Big Screen Trouble

Four years ago, I bought a new television. A 57″ Sony Wega projection HD model. Besides my houses and cars/trucks, it was the most expensive toy I had ever purchased at around $2,500. I got it just in time for the college football bowl season. I picked up a Sony surround sound system and we were enjoying some of the best in-home entertainment we had ever seen.

For a while. Within about 6 months of plugging it in, I noticed green lines on the screen whenever the screen was black between commercials. I called Sony and the guy on the other end of the line explained it sounded like a problem they could fix. Since it was under warranty, they arranged for a local Sony repair house to pick it up and replace the troubled sensors or tubes or whatever was causing the green lines.

The set worked fine, for a few months until the green goblin lines showed up again. Sony covered it and we were back in business. For about another six months.

The warranty had just expired but since the problems were nothing new, the Sony customer service tech arranged to cover the cost again. But then, again after about six months, the lines were back.

I’ve lived with the lines since then. They weren’t very noticeable when there was a picture on the screen, especially on the HD channels. I figured it was something I was either going to have to pay to have fixed myself, or learn to live with them. I chose to get used to them.

Just before Christmas, I walked in as the kids were watching Jimmy Neutron on Nickelodean. I looked at the picture and said “cool, Jimmy Neutron is in 3D”. But after putting on the glasses that came with our Shrek DVD, I quickly discovered it was not a 3D picture but the green lines had evolved into a blurred picture. It seems that the green lines turned into two images on the screen, one just below or above the other.

So now, I’m in a quandry. Since I no longer live a few miles from the Sony Service Center in Memphis, I’m going to have to load it up (no easy task) and drive it to a tv repair place that might be able to replace the tube or sensor. I have no idea what this might cost, but figure I may have to do some math to figure out whether a fourth fix will be permanent enough to justify shelling out the dough to have it repaired. The other option is to buy a new big screen tv.

Every electronic thing in my house (except my Mac laptop) is made by Sony. I have three Sony video cameras, a Sony surround sound system, a Sony desktop computer and a Sony digital still camera. I recommend Sony products to everyone who asks me about cameras and computers and tvs. But now, after buying a $2,500 Sony Wega tv that has been bad since bringing it home from the store, I can’t recommend them any longer.

I remember the tvs my dad bought when I was a kid. Actually, I remember the tv (singular) that my dad bought when I was growing up. The 37″ set we had in the living room lasted longer than I did in that house. So what is a Sony consumer supposed to do now?

I look at all the big screen, hd tvs in the Sunday circulars and think which one I should buy, if the repair is too costly and/or is only temporary. I like the LG sets but Sams Club has some nice Vizio sets that don’t cost as much as Sony, Panasonic, Samsung or Hitachi sets. I still love the look of the Sony LCD and Plasmas, but I can’t help but wonder how long they’ll last before giving up the ghost…or giving me the ghost.


1 Comment

Filed under Personal

One response to “Big Screen Trouble

  1. Chris Brown

    Sony has gotten into the business of doing a great many things ok, not a few things really well, like when you were a kid. We have a Sony 27 inch that we bought when we first moved to Memphis nearly 12 years ago. The picture is just as good today as it was then. However, I just bought my second HDTV and I passed on Sony. I went with a Phillips LCD and could not be happier.

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