A too-hasty buy brings remorse

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A too-hasty buy brings remorse

Postby meteorite » Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:10 pm

Just as we were packing for our trip, our 1995 CRT television suddenly quit. The screen just went blank and there was no response on any channel. But then, Canada will go to digital-only over the air broadcasts only in a few weeks, there is HD available now, and replacement was getting urgent anyway. So on my return I ran over to a local store and bought myself a 24-inch LED Toshiba flat panel tv. I am very sorry that I did so.

The first nasty surprise was the assembly instructions. They were mainly pictographs, but far too small. Given the 20/20 vision I had 60 years go I could have made them out, but Toshiba seems to have forgotten that a certain percentage of their buyers need bigger illustrations with clearer labeling these days, and cheaps out inexcusably.

At the store I was assured that it would just plug in and play from and through my Toshiba VCR/DVD player as the dead set did. Not so. I did what the instructions said but now the only way I can access my satellite box is by turning on the VCR unit first. I suspect maybe a splitter box of some sort may be found to work, but the instructions are mute on the subject, and I'm not sure the directions in the VCR manual apply.

The next shock was to find there was no earphone connection. Doesn't anyone else ever want to watch something on tv that another person in the room doesn't want to see or hear? But there is no earphone provision; the best this piece of junk can offer is an audio out, which meant I had to go out and buy an $80 set of wireless stereo headphone for lack of a jack and its wire to feed a simple basic part. (Since I was without a tv in a very active season, I forgot this detail when examining the unit in the store). I consider this omission a major design flaw.

Not only that, when I mute the speakers to use the headphones, the screen comes up with closed captioning. There is a button on the remote for closed captioning but when the menu comes up it can't be moved to off. It's supposed to be an available option but if it works, the manual doesn't tell you how. The same is true with this item on the main menu. I kept pushing buttons until it went away but I'm still unsure how and why and it keeps coming back.

I can, with considerable difficulty, decipher the tiny print in the manual with the right glasses in bright light. It's a pity it is so lacking in information and organized apparently for an Oriental mind; it sure doesn't fit a Western one. The listings of what each submenu offers and how to access it is simply too abbreviated to tell whether what you want to do is hidden there or not. Not that I am any fan of submenus under submenus under menus as on a point and shoot camera, or poor-contrast lettering too small to read at a distance, or even prone to disappearance while one is still trying to read them. Do these people not ever ever try to use the shoddy junk they are foisting on us?

Oh yes, it took me three days to even discover that there are supposed to be front panel controls on it. The labeling, concealed on a ledge, is dark grey on black, and there are no buttons; it seems there is supposed to be some sort of touch-sensitive mechanism but it doesn't work when I touch it. Stupid, crummy design all the way.

At least I finally found, on the emote, the menu for picture quality. But adjustment do not show as you make sthem, the necessary process seems to be make your change, exit the menu, see what effect it has, go back and fiddle with something else (brightness, contrast, colour) and see if you can tease out a balance - or even a viewable picture. Lots of luck.

In short, so far I have found my new Toshiba LED tv an inflexible, rottenly designed, all but useless piece of junk, and I most deeply regret paying out my premium dollar for this alleged high-end product. I feel badly burned by a company whose products have previously worked well for me.
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