does and the crack does not affect the image quality (since it is there in the extreme corner), may make for a good "back-up" or second TV.

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