If you’re in the market for a new 4K TV I advise taking the time to read this article before making any major decisions about what TV best suits your needs.
I recently purchased a new home and like most men my first instinct was to plan my new home entirely around my entertainment needs for the next 5 to 10 years. Naturally, my first order of business was to purchase a new TV for the living room, and not just any TV! Anyone who’s anyone knows to over step their financial comfort zone and purchase a TV that is at least $200 – $1,000 past your comfort zone; just to be sure you impress the one friend who had one-upped you with his new TV just the year before. Sound familiar?
Price Hunting 4K TVs
I started my hunt for a new 4K TV online and visited the usual suspects (Best Buy, Amazon, CostCo, etc) just to compare prices, even though I was destined to purchase at CostCo because they ALWAYS have the best deals, right? As it turns out Costco does typically have the best deals but their selection is limited in comparison to Best Buy. Also I’m not the kind of guy to wait for my TV to be shipped, so Amazon was out of the question from the start.
Is Yours Big? And is it Curved?
By the time I made my way to CostCo I knew my price range was $1,000 – $1,500, which covered by basic needs:
- 60 inches or bigger
- 4K / Ultra HD or Both
- Smart TV so I can watch Netflix with ease
- And some room for sound bar (because the 4K TVs can’t possibly sound good on their own)
What I didn’t know was Samsung got their hands on alien technology and produced the SUHD TV which uses magic little crystals to open your eyes to a whole new viewing experience that streams from another dimension. If that wasn’t enough they even offered the SUHD TV in a curved option so the light from outside sources wouldn’t reflect off the screen as much. However, my hopes where shot down immediately when I found out the SUHD TV curved or not was twice the price of the new 4K TVs that, when streaming in actual 4K, seemed comparable to the SUHD TV.
Video For Fun
This video was imbedded simply because this guy has an awesome accent and has a few hilarious one-liners! He also makes a very important point – the steaming is always catching up to the technology being sold well before it’s supported. Enjoy!
The Setup Before the Directv Crush
Luckily for me the CostCo electronics department is in bed with the good folks at Directv so they can showcase their 4K Ultra HD TVs to all their blissful shoppers. The Directv representative, who is strategically planted near the 4K section, is sure to remind everyone that one must use Directv’s 4K Ultra HD box to actually enjoy the extra 4K experience. Otherwise you’re stuck with ancient HD technology and will be the laughing stock of your fantasy football league!
Preferred Customer Treatment
Lucky for me I had been a Directv customer for nearly 12 years running and had already called ahead of time to be sure my new home would be equipped with the new 4K Ultra HD boxes. To make things even sweeter my Directv representative gave me the deal of a lifetime by allowing me to keep my package of choice (which included all of my favorite channels – Golf Channel, FSN, BIG10 Network and my news channels) for the low price of $79 per month! Unreal, right?!
I accepted their seemingly generous offer, signed on for another 2 year extension, and scheduled by install for the following Friday afternoon. I couldn’t wait! Friday was going to be like Christmas morning all over again. Little did I know this “Christmas morning” was doomed from the start!
Friday Night Fights
Friday afternoon came and I was anxiously waiting by the door after installing my new 65 inch 4K TV (by LG if you’re wondering) in the absolute perfect spot! My entertainment center even came with a heavy duty TV mount that swiveled enough so that you could watch the TV from nearly every nook of the house! I also went a little overboard and bought a 55 inch 4K TV and a heavy duty wall mount for the master bedroom (good bye love life!). And just incase you’re wondering.. I went with the BOSE sound system for the living room and the LG sound bar with subwoofer for the master bedroom (both wonderful products but the LG sound bar is a better bang for your buck). I digress!
A Stroke of Luck?
I was so anxious for my install that I was about to call Directv to see if they could send my install tech a couple hours early and just before I picked up the phone to dial the number; the phone rang and guess who? I sh*t you not, it was the Directv install tech calling to see if he could show up early because he was running early that day! I took the opportunity to have a little fun with him and said, “I’m busy with work and I would appreciate it if you would stick to your schedule, etc” I finally broke down in complete bliss and told him “Of course! Get your ass over here stat!”. No more than 20 minutes went by when Blake (my Directv installer) showed up ready to rock’n roll!
Blake pulled into the driveway and opened the back of his truck and like stacks of gold bricks stood boxes that read “4K Ultra HD”. I nearly gave him a kiss but ultimately I shook his had and introduced myself like a sane person. Blake then took the time to asses the property to figure out where to best to place the new Dish and I followed him around like a puppy who knew how to ask 20 questions. Very quickly it became evident that Blake didn’t come prepared. In fact, my scheduled installer was out sick and Blake drove all the way from Duluth to cover for him. This is where the game changed in a big way!
The Melt Down in 4K
Because this story is getting so long I think I’ll list out all that went wrong. If you’re not satisfied with the list and want to hear the story in full, please leave a request in the comments section.
The list of mishaps:
- There was no good place to install the dish on the house and he didn’t have a poll in the truck he could use to mount the dish with.
- He showed up with the wrong equipment! He didn’t even have the appropriate 4K boxes to configure all 3 rooms.
- He tried to cancel the install and come back in a week (ah, NO WAY) so I had him call his supervisor and I insisted on listening in. Blake didn’t know there was a Directv service center in Baxter, MN (just 25 miles south of my house) but thankfully his supervisor revealed this secret location so he could get both my poll and boxes.
- While looking for places to run coax cable, Blake decided it would be wise to lean his large body over the railing of my deck to get a better view and in doing so broke the railing off of my deck!
- In an attempt to enter my crawl space Blake broke the handle off of the custom cherry wood floor covering. Add to the list of destruction.
- Even though the TV and entertain center was perfectly positioned Blake found reason to drill a hole in my wall a good 3 feet away from center, thus leaving a lovely cable outlet in plane site away from the natural cover that would have been provided by the TV itself.
- After all of his drilling Blake decided to leave the sheetrock dust for us to clean up. Not a biggie but it didn’t feel right.
- Blake asked to borrow the stud finder I just bought that day and ended up walking off with it.
- After he finally installed all 3 boxes for all 3 TVs we come to find out that Directv signed me up for a package that doesn’t even support 4K TV!!! At this point we are laughing.
- Blake proceeds to call the service center to find out why they would sell a customer a package that doesn’t support 4K when he clearly asked for 4K service, hence the 4K boxes!
- The call goes on for well over an hour with Blake on the phone before the finally get the 4K to work. Then the phone is passed to me so we can figure out why I was offered the package I was offered. This call went on for an additional 1.5 hours and eventually Directv told me to call back the next day because they were having trouble with their “system”.
- I called Directv back twice since and spent another 2 hours on the phone and we still haven’t resolved our issues.
The Never Ending Directv Story
After I finally get a chance to use my new 4K TVs I’m told by Blake there’s really only one 4K channel if you don’t count the PPV channels that come in 4K. He also goes on to tell me that 4K is still in “beta” and I won’t be able to enjoy most major networks in 4K for a long time. I wish someone would’ve told me that back in CostCo when I was choosing my 4K TV or even when I called Directv the first time to let them know I was buying 4K TVs because they offered 4K TV streaming! However nobody from Directv mentioned that 4K is only offered through one special channel and some movie / PPV channels. What a scam!
All this said, Blake was a great kid! He was at my install for nearly 10 hrs and he suffered nearly as much as we did. I hope Directv rights their wrongs soon and also does a better job of educating their customers about how 4K actually works NOW and how it will work in the future!
One Room Please
Thanks for taking the time to read this! I have to go watch my 4K channel but only if nobody is watching that channel in the other room since you can’t watch the same 4K channel as somebody else in the same house! Ha!