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The Purchase

When Rudi and I first moved in together I had a 54cm standard TV. This suited me just fine, but after a few years Rudi started hankering to get a flat screen TV. A bigger TV. I said no for quite some time. Then one day after we had voted in the elections and were wandering around the mall, for some reason I relented. We bought a 32 inch LG flat screen TV. We financed it on my credit card’s budget facility over two years. My condition at the time was that Rudi pay the yearly TV license fee since I was paying for half of the TV I didn’t want. We got the TV and everyone was happy.


Fast forward about two and a half years. Rudi starts pestering me for *another* TV. A *bigger* TV. Every time a store had ‘crazy specials’  he would start bugging me and get pissed off every time I said no. After digging myself out of the debt My Evil Mother made on my name I am careful with money and even have a nice little nest egg for emergencies.


Recently a new Game store opened at a mall near us. People queued overnight for the opening specials. A select few customers (the first 20 or so) got vouchers and discounts that were amazing. Again Rudi started to harp on it. He even gave me the silent treatment this time for saying no. My argument being that we recently bought a new TV that there is nothing wrong with and it is a very unnecessary expense. When we visited Boogaloo a few weeks ago and saw his TV (he has a 32 inch LED 200 Hz Sony Bravia TV),  the picture was amazing.  We discussed the benefits and specs of the TV and they spoke about how important the Hz (or refresh rate) is on a TV and what a big difference it makes. A colleague at work opened up the brochure for the opening specials of the store and I spotted a 51 inch TV with a 600 Hz refresh rate. 600 Hz! I was impressed. If the picture on the 32 inch with 200 Hz was so impressive, the 600 Hz must be incredible. So I played with the idea. I called Rudi up and said to him that we can buy the TV on condition we pay half cash with our bonuses and don’t get each other Christmas gifts. He quickly agreed. He made some calls to find stock and that very day we went to the store to purchase the TV.


When we got to the store on Thursday it was a mad house. There was barely space to walk with all the people there taking advantage of the specials. We spotted numerous trolleys bearing large boxes with TVs. We verified our TV license, asked a few questions about the TV and they went to fetch us one of the last 3 remaining TVs. The store had tiled an entire wall with flat screen TVs (literally tiled, they were all mounted side by side playing the same channel) and we could compare the picture of the TV we wanted to buy with the other TVs. The picture was really good and we decided to buy it. The price on the tag said R6999.00, but the brochure had said R5999.00. We queried this and the salesman said he would ‘give it to us for R5999.00’ and that the deal included a HD PVR satellite decoder. Bonus! I thought we could sell the decoder (retails for around R1499.00) and put that money back into the TV too. At the till they stuffed up putting the transaction through on my credit card and I held up the entire queue while phoning the bank. It was quite embarrassing, but the lady that assisted me over the phone was phenomenal and sorted it out immediately. Luckily it didn’t take too long. When we got to the parking lot we attempted to load the TV into the car. It wouldn’t fit. Fail. Epic fail. We tried flattening the seats, removing the car seat and pushing the front seats forward. No luck. I wasn’t willing to remove the TV from the box to transport it. Eventually we phoned a friend of ours that has a bakkie and asked him to help us. Luckily he was willing and available!


We went home with our new TV. Quite happy! We set it up immediately. We don’t really watch too much regular TV, most of the stuff we watch is on my hard drive. Babyice couldn’t believe how big Barney is and ran up to the screen touching it saying ‘Barney! Barney!’. On Saturday I watched a bit of TV and noticed that the picture quality SUCKED. When the people would move in the picture there would be a blur, almost as if you could still see the previous frames. I was pissed! 600Hz refresh rate? My bum! The refresh rate is supposed to prevent exactly that! We were on our way somewhere so I left it. Last night while watching a soapie, it was so unbearable that I actually went to go and watch it on our 32 inch in the bedroom where Rudi and a friend had set it up over the weekend. The picture was just terrible! The blur was *really* bad. Of course my first recourse was to bitch about it on Twitter. Saying things like ‘I paid R6000.00 for a TV I can’t bear to watch!’. I was so disappointed. Buyers remorse to the max.


Enter HoneyZA and her husband. She asked me for the model number of the TV (it’s a 51 inch Samsung Plasma by the way). Her husband did some research and found the problem. It’s not the TV! The problem is that our national broadcaster still broadcasts with analogue signal and analogue signal sucks on big TVs! The HDMI channel works fine, I hadn’t picked up any problems with that. Then I clicked. Perhaps the decoder came free with the TV because it’s impossible to watch regular TV without it! So we’re keeping the decoder and subscribing to the public access channels for R20/month. We’re still working out the details of this since we didn’t get an actual dish with the decoder and we’re not sure if our complex already has satellite connections or if we’re meant to do our own installation. I e-mailed the landlady this morning and am waiting for her to reply.


I’m just really happy and relieved that it isn’t the actual TV. Come to think of it the channel they had playing in the store was a satellite channel. I would have been really upset since I quite like the new TV that I didn’t want and didn’t want to go through the effort of battling the store for an exchange or a refund.


So a big thank you to HoneyZa and her husband for helping us out!


New TV