Our Experience with TV Sets since returning to the USA
Does Brand/Price Indicate Quality?
After living in the Philippines for 20 years, in 2018 my family decided to move back to the United States. If you know what Reverse Culture Shock is, I can tell you, we have experienced a lot of that. I will be writing more about some of the reverse culture shock experiences that we have encountered, but for this article I am going to be writing about buying a TV set in the United States.
Upon arrival we purchased a cheap TV
We moved back to the United States with 6 Suitcases and the clothes on our backs. Arriving back was much different compared to when we moved to the Philippines 20 years earlier. When moving to the Philippines we shipped a 40 ft. container with all of our household stuff. We were going for good. Shipping a container to Asia is cheap, because boatloads of cheap Asian goods are coming to the USA daily, but few American goods are being shipped to Asia, so the trip back to Asia usually means an empty vessel. They will take a very low price to deliver a container back to Asia on the more-or-less empty ship.
So, when we arrived back in the States, we had clothing (mostly just warm weather clothing) and a few personal items that we didn’t want to part with. A TV set is big and bulky and generally won’t fit in a suitcase, so we had to buy a new TV set. Because we had to buy a lot of things to set up our household, we went cheap on our TV set. I have forgotten what brand of TV we bought, but it was on the lower end. As I recall, we got a 48″ Smart TV. I believe that this TV set cost us a little under $400.
When we took the cheap TV home and plugged it in, everything worked fine. We did not have cable TV or anything like that, we had Internet and streamed any TV shows that we wanted to watch. Overall, though, we had no complaints about the TV set, it was a low end TV, but it worked great, and the picture quality was fine too.
In 2021 we upgraded to Samsung
Shortly after our arrival everybody started earning an income (Myself, my wife Feyma, and our son Chris), and we had more disposable income. We decided to upgrade our TV to a nice Samsung model. I have never been a Samsung fan, but Feyma and Chris each like Samsung, and it was fine with me, I didn’t have a preference. On this Samsung Model we went with a 65″ TV. My recollection is that we bought the TV when Best Buy had a big sale around Christmas time and the TV was around $700 or so.
Everything was fine with the TV, although I could not tell a big difference in the picture quality. The audio quality was superior to the “el cheapo” TV that we had been using, though.
Just around the time when the warranty on this Samsung TV expired, one panel of the LED lights behind the TV screen started going off and on. After some time for the TV to warm up the LEDs would stay on as they should. Electronics are basically considered throw-away items in the States now, repair is costly and rarely even an option. The Samsung is still useable, but annoying when the rear LEDs keep flashing off and on. We moved it to the bedroom and still use it there, but not often.
We bought a Sony TV
We could not find a place to get the Samsung repaired, so in 2022 we decided to get a Sony TV.
My wife and I had always liked Sony products, and although expensive (about $1700), we considered that we would get the Sony because we expected it to be more reliable and of higher quality than either of the TVs that we had purchased previously. The Sony TV is also 65″ (that’s the biggest size we can fit in the area where our TV is).
We like the Sony TV, it has a great picture and is generally enjoyable to watch. It does have some problems, though.
The problems we have experienced with the Sony TV:
- When you turn the TV Off, sometimes it is very difficult to turn it back on. You have to just keep pushing the power button over and over, and at times you have to just leave and come back hours later to see if it will turn on. If you do that, it usually turns on fine after letting it rest like this.
- Sometimes when you do turn it on the TV has lost all of the things in memory and you have to set it all up again, what a pain.
- One time we were having some renovations done in our Family Room and the TV was unplugged for about a week. When we plugged it back in and tried to turn it on, it would not turn on. No matter what we did, the TV would not turn on. After a few days of fiddling with it and trying different “fixes” that we found on YouTube and other sites, we finally got it to turn on a few days later.
These things are annoying and aggravating. They are especially annoying when you realize that you spent a significant amount of money on the unit and it does not perform as it should. At this point, however, the Sony TV has been functioning pretty well for a couple of months. Hopefully it will keep working properly.
We’ve come to a decision
Given our experiences over the past 5 years, when it comes to TV sets, we made a decision a couple of weeks ago.
We were just talking about the problems we have had with TVs ever since moving back to the States. Feyma and I decided that in the future we are going to buy only the no-name cheap TV sets in the future, and just consider them disposable. These days you can get a 65″ TV (no-name) for even less than $200. It seems every year the price is coming down (as is the quality). So, why spend a thousand or more on a TV set that is going to have problems?
Truth is… we don’t watch that many TV shows anyway. I mostly use the TV to watch YouTube videos, and an NFL game or two on the weekends. Those $200 sets will be fine!
Have you experienced problems with TV sets over the years?