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NEXT TIME IT WON'T BE HITACHI by Sandra Lewis Print E-mail
by Sandra Lewis    Tue, Nov 29, 2005, 09:50 AM

For 20+ years I owned the same RCA TV set. (I received it as a gift when I was 12.)

(Just kidding.)

rca tv.jpgIt outlasted my girls’ toddler and elementary school years and persevered through five moves, once across state lines and four local ones.

It was a technological dinosaur as of several years ago, but it worked, and worked, and worked, for years and years and years. So I kept it.

The TV was used mostly for watching rented movies. Somewhere around 1995 I disconnected the cable and there was no television service at my house besides what we could pick up with a rabbit ears antenna.

I sided with Bruce Springsteen on this issue – “57 Channels (and nothin’ on)” – and I couldn’t justify paying for nothin’.

My girls thought me evil at the time, but both have since thanked me. (I love it when that happens.)

So the TV was mostly used for watching rented movies.

And then one morning three years and one month ago I woke up lusting for a big screen TV (or at least a bigger screen), and so decided that I needed an updated movie-watching venue.

Being single does have its advantages as there was no one to consult on this purchase. (And even if I weren’t, what man in his right mind would have protested this decision?)

I gave my RCA TV in perfect working condition to a single father friend of mine, Craig, with six kids.

hitachiripoff.jpgA couple of days later I took delivery of a 43-inch Hitachi HDTV. It was the largest screen with the best picture I could get for the money at the time, $2,100.

And in honor of the purchase I resubscribed to cable (the $15 a month package).

My guy friends were envious. (Only guys experience TV envy.)

Three years and one month later I am furious.

From what I’ve read of others’ experiences, it seems that this particular line of Hitachi TV goes kaput at the three year mark.

The screen is way dark and the color scheme would only make sense to someone in an altered state of mind. (Cameron Diaz’s hair was not green the first time I watched Vanilla Sky – and, yes, great flick.)

I wondered if Hitachi thought that three years was an appropriate life span for this set so I called. Without a protection plan I was out of luck and needed to call for a repair.

But thanks for calling Hitachi, he said.

Whatever.

Repair or replace? It’s a dilemma.

Repair = expensive.

Replace = even more expensive.

I called Craig to see how my old RCA TV had fared at his house. Still going strong, he said. They watched a movie on it this weekend and it serves as the family video game center.

That TV is a survivor.

For $49 I could buy a TV just like it off of eBay if I’d be willing to drive to Edmond, Oklahoma.

It might just be worth it, except this TV isn’t working either.

Yes, I hear it.  That's Bruce Springsteen calling my name.

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