Well, the Samsung Plasma HDTV repairman arrived Wednesday. The Samsung Service Center was sure it was a power supply problem easily fixed in spite of the fact that I told them the red indicator light on the set was on. Well, OK, maybe the power goes there first and then to the TV components.
And I had bought a 24" Samsung HDTV for $138 to use for the week it took for the repair visit (and to show the rest of the system was working). Half of my TV use is really just listening to political talk shows and science shows, so the small picture was "OK" for a week.
The repairman instantly recognized the problem wasn't the power supply. He said, if that little red button is on, you have power. He waved some gadget across the screen and found a tiny crack in the front panel that caused the screen to fail. "The gas escaped slowly until it failed". He arranged to have a new front panel shipped, total cost $1,000.
But the next day, I got a call saying that front panel was no longer made or available from secondary sources. And that Samsung would call me.
Which they did. They prorate depreciation over 5 years, mine was 3.7 years old, therefore, I will get 30% back. Aside from that, I was out of luck and was free to purchase any new TV (or not).
So I read up on the newest 60-65" HDTVs at Consumer Reports website. The bad news is that there are no more plasma HDTVs. I liked them; the colors are better and the refresh rate higher than on LED HDTVs. But the LED HDTVs are better than they were a few years ago. I set my sights of a particular one (another Samsung - the slightly higher rated TVs were a brand I don't know anything about, and I have all these Samsung remotes, LOL) and went looking.
The nearest place turned out to sell ONLY Samsung! Well, they have a price-matching guarantee and I had already looked up the prices of the model I thought I wanted and the prices were all with a couple of dollars.
So I was expecting to buy the model from Consumer Reports. The salesman asked to show me one before I told him what I was looking for. It was a newer more advanced model. 2160 instead of 1080, many times more pixels, double the screen refresh rate, etc.
I am suspicious of tech advances; some don't mean anything. But he showed me a special picture on it. Granted, it was designed to show off color and black background (which creates "depth"). I sure don't know everything about TVs, but it was noticeably better than the same display on the standard Samsung LED HDTV.
As I said I don't know every about TVs. But I can follow wiring, and both TVs were receiving the same signal through optical fiber. Well, if they faked that, they are too good for me to tell. While the salesman was away briefly selecting the surround sound modes, I looked at the 2 TVs . The lesser picture quality was the exact model I had come in to purchase! I had not mentioned that to him.
So I was looking at what I expected to purchase vs one with a noticeably better picture. And I understood why the picture was better. More smaller pictures equal better picture resolution. The better TV cost $1,000 more, but came with a 5 year repair guarantee, free delivery, and free removal of the old unit. That adds up.
I chose the better one.
I was delivered today and the picture is WONDERFUL! Well, showrooms are designed to make the TV pictures look best. I know about those tricks. I watch TV ads seeing the tricks and smiling to myself about them. But the picture of this 4000k HDTV is really good. It's worth it.
They tried to sell me a surround sound system. I didn't go for that. The Bose soundbar in front of the TV was $700 and the wireless speaker to go behind me and the subwoofer was another $700. Actually, the subwoofer was so strong, it vibrated the chair and that would have made me nauseous.
I have my TV "audio out" going to my stereo system controller. My floor model DCM speakers give fine sound after a decade )I don't play music load very often).
But there is an odd effect right now. I was seeing people speak, but silently. If I had the TV-only speaker on, they spoke. Something about the system is separating the audio channels. For now, I have the TV speaker and stereo speakers both on, But I will have to look at the plugs in the TV control box soon to see if I can connect them better.
Because right now, If I want to change the volume and keep it balanced, I have to change both the TV and stereo volume, and that's a pain. There will be a way, I just have to find it. And I've explored the TV controls and seen many options. For now, a great picture and good sound is enough.