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Customer Review

on December 4, 2007
Largely on the basis on a high Consumer Reports recommendation, I bought our set several months ago.

The picture quality has generally been excellent in all modes, although I consistently use the screen "cropping" setting to get rid of annoying lines at the edges of the screen on a few channels (which may be due to the cable feed we receive).

The sound quality is also good, although the lowest volume setting could be lower (for watching the TV very quietly at night). Sometimes when I have the volume set at the lowest level and then hit the mute button, getting out of the mute mode results in no sound at all until I tweak the volume control again.

The phone customer service rots. Over several calls, I found it next to impossible to connect with somebody who spoke decent enough English to really understand. And speaking of English, some of the menus and on-screen messages include insultingly poor grammar (e.g., "not exist" for a channel selection with no signal, "not rating" for an unrated program, etc.); the customer service people had zero interest in hearing about this. The instruction manual is difficult to understand, with no meaningful explanation for what many of the functions and settings supposedly do. Customer service can't explain things any better either. To get around the problem of no printed manual, we printed out the entire PDF file (about 40 pages worth) and keep the printout near the TV.

Another quirk: When I switch channels (which can take several long seconds), the program name is often wrong or filled with garbage characters. And even though I have programmed the TV to skip certain channels, sometimes they reappear in the active channel lineup anyway. And yesterday, the "favorites" button refused to work after one of the channels had been shifted to a different frequency by my cable operator.

On the positive side, the TV is an energy sipper. When off, it consumes 1-2 watts of energy; I measured it. When powered on, it consumes about 135 watts on the "dark room" brightness setting and 185 watts on the "bright room" setting. In the "dark room" setting, the TV emits a faint hum. BTW, for those of you bothered by the bright blue power off light, a little piece of black tape over most of the light (i.e., top two thirds) works wonders! Of course, that doesn't stop the TV from making metallic expansion and contraction sounds (sort of like what baseboard hot water heat sounds like) when it's powered on or off.
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