The Decision Has Been Made

posted on February 18th, 2008 by Anthony

A month a go I posted about my problems in choosing a new TV.

Erm, I’m still under here…

It didn’t get any easier from there. In fact it just got harder and harder, and the trips to Currys longer and more frequent.

There was something like six sets still in the running on Friday night.

On Saturday we made the short hop over to Liverpool and headed to John Lewis who have one of the nicest environments for TV shopping and comparison.

After spending the best part of an hour viewing the several different tellys on our (well my) list – and finally getting somewhere – we retired for a cuppa and a bit of deliberation.

Two clear favourites had finally emerged. Crucially, while supping our tea leaf infusions, I took the opportunity to do some last minute internet research on my phone – but more on that later.

Refreshed from our brew we headed back to John Lewis and tried to look puzzled so to attract attention…

Much Easier Than Expected

After a bit of a wait and helpful assistant came over asked and asked if we needed any help.

Me: “Yeah, I really like this set”, I said pointing, “it’s the best one we’ve seen.”

Assistant: “Yes sir, it is certainly one of the best”, said the nice assistant man before giving some spiel about why it’s good.

Me: “Yeah”, I replied, “but I don’t like the price very much, I’ve seen it much cheaper…”

Assistant: “Ahh well we are Never Knowingly Undersold™ you know, how much have you seen it for?”

I told him.

Assistant: “Pfft, how much! Where did you see this?”

Me: “On the internet…”

Assistant: “Ahhh well we don’t compete against net prices…”

Me: “… I know, they have a physical shop too… in Glasgow.” I told him as I showed him my phone.

Assistant: “Oh OK, what’s the name of the shop?” he asked “I’ll give them a call now…”.

So I tell him it’s Robert Whyte and he wanders off to 118118 them.

At this point I have to admit I wasn’t holding out much hope. This set had been my first choice for a long time but I had recently pretty much discounted it because sourcing it at a reasonable price was becoming increasingly difficult… I didn’t actually know if Robert Whyte’s actually had the telly in stock because their site is a bit crap… also I didn’t honestly think that they’d price match a shop a few hundred miles away.

(It probably didn’t hurt that Claire casually dropped into conversation that we would be up in that area next week…)

So Claire and I are standing by the telly, admiring it lovingly, but half expecting it to be out of our reach. After a couple of minutes the guy returns and calmly delivers three wonderful little words…

“Yep that’s fine”

Simple as that! £320 taken off the ticket price and inclusive of John Lewis’s incredibly generous standard five year warranty!

Result!

We looked at each other with our mouths open and quickly motored over to the counter to hand over the card before he changed his mind.

See kids, it pays to research these things!

Never Knowingly Undersold

So bear that in mind if you’re buying a telly. John Lewis will match any other shop’s price provided that:

If they can phone up and verify all of that then they should match the price so you can buy the telly from them and benefit from their brilliant free five year warranty! (Note: apparently John Lewis’ in Scotland are ‘trialling’ a slightly different rule – apparently the shop has to be within 8 miles of the shop, so be mindful of that). Check their site for the full terms and conditions.

Overall I can not say enough good things about John Lewis. Not just with the telly, but every time we’ve bought anything from them. The staff are always friendly and knowledgeable of their department and stock. Deliveries have always been brilliant, using their own vehicles and staff and not some shonky third party courier – they are the only people to find our flat without calling. They are also brilliant to do your wedding list with.

So what Did you Get?

I’m glad you asked. We have finally decided on…

Philips 32PFL9632D/10

The Philips 32PFL9362D/10!

As I said this is the telly that headed my list for a long time. I had pretty much discounted it because of a few issues. First because it was seemingly incredibly hard to come by with most online retailers – a few have even de-listed it all together.

Also I had read about a issues with the telly suffering from input lag. This can cause problems with gaming because things happen on screen a few microseconds after you press a button… it’s not much, but enough to be noticeable by a few people.

I’m hoping it won’t be an issue for me, a lot of people have suggested that you probably won’t ever notice…

Overall it was a choice between this and the Panasonic TX32LXD700. Both sets have good reviews, both are regarded as class leaders. Fortunately in John Lewis they were stood side by side, so we could easily compare the two. There was very little to split them – until there was footage with fast panning. Then the Panasonic’s picture juddered all over the place while the Philips produced a butter smooth rock solid image.

Smoother Image + added bonus of the Ambilight x Cheaper Price = Decision Made!

Picky

If the research I have done has taught me one thing is that every flat screen TV has problems and although internet forums are very useful, they are also home to a bunch of moaning, picky bastards!

Having said that those moaning, picky bastards at avforums.com have been invaluable. Thanks guys!

My only problem is that the telly isn’t being delivered until Friday… which is when we are swanning up to Scotland for a week to (somewhat scarily) celebrate our first anniversary. Yes, already!

So I’m going to have to wait for two weeks before I can play with it – booooo!