On the Horns of a Dilemma

My wife Sue and I have decided to purchase a new TV in lieu of other Christmas gifts to each other this year. Our current 27" JVC has served us well for about 10 years, but since we have a new home, a homebrew MCE box, cable TV and a Netflix subscription – we think that its time to upgrade the User Interface of our media experience.

I started looking at flat screens. My brother has a 42" Panasonic Plasma, and he loves it, but it’s a small space heater. The plasma TVs seem to draw more power than their LCD equivalents, but they’re lower priced.

I was fairly sold on a LG 46" LCD until I actually saw one running. In fact, I saw several at my local Best Buy and Circuit City stores. What was most striking to me was the major quality difference between the others and the Sony Bravia sets.

The Sony 46" LCD seems to have a much more accurate, pure color than the others. The picture appears sharp with no artifacts from motion or along diagonal lines in the image. IMHO, in a side by side comparison, the Sony wins hands down. As it should – it’s also the most expensive.

I’ve had experiences with two other Sony products – one of the original Sony Discman players, and my brother’s Sony VAIO laptop. Both were excellent products. Both cost more than their equivalents at the time. Both performed better than the others available at the time. However, both eventually needed to be repaired, and the cost for Sony to repair both exceeded the cost to purchase them. Nice way to sell more and build your sales, but not nice for the environment or your customers. However this is probably typical of most consumer electronics companies.

In addition, there was the hoopla last year about the Sony Rootkit fiasco wherein Sony BMG CD purchasers who played their CDs in their computer were silently and deliberately infected with a virus in an attempt by Sony to prevent CD copying. I consider this to be a despicable act.

So – do I reward Sony and myself or punish Sony and myself… ?

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