Friday, August 08, 2014

The Highrise goes hi tech

Well, not really high tech. We struggle to keep up and take from the world of high tech that we think we need.

Telstra cold called me last week and pointed out an alternative phone and internet plan to that we were using. In brief, we would get a T Box, 25 Foxtel channels delivered over the net, for the same plan, that is our home phone is virtually free to use, for $9 less per month. I told the Filipino chappie I was interested and he said he would call back Tuesday to see what I had decided.

Household management was out, but once home and I told him the details, he was very keen. I thought, even if we never use this Foxtel T Box thing, it is still cheaper than what we are now paying. I decided to be proactive and call Telstra to go ahead with the plan. I really got the wrong Filipino chappie though. He seemed to be unable to understand that the Foxtel channels would come via our cable internet and be delivered to our tv from our modem/router to the T Box that would be plugged into our tv, and not the telephone line. He was banging on about filters on the phone line. After what must have been an hour on the phone, mostly on hold. I hung up. He called back. I brusquely told him that I would wait for the call on Tuesday, from the bloke who knew what he was talking about. I was quite cross. There is absolutely no connection between our cable internet and our phone line.

But R was quite keen on the package, so on Saturday I called back. This time I spoke to a Filipina who knew her stuff reasonably well. I insisted she confirm that the signal would come via our cable internet and when she said there would be a charge for the T Box, I insisted she check again. I was right, no charge.

Neither of us are confident that within ten days we will have a T Box that we easily give us Foxtel channels via our internet, but given we are saving $9 a month, it matters not so much. We have never had a great desire for more tv to watch. We can't keep up with what is on free to air.

The $9 saving over the two year contract must be utilised. Our cable modem is 13 years old and the plugged into it wireless delivery router is a few years old. I also ordered a new cable modem/router for $230, suitable for NBN at a later time, Malcolm and the Liberal Party permitting.

R asked if we needed a new tv. No, I replied, well yes, but no not really. I may have slipped and said we could buy a bigger tv with smart connectivity.  R said, look at new tvs on the net. I began to, but after all the Telstra business, I was brain fading. Pixels? Hertz? Smart? Refresh? It was doing my head in. Eventually I said no. We will go the shops and look at them. I did do a price comparison though between a couple of stores and The Good Guys were coming out very well.

So on a lovely sunny Sunday, that is where we went, down the Nepean Highway to The Good Guys. Our old set is 116cm, 46", we were looking at 140cm, 55", but thought why not go for 152cm, 60". We were focused on either a Samsung or LG brand. We checked out the HiSence and TCL too. Then this odd alone Sony tv caught our attention. It was 60", had a lovely static photo of a European city on the screen and while it was at $1680, more than the $1500 we had planned to spend, Sony is a really good brand name.We ummed and ahhed and then went on to Harvey Norman, a little further down the Highway. They seemed more expensive than the The Good Guys, with a couple of exceptions. One salesperson told us that Sony was the only tv that had acceptable sound quality. For the rest, you really needed an extra sound system. Our first digital tv had lousy sound and we had to connect it to the cd player system. The one we are getting rid of now is acceptable.

Back to the Good Guys and we made the deal for $1680, delivered, as it was too large to fit into the car. It was delivered Monday morning. I had to put the feet on it, quite easy, and the set up was painless. All I had to do was select English, change the region to Victoria from NSW and enter the password for the router, so that it can pick up the signal from the internet. It has many apps, a few of which we will use. The You Tube app is terrific and so is the ABC catch up service, IView. Needless to say, there are features and apps that will never be used. We were a bit afraid the 60" screen would too big for the room, but it isn't.

What has surprised me is the improvement in the quality of the picture over four years.


 116cm, 46"

152cm, 60"
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25 comments:

  1. Andrew, wow your new product looks good.I believe it was a good choice but in my place most people prefer Samsung. Personally I would like to buy a new TV to my apartment after holidays. I don't know now which one is better Sony or Samsung. So far I have had only Samsung. Maybe It's high time to change...

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    1. Samsung is made in the Sony factory.

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    2. Gosia, our last two have been Samsung. I quite like them, but the Sony one was a bargain.

      Thanks River. I wasn't aware of that.

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  2. Looking good.
    I admire your persistence (and patience) with the call centre. I get very frustrated when I get different versions each time I call...

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    1. I did get quite exasperated EC. The chap who originally called me was going to call back last Tuesday but did not call until today, Friday.

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  3. Good luck with telstra. We were offered a deal like that but they added the charge of the TBox onto the bill. WE didn't need it as we already had Foxtel so they refunded that part and took back the box. The TV looks super. Good luck learning all its capabilities. I have no idea, the keeper of the remote is in charge of that.

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    1. I really had to press the point about that Diane. Hehe, the keeper of the remote.

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  4. Didn't realise you were such a techie. The TV looks a good size for the room.

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    1. Fun60, I'm not really, but perhaps above average.

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  5. the $9 per month over two years must be utilised.
    So that's $216 over two years, then you spent $230 on a new modem/router, then $1680 for a TV, a total of $1910, minus your $216 saving on the contract and you're out of pocket by $1694, which is more than the cost of the TV. How is that saving you money?
    That is a very beautiful TV by the way. I prefer Sony myself, but currently have a Samsung, a little one, only 66cm (26inches) which is fine because Samsungs are made in the Sony factories. They're the low-end version of the Sony.

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    1. River, ok yes, we are a lot out of pocket. We really did not need a new tv, but chose to buy one. After setting our old one up for Mother and looking at the picture quality compared to our new one, the new one is much better.

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    2. Have to admit if I could afford it, I'd have a new bigger TV too and it would be on the wall. The entertainment unit I have now looked okay in the shop, but it takes up far too much room in this small lounge room.

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    3. River, it must be a bit hard with small spaces and the less you have, I expect the better it looks.

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  6. Oh yes, it all gets more expensive. R is getting a man in to put it on the wall.

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  7. Looks good Andrew.. I find TV's a bit like cars, I'm just not into them :)

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    1. Grace, it is important to us that it looks good too.

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  8. I find TV's mesmerizing. They are the best tool I've found for zoning out. So good that I don't even know what's going on on the TV itself.
    I'll take a Sony any day over a Samsung btw.

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    1. Rubye, R finds them very mesmerising too. Me, not so much.

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  9. Nice one! I remember when I first got my telly, I thought it was so very big. Now it looks quite small!

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    1. Fen, we thought so too but in time we realised we could not see it terribly well from the kitchen or my computer chair.

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  10. OOOO, I hope you're able to get the new BBC First Foxtel channel - loving the shows on offer, so far!
    Much eye candy, belly laughs, and enjoyment has been had since the channel launched 3rd August.

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    1. Jayne, probably not, nor UK TV. These would be the only two reasons why I would consider paying for tv.

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  11. Even just 'viewing' your screen through that last photo that picture seems very impressive.

    I have a Sony television and am very happy with it.

    I also receive a Foxtel service through Telstra but my experience getting variations to my plan over the years has been one of endless obstruction and/or general unhelpfulness. (That has been my experience dealing with Telstra for all of its services.) On one occasion I spent eight weeks attempting without success to obtain what I thought should have been a simple upgrade to my service and only received satisfaction when finally I complained to the Department of Fair Trading. I hope you fare better.

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    1. Victor, you are old. You don't understand technology. Not like I do. I am so au fait with things and I have such a good grasp. But alas, it has all gone horribly wrong with Telstra. Hours have been spent on the telephone, 104 minutes today. I feel a post coming on and a complaint to Telstra. Eventually the Filipinos admitted defeat and passed us back to someone in Australia.

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    2. Andrew, I could have said I warned you so....or at least I could have done so had I read your post earlier.

      Why am I not surprised?

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