Broken TV stuck to wall, send help.
May 6, 2010 12:39 PM   Subscribe

My tv broke. How can I replace it and not spend much?

The obvious answer would be to buy another TV. I have a pitfall, though-- it's a 42 inch plasma that is affixed to the wall. I took a look at the mount, and I have no idea how to get the thing off of it. Best Buy mounted it for me when I bought the original set which is now way past the manufacturer's warranty.

I can get them to install a TV I buy from them for an extra $99. My questions:

1. Is that cheap for installing a TV onto an existing mounted bracket?
2. Should I buy an extended warranty from them on a new TV? My instinct says to never buy those, especially from a place like that, but for items such as flat screen large TVs, maybe this is worth it?
3. Is Best Buy's "house brand" (Insignia) a decent buy or should I avoid completely?
4. This was a 42" plasma TV, I'm thinking of replacing it with a 40" LCD for lower power consumption and just plain cheaper. Will it still look *close* to the same size and clarity?
5. Can I mount it using the same bracket? I assume it's a universal mount that they used, but I'm not entirely sure.

posted by ehamiter to Technology (8 answers total)
Got a handy friend? $99 seems like an insane amount of money to remove and replace.
posted by fixedgear at 12:46 PM on May 6, 2010

How about getting it fixed? Do you know what's wrong with it? Most repair places will send someone out to you. You should call around and at least see if you can get a free estimate...
posted by mr_roboto at 1:03 PM on May 6, 2010

My thoughts, inexpert though they are:

1. Don't know if that's the going rate, but like fixedgear said, a handy friend could probably do it for you if you buy him a pizza.

2. Your instinct is correct. Mathematically speaking, extended warranties are pretty much always a bad idea.

3. No idea.

4. Clarity depends largely on resolution and refresh (720i, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, etc). CNet's Buying Guide (Feb 2009) suggests that plasma screens may have a better picture quality in general, and a wider viewing angle, although LCDs may have less glare. There are a few other minor differences detailed there as well. But depending on the resolution of your plasma and when you bought it, a 40" LCD might well have a better picture. Technology has been moving at a breakneck speed.

5. My understanding is that TV mounts are pretty universal. As long as your new TV weighs the same as your old one, or is lighter, you shouldn't have a problem.
posted by Vorteks at 1:24 PM on May 6, 2010

Thanks for the ideas so far. For some reason I assumed plasma repair would be close to the price of a new one. I'll definitely look into that first.

And yes, $99 is a lot to swap them out. I'm fairly good with tools but I would want someone who has done this a few times to help me. That thing is heavy and I don't want my new one up incorrectly. Having it crash on my kids would be a bad afternoon.
posted by ehamiter at 1:32 PM on May 6, 2010

For some reason I assumed plasma repair would be close to the price of a new one. I'll definitely look into that first.

Depends on what the problem is. I used to get CRT TVs fixed, and it was always a bargain. Haven't tried getting a plasma fixed, but there are plenty of places in my city advertising repair services for them...
posted by mr_roboto at 1:34 PM on May 6, 2010

As far as the mount goes, my 40" LCD is mounted to the wall with a bracket that is basically 2 parts: 1. A set of rails screwed into the wall studs, and 2. A bracket screwed into the back of the TV. The bracket on the TV hooks onto the rails on the wall and is then secured by 2 screws in the bottom of the bracket that tighten against the bottom rail. It is extremely easy to set up and remove, and totally standard as far as I know. To remove the TV, all I have to do is loosen the 2 screws in the bracket, swing the bottom of the TV out from the wall, and then lift it off the top rail. You should be able to remove the bracket off the back of the TV and put it on the new one in a matter of minutes. I'd be shocked if you couldn't use the same bracket since all the ones I saw when I bought mine were for a range of sizes, so I'd assume a 42" and 40" TV would fall in the same range.

As far as questions 3 and 4, I don't know much about Insignia, but my 40" LCD is a Samsung and I love it. We bought it last year and it's been great. I have friends with larger sets, plasma and LCD, and mine has a much better picture.
posted by sbrollins at 1:43 PM on May 6, 2010

Just replaced the old Toshiba bedroom TV after I managed to trip over its cord, knock it down, and permanently zap its picture. (Yes, I am Ms. Graceful. Bearwife) I don't know much about your mount but can tell you that there are excellent mounts for sale on Amazon and other places for $50 and less. Also, I second sbrollins on the Samsung being a great TV. That's what I got (32 inch model, super duper 1080p LCD) and the sound and picture are both superb. Best price I found was online Sam's Club.
posted by bearwife at 2:11 PM on May 6, 2010

My 52" LCD Samsung died last year (it was barely a year old). I paid about $1900 for the set so repairing it was a better option. I watched the Samsung guy fix it... it amounted to us unscrewing the back off (8 screws + pull). The inside had a motherboard about 8-10" square. He unplugged the plug that connected the motherboard, unboxed a new motherboard, plugged it in and put it back in its house. He switched the power on and it was fixed.

They covered the repair under warranty but I asked the guy how much such a repair would have cost and he said about $250 for the part + $100 for the labor. Pretty much, if nothing's wrong with the screen, I recommend getting it repaired.

This was an LCD set, YMMV with a Plasma.
posted by shew at 2:58 PM on May 6, 2010

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