Only FEDEX can destroy a TV this good!

With my dad recently passing, I finally decided to leave the country for greener pastures down south and to take care of family. So, my wife and I started selling all our belongings, furniture, electronics, and most stuff that won’t fit in 32″ duffel bags. More than 10 years living in America, you can rack up a lot of stuff. This included a Sony BRAVIA XBR Series KDL-46XBR9 46-Inch 1080p 240Hz LCD HDTV.

Right now, there is one same model TV on Amazon selling for $900 used. I had it listed on Amazon for less than that. I ended up just selling it to a childhood buddy of mine but before I could remove it from Amazon someone else purchased it through the Amazon website. I had to cancel that Amazon order and ended up selling it to my friend for $660. I figured it would cost me around 100 bucks to ship it to my friend, so I could get around $560 for the TV then. I started looking for quotes, and found out that USPS will not even ship it because it was so big. UPS would charge me $130 and FEDEX quoted me at $105. So, I opened up an account with FEDEX, gave them my credit card, printed a label, taped it to the side of box, and scheduled a pick up. However, when I entered all the shipping information, I left the declared value empty. I thought they didn’t need to know that. But, apparently they need to know that so that they know how much to take CARE of it.

I had kept up all the original TV packaging and boxes as I was planning on selling it in the future. So, it was as well packed as SONY would pack it. However, when the box got to my friend, it looked like FEDEX tried to destroy the TV as much as possible. Then things started to get weird, instead of FEDEX charging me the $105 they had quoted me, they charged me $50.17. Their customer support was just horrible, Continue reading “Only FEDEX can destroy a TV this good!”

They’ve made it too hard to watch stuff

Viacom and DirectTV are currently fighting over money while DirectTV customers are left without a bunch of channels. Today, on Hulu while watching Jon Stewart, a commercial came out asking folks to drop DirectTV. They even have a website now. In my opinion, this is rather childish at best. What is even more puzzling is that these companies don’t realize they are shooting themselves in the foot. Television viewers are already migrating from overpriced cable channel bundles to popular online options like Hulu and NetFlix and even piracy. Cable companies are very comfortable charging up the wazoo for a hundred channels where there might only be a few that you enjoy. They have failed to provide a la carte options for people to save money and give customers more power as to what they like to watch. On-Demand attempts have left much to be desired and it is not a solution. If I want to watch HBO, I should not have to get 80 other channels I will watch once a year.

However, the solution to piracy and the fleeing customer base to online only is quite simple. Convenience! They simply made it too hard to watch stuff. Contrary to popular belief, piracy is more of a service issue than a price issue. Take a look at Steam, the online game store, for example. It provides everything a customer can hope for. It is open 24×7, great prices, fast downloads, automatic game patches, cloud saves, huge selection of games, and a community. All a user has to do is to login with his or her Steam Account on any PC or MAC and with a couple of click is able to buy, download, and play games. Simple and Convenient.

In the other hand, Continue reading “They’ve made it too hard to watch stuff”

is 3D a gimmick or here to stay?

I would like to start by saying that what we call 3D is actually a technique called Stereoscopy. All this does is provide a higher illusion of depth by basically providing each eye with a different image. I don’t believe that this technique has ripened enough to be called 3D. Our vision already provides several ways to perceive depth such as position, perspective, size, etc. Filmmakers have already mastered these techniques and have done a wonderful job at it. There really isn’t any need for this stereoscopic technique to be added to film. When I think about what 3D images should look like, I think of holograms such as the one in Stars Wars or similar Sci-Fi movies. I definitely don’t think of the headache I got after watching Avatar, which has a horrible story by the way. Think Pocahontas here.

It is pretty obvious this better version of “3D” is thrown at us by manufacturers trying to sell the next big thing. There is a lot more money involved on it this time than when JAWS came out. We got more content this time around including sports, home made movies and photos, and several Pixar films and the like. Movie theaters are cashing in big time because tickets can be sold for higher prices as the consumer seems to believe it is worth it. Either that or they have 6 years old nagging to get into the 3D showing. However, I do not think 3D is all that bad. 3D actually requires you to have an HDTV and a Blu-ray player that are 3D capable. Several consumers do not see the difference between DVD vs Blu-ray or HD vs SD which blows my mind. But, 3D might provide that little nudge that make them jump into these newer technologies and abandon those old CRT sets.

3D sales seems to be improving at a steady gait but I still can not help but think that this is nothing but a gimmick that I hope eventually goes away.

Copyright 2010 Christian Rios

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