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POP! Goes the TV March 10, 2007

Posted by truthspew in extended warranties, magic smoke, television.
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About eight years ago I bought a 27″ GE television. Standard NTSC model. The sales droid at Circuity City (Remember them?) tried steering me away, said it failed early, blah, blah, was disappointed when I didn’t fork over $100 for the extended service plan. I think it cost me about $250 at the time.

Anyhow this morning Keyron mentions to me that the TV died last night. Sure enough, I punch the power button and hear pop-pop-pop-pop out of the front speakers and nothing else. Instantly knew what it was. Let it rest a while (power unplugged) and then plugged it back in and hit the power button. Heard a loud POP/BANG! and instantly smelled that old familiar scent of burning capacitor that’s lost it’s magic smoke. That last term will be recognized by just about every person that’s dealt with electronics, particularly radio electronics in this case. Of course in the case of a good friend to whom I mentioned that I smelt something burning and his response was “It’s just dust.” and then his nice Yaesu FT-1000D stopped transmitting on 10m FM. I disconnected the power and let the TV cool down. Yep, the power supply is black as coal. I could fix it, but I’ll be damned if I will.

Here’s the thing, I got eight years out of the box which is exactly five years longer than the damned extended warranty would have covered. So it’s a no-brainer, don’t by the extended warranty. If the device doesn’t fail in the first year (first ninety days in reality) then it is less likely to fail within the first 4 or so years. It’s been proven time and again that those extended warranty contracts are a rip-off. Same is true on computers, particularly laptops. The only reason we buy the four year support contracts at work is to make our lives easier.

It’s a little bit odd not hearing the babble box in the background. And now it just sits there looking forlornly at us, waiting for us to rescue it from it’s date with the dumpster. But it isn’t affecting me as much as it’s affecting Keyron. He’s the real TV junkie. I kind of fluffed off television a few years ago, after all viral video on the web is so much more entertaining.

So I went looking for new sets and made the decision that we jump to HD on this one. You can get a decent tube based set for around $400 or so, which I can afford. And I won’t buy any service contracts, instead I’ll wait until it breaks at which point the really nice HD sets will be in the $200-$300 range.

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