Of televisions and decisions

We’re seriously thinking of replacing our widescreen TV.

Our current 32″ Philips (32PW9527) has had problems for the last year and a half of its three years with us. There’d been a red tint on the picture but I’d cranked the settings to get around it, with some success. It’s now significantly worse; there are horizontal curved red “laser” lines every couple of centimetres across the entire picture. In a bright scene they’re not noticeable, but in a darkly lit scene you can see them in all the “black” areas and they’re really beginning to really aggravate me. Some research online indicates it’s not an uncommon problem with Philips tubes from a few years back, and is likely to mean replacing the entire tube. Which is not worth the cost.

By strange coincidence, Comet (where we bought it) just offered us extended breakdown insurance cover, out of the blue. Although it’s a very tempting thought, we just can’t bring ourselves to click that button confirming that there are no current problems with the set. I know we’ve been lumbered with a dodgy set, but it just feels dishonest1. So I’ve been researching new tellies, and our current annoying-but-bearable one will go to a needy home at one of our friends’ houses. Assuming we can find a crane or the Incredible Hulk to lift it.

At first I was flirting outrageously with the idea of an LCD or Plasma set, since they are oh so shiny and desirable. But looking around the web has convinced me that Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) sets are still going to offer a better picture for a couple of years yet, especially in our £600-ish budget range. So we figure on getting a new CRT set now, and then a flat-screen when the technology is nice and settled, and my insane craving can’t be held off any longer.

I’m genetically incapable of spending money without endless research first, so I’ve been combing reviews and recommendations online. Since, as we know, the web is entirely populated by people complaining about something, I’ve read tales of woe with just about every set. Philips sets get rave reviews (given their genuinely superb “pixel plus” pictures) but are still teh crapness for reliability. Every time I start to be swayed, I’ll find another raft of complaints. Once bitten, twice shy. Meanwhile the Panasonic model I was considering has a nice picture too but gets flak for a potential magnetic “buzzing” fault which Panasonic refuse to acknowledge, and which may therefore be a pain to resolve. If it affects us. Which it might not. I hate decisions.

We have finally decided to plump for a Toshiba 32ZP48, which gets great reviews and seems to have almost no-one complaining about it (except for a few faulty sets where the geometry of the picture is off). I can find it for £660 delivered, which is a decent price. So if you think it’s rubbish, tell me now!

Replacing a TV which is sort of still working does feel a little bit self-indulgent, but picture faults seriously get on my nerves, and this is a pretty chronic one. So what the hell – this is why we earn the money in the first place!

1Mainly because it is dishonest. 🙂

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