Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sayonara Sony!

Back in 2006 I purchased a 60" Sony SXRD TV (pictured above) for my video game room. State-of-the-art at the time, it featured a 1080p picture rendered in incredible detail by Sony's new technology, Liquid Crystal On Silicone. The picture was jaw-dropping beautiful. Sony marketed the set as the longest  lasting TV set on the market. Replace the projection bulb every 3,000 hours and your set would be immediately refreshed to factory standards.

I did that. Replaced the bulb at 3,000 hours and sure enough, that fabulous picture was back again. Well, it was back again until the 4,000 hour mark. It's at that point that the screen turned green. Happened just last week. The sharp picture is still there, but the TV set is now monochromatic. Everything is displayed in various shades of green. This is a horrible way to play Call of Duty!

Thinking I just needed to re-calibrate the set, I started monkeying around with the color. Note I said color, not colors. Just green...only green....all the time. So I went online to get some background. And boy did it get interesting.

Sony stopped making SXRD TV's back in 2008. But by that time, they had sold $8 billion worth of SXRD TV sets worldwide. That's billion...with a B. Why did they abandon the technology? All of the TV sets failed...typically between the 4,000 to 6,000 hour mark of viewing use. There was a piece called the optical block that failed as a result of the high heat conditions in the set.

In the beginning Sony replaced the failed optical blocks. But that did not fix the heat issue, so the new optical blocks they put in also failed. So Sony quit replacing the optical blocks for any set out of warranty. If your TV was out of warranty, you were SOL.....Sony was telling their SXRD customers to stuff it. If you were in warranty, they would replace the optical block...but it, too, would fail, but by then the SXRD set would be out of warranty.

Well, there were some 2,000,000 people out there with SXRD TV sets and this did not make them very happy. They started screaming bloody murder. So to appease them, Sony quietly extended the warranty  of SXRD sets through 2009. If you screamed loud enough, they were offering a free 46" LED TV set as a replacement. I know if I had had my issue back then, I would be really unhappy giving up a 60" TV for a 46" TV. Free or not, going backwards in size sucks...especially when playing video games.

So here I sit in 2012 with my all-green Sony and I have absolutely no recourse. The Sony replacement program ended three years ago. Anyone who suffers the green death of their SXRD TV set has to settle for swinging in the wind. Sony will do nothing. Remember that claim about there longest lasting TV set? Sony dismissed it, saying that was just "marketing puffery". Their own words..."marketing puffery". How's that for a stand-up company?

So sayonara, Sony. Never again will I let one of your products grace my doorstep. I am done with you. I have no choice but to get rid of the SXRD TV set, but at the same time I am purging my home of that steaming mess of a game console you call the PS3. There's a reason, Sony, that companies like Samsung, LG and Apple are eating your lunch. They care about their customers and understand the importance of loyalty for the future of their brand.

While I am really displeased with having to toss my SXRD in the junk pile, there is a silver lining. In the last six months, there's been a trickle of new devices into the consumer electronic marketplace that feature 4K technology. This 4K technology is the latest and greatest and offers a picture that is four times higher in resolution than 1080p. So that is very exciting and I am taking delivery of this new technology the week of July 9th. And the brand? You can bet your sweet ass it's not a Sony.

1 comment:

  1. If you're an early adapter, the 4K might be worth a look. Also, the OLED (organic light emitting diode) is getting rave reviews.
    We currently have the Pioneer Kuro Elite which has a phenomenal picture, but they no longer make TV's. All the Pioneer technicians migrated to Panasonic and started making the Viera. For the money, I think it's among the best and most natural picture. Samsung's LED is also getting great reviews.
    One of the best moves we made was to have the TV adjusted after purchase. The factory settings are pretty coarse, and the difference post-adjustment was stunning.
    Good luck with the TV hunt! One of my favorite things to do.
    Oh yes - and I believe Sony is way overpriced for the quality.