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Buying Plasma TV online? good or bad?

by delafuenteld / September 11, 2006 1:01 AM PDT

I am in the middle of purchasing the Panasonic 42PHD8UK plasma television and I can save about $600 by buying from bestbuyplasma.com. Has anyone used this online store? any recommendations reagarding warranties, no in-home repair calls, etc.

thanks for your help?

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Fisrt check them out!!!!!!!!
by jcrobso / September 11, 2006 1:57 AM PDT

Google for "rating online retailers"
There was a post about 16 months ago about when the fourm member opened the box it was full of SAND,,, so beware!!!

Since this is an industrial panny plasma check out.
www.fullcompas.com I have been buying from them for over 20 years. John

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Buy The New Panasonic TH-42PH9UK Here Instead
by RoadRunner6 / September 11, 2006 6:54 PM PDT

Yes, buying online is fine. Don't believe all the horror stories to follow by other posters. Just make sure you buy from 4.5 or 5 star dealers with at least 100 ratings. Credit cards only, no debit cards! Don't worry about shipping, they are experts.


You are looking at a Blooklyn dealer here. Not my best recommendation. Besides this, the Th-42PHD8UK is last year's model. The new model (Panny's 9th generation plasma) is the TH-42PH9UK.

You can get a better price at the one of the best online dealers in the country located in Washington State, Visual Apex.com, $1545 plus shipping. They have superb customer service. Call or e-mail them.

I presume you realize this is the commercial model with no tuner, stand or speakers. No problem, you can buy these separately if you need them (also I think the HDMI card is extra)? The all black bezel is beautiful. Picture quality is the same except for some different bells and whistles. The comparable consumer model is the TH-42PX60U. Same warranty except commercial model is walk in service (no problem with a 42'' unit) and consumer is in home (verfiy this). This consumer model is avaiable at Costco as a TH-42PX6U.

http://www.visualapex.com/plasma/Plasma_details.asp?chPartNumber=TH-42PH9UK&MFR=Panasonic&SE=Pgrabber&KW=th42ph9UK

http://www.pricegrabber.com/p__Panasonic_TH_42PH9UK_42_Plasma_TV,__22919624/sort_type=bottomline
(you have to enter your zip code to get shipping and tax for your state)

http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ModelDetail?displayTab=O&storeId=11201&catalogId=13051&itemId=98054&catGroupId=14624&modelNo=TH-42PH9UK&surfModel=TH-42PH9UK

http://www2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/vModelDetail?storeId=15001&catalogId=13401&itemId=96291&catGroupId=24973&modelNo=TH-42PX60U&surfModel=TH-42PX60U&cacheProgram=11002&cachePartner=7000000000000005702

RR6

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Panasonic TH-42PH9UK vs. Panasonic
by Pananonica / December 7, 2006 2:00 PM PST

I'm at a crossroads and maybe someone can help me out.

I've been checking out 42" flat screens, LCD and plasma, for awhile and am closing in on a decision. I've decided to ignore the whole 1080P LCD controversy because it's simply not a significant factor since I don't plan to sit within 6 feet of a 50" screen(!). And I've decided to stay with "antiquated" plasma because of the far superior black tones in movies, much improved screen life (about 20 years at my viewing rate) and burn-in issue being essentially solved.

With the range of plasmas, I liked the features of the Panasonic PX60U but just couldn't deal with the "duck feet" stand and silver plastic so held off even as I watched prices plunge from $2500 last Spring to as little as $1250 today (Best Buy theoretically had them for $1000 the day after Thanksgiving).

Lately I've seen the newer PX600 priced at $1600 online with some inconsequential (to me) added features and the same glass as the PX60U, but much improved styling.

But then there is also the PH9UK, again available for around $1500 online including stand and HDMI. CNET's review gives it an 8, which is excellent, and touts the superior picture quality of this "professional" plasma monitor.

Given that the Panasonic TH42PX60U consumer plasma was released almost a year ago while the TH-42PH9UK professional plasma came out last August, my guess is that the PH9UK is the basis for the next generation of consumer model beyond the PX60U and PX600 (really the same thing).

This seems supported in the pdf brochure available online touting the many improvements in the TH-42PH9UK, among these it's 10 lb. lighter weight than its predecessor (incidentally the same amount it weighs less than the PX600).

So....

Is the TH-42PH9UK in fact the genesis for the next generation of consumer models, and if so, when will they be unrolled?

Does the TH-42PH9UK have newer and superior technology and build quality than the PX600 consumer model that would justify its purchase at about the same price even though it does not include a tuner or speakers (who cares on the latter)? It also lacks such niceties as an illuminated remote and 5 screen settings (only comes with 4).

And can it's one weakness based on the CNET test, its green primary color being heavily weighted towards yellow, be remedied as during calibration?

One major feature of the TH-42PH9UK is that it comes with a 5 year warranty if purchased prior to Decemeber 31st. Perhaps this is an indicator of the faith Panasonic places in the durability of its professional grade monitors, these often being left on around the clock in public places.

Can someone help clear this up?

And a couple recommendations to CNET. I love your website, a real service to consumers, but can you perform tests at the time of release for plasmas and LCD's from the leading manufacturers in the 42 inch size (the new standard for home TV's given sales rate). Your tests are outstanding but there is often significant lagtime before they appear, and at times major product improvements (the Sony 2500 LCD with 1080P available at $1850 online) are left untested at all.

And how about comparison tests similar to those conducted for same class cars by Car & Driver and Consumer Reports? Get 5 of the most popular and feature laden 42" LCD's and plasmas together and have a shoot-out. I'd love to see just such a test with the Sony 2500, Panasonic TH42PX600 and TH-42PH9UK, the Samsung 1080P and the Sharp Aquos.

So many agonize over the decision of LCD vs. plasma, and then which set is best. This is due to insufficient information being available to the layman, something that is just begging for a better solution.

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A comment re: online buying
by NM_Bill / December 8, 2006 3:00 AM PST

Reliable vendors are critical. No one should deal blindly, there are sharks out there. I highly urge checking customer feedback from the 3 best sources I've found:

ResellerRatings.com, epinions.com & Shopping.com seem to be good. Most shopping sites, c/net included have only a meaningless rating based on the vendors published policies. Not sufficient.

RR, I am one who has had a couple experiences which apparently would be among your referenced horror stories. They weren't urban legends, they were expensive Mexican standoffs in that seller, contract packer & shipper all pointed finger at one another, all denying any liability - thusly, daring me to sue them. Who should look forward to small claims court involving other parties in who knows what state?

Sure, I've bought online, but no one should be a babe in the woods.

Anyone who could post about other shopping site ratings seem to be among the most reliable, please post to share the good info.

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Thanks
by Newtsche / December 19, 2006 1:44 PM PST

Thanks for introducing me to Visual Apex, I just ordered a TH-42PH9UK.
We had to get in step with the 21st century and replace a twelve yr. old CRT. I'd shopped the usual consumer suspects and hadn't considered a commercial model. Great price, insane warranty, extreme flexibility, perfect aesthetics. Couldn't be happier. Dealing with Visual Apex was exemplary. I questioned the warranty and was told if I needed more, they'd sure be trying to sell it to me. Of course, they didn't. They can't be making a huge profit on this unit and yet were very patient with my ignorant questions and gave me too much of their time.

I expect it within the week after Christmas, putting a new outlook on an otherwise kinda funky several days. Woo hoo!

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If I were buying another TV online...
by bevillan / December 7, 2006 11:53 PM PST

I would spend the extra couple hundred bucks and get it from Crutchfield.com

They are rated by Consumer Reports as the best online electronics retailer for both warranty ease and customer service. They don't carry Pioneer plasmas though, but they have most of the brands (Panasonic, Sony, Sharp, Toshiba, etc.). I've spend about $4500 on their site and haven't had any regrets, even with one component malfunctioning they were very helpful in pointing me in the right direction in what to do.

Vanns.com and Crutchfield are the only ones that I would trust.

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TH-42PX60U and the TH-42PH9UK are the same 9th generation
by RoadRunner6 / December 8, 2006 4:44 AM PST
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$1000 for it?
by bevillan / December 8, 2006 5:04 AM PST

I don't know...sounds fishy to get a Panny 42" plasma for $1025 WITH the 5 year extended warranty included.

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Fishy?
by RoadRunner6 / December 8, 2006 7:03 AM PST
In reply to: $1000 for it?

Here are 10 dealers that are selling it at below $1200. The 5 year warranty deal is an authorized warranty extention by Panasonic. They are soon introducing their 1080p models. They are clearing out inventory, get it?

On Black Friday many of the equivelent consumer TH-42Px60U models in the Seattle area were selling from $999 (Magnolia) to $1200 at other dealers.

Still sound fishy?

RR6

http://www.pricegrabber.com/p__Panasonic_TH_42PH9UK_42_Plasma_TV,__22919624/sort_type=price

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TH-42PH9UK @ Visual Apex
by comatoasted--2008 / December 18, 2006 12:11 AM PST

I have to add my 2

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YOU CAN DO MAIL ORDER AS WELL (YOU TALK TO A REAL PERSON!)..
by Riverledge / December 8, 2006 8:01 AM PST

VANN'S & CRUTCHFIED (pricey) are very good. However, my favorite is
J & R Electronics of NYC.

Never let me down, one damaged piece was replaced at breakneck speed!

My suggestion is find place that does both. Stores that have built a fine reputation with their mail order service; are not going to ruin it by running a slip-shod on-line operation!!!

good shopping, river

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Buying a plasma online
by kevin80302 / December 10, 2006 7:22 AM PST

What about big retailers like Fry's OUTPOST.COM or NEWEGG.COM?

I've had real good luck with both and occasionally Outpost has free shipping.

Kevin

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BestBuyPlasma
by hippiechick37 / December 10, 2006 8:40 AM PST
In reply to: Buying a plasma online

Maybe I am one of the forturnate ones, but I bought a Panasonic TH-50PX600U about a month ago. I did read up on them and checked them out with the BBB. Now I've read both good things and bad things about BestBuyPlasma, but I read more good things. Also, CNET rated them as good; by the way, they are also known as PlasmaBay.com which is where I originally bought it from, but the package when I received it said BestBuyPlama. If you really think about it, all legit stores out there have had their share of bad reviews from customers, but you have to look at their overall longterm track record. Now with that being said, I'm definitely not saying that you won't have ANY problems with them. I received my TV within a week and a half in perfect condition. Also, I got the TV for $1000 less than I would have gotten it at my local Best Buy. I also got an additonal 4 year warranty for $200, not that I really needed it, but I was thinking better safe than sorry.

I am not going to tell you this particular online store is legit or not, but I received my Plasma at a really good price and haven't had a problem yet. Maybe I was just lucky or maybe BestBuyPlasma is getting a bad rep. I don't really know, so do your homework before purchasing from any online store.

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This is let the buyer beware!!!
by jcrobso / December 18, 2006 1:18 AM PST
In reply to: Buying a plasma online

NEWEGG.com is excellent!!! They also have free shipping at times.
Fry's.com is very good.
JR.com is excellent. Sometimes free shipping.
BHphotovideo.com is excellent.
Fullcompass.com is excellent. Sometimes free shipping.
I have use all of the above. I have used Fullcompass for about 25 years.
Yes, there are other very good online retailers, but there also some very bad ones. The five listed above I have use with NO Problems! John

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BAD - Except for B&H Photo
by 2143436756292931057199946 / December 20, 2006 2:28 AM PST

If you buy from an online source, let it be Circuit City, Best Buy, Sears or one of those respectable companies. But if you're trying to find a deal online for such an enemorous product, go with:

B&H Photo

They are a company in NYC and have GREAT prices on TV's, cheaper than retailers. I bought a 17" LCD Samsung from them, arrived perfect, brand new in box. A buddy of mine bought a 42" TV, however it was damaged upon receipt, but he was reimbursed for the TV.

They seem to be a good company and I would recommend them.

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I'D LIKE TO SUGGEST J&R OF NEW YORK
by Riverledge / December 20, 2006 9:35 AM PST
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