Zenith TV problems

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Jeff Strieble, Jul 22, 2003.

  1. I was reading some of the threads regarding problems with Zenith
    televisions a little while ago, and it got me to thinking. I have a
    1995 Zenith SM1917SG, which I keep as a backup for my RCA (Thomson)
    F19261 in my living room. The Zenith does not work well anymore (tuner
    problems, I think), but it is good enough to use (with a cable box)
    until I can get a new set if and when the RCA eventually goes bad.
    However, after reading the comments in this group regarding service
    and other problems associated with Zenith TVs, especially since the
    company was absorbed by LG Electronics (!) a few years ago, I am
    having second and even third thoughts about getting another Zenith or
    even another RCA if either of my sets goes bad. I have had the RCA
    repaired twice in the last three years for the same problem (RF port
    snapping off the tuner PC board); my warranty did not cover the
    repairs, so I had to pay some $120 out of my own pocket to have the
    set repaired. The set works well now on cable, but I would think
    twice about having it fixed again. In fact, the technician even told
    me not to bother having the TV repaired again if anything else goes
    wrong; after three years it wouldn't be worth it, considering it is
    now out of warranty by a year or so (I purchased an extended warranty
    shortly after purchasing the TV itself).

    Needless to say, I am very disappointed with Zenith (and RCA) TVs.
    It used to be Zenith was a very well-respected name in television,
    radio, high fidelity and even hearing aids (the company was known as
    "the royalty of radio and television" for many years, and made many
    very good three-way entertainment-center consoles); however, these
    days, since LG bought the company, the quality has gone downhill in a
    hurry. I doubt if I could even get my own Zenith (mentioned above)
    repaired anymore. When I read that parts are often NLA for sets made
    as recently as six years ago (!!!) and that the sets often go bad
    within a short period of time (a friend of mine told me his parents
    bought an RCA in which the picture tube failed after only two years),
    it made me stop and think--again. My Zenith was manufactured in 1995.
    The chances are horribly good, I'm afraid, that if this set were to
    quit on me, I couldn't get it repaired, or if I could, I'd be waiting
    weeks or months while the shop waited for the replacement parts (if
    they were available). Hardly seems worth it to me.

    What on earth has happened to Zenith and RCA over the last few
    years? These companies used to be known for quality in their TVs and
    other home-entertainment equipment; in fact, RCA pioneered
    all-electronic compatible color TV in the 1950s, and Zenith proudly
    proclaimed for years that "the quality goes in before the name goes
    on." Remember those well-made hand-wired Zenith sets of the 1950s and
    '60s, with beautifully designed console cabinets that looked like (and
    were) fine furniture? Many of these sets went for years or decades
    without major service problems; in fact, the older Zeniths are sought
    after by collectors today (look at audiokarma.org in their
    antique-television forum for examples).

    Unfortunately, however, we will never see the likes of hand-wired
    TVs again. Zenith switched to circuit modules in its sets in the
    1970s, as did RCA (the latter began using modules in its original
    XL-100 sets, which were introduced, if I remember correctly, in the
    early seventies--and Motorola was using modular circuits in its "works
    in a drawer" sets as early as 1967).

    Zenith and RCA, in my opinion (please, no flames), seem to have
    forgotten the meaning of the word "quality." When these companies were
    bought out by foreign interests, quality went out the window, for the
    most part. These sets also were built to become obsolete within a very
    short period of time--witness the fact that parts become NLA within a
    period of only two or three years. I think today's RCAs and Zeniths
    are made this way on purpose--so that retail stores and outlets such
    as Best Buy and Circuit City can sell more of them, like everything
    else these days. We may not like it, but the fact of the matter is
    that planned obsolescence is a fact of life in the 21st century; it is
    what keeps the stores in business.
     
    Jeff Strieble, Jul 22, 2003
    #1
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  2. Jeff Strieble

    Mr. Lee Guest

    JOE BLOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    > The new HDTV widescreen TVs that are rolling out of the factorys and into
    > the stores, are a vivid sign of how poor quailty and craftsmanship is
    > anymore. Most of these sets come out of the box so poorly aligned, that
    > people are paying large sums of money to have calibrators come to their
    > house and adjust their set - ON A NEW TV!!! Did you ever in your wildest
    > dreams, figure you would ever see anything like this?
    >
    > I have a new HDTV widescreen TV, and what an experience, even for a tech.
    > Within one week, I had three TVs delivered because the first two RCAs had
    > serious flaws and problems. Finally, after deciding on a new model JVC

    56"
    > widescreen, did I get a set that was properly aligned and without major
    > flaws. After seeing how badly most RPTVs are aligned from the factory, I
    > thank my lucky stars that I received one that is very well aligned.
    >
    > So, that's my take on the situation, pretty much the same as yours. What

    you
    > said in the end, is very true - planned obsolescence is now a fact of

    life
    > .
    >
    >
    >
     
    Mr. Lee, Jul 22, 2003
    #2
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  3. Jeff Strieble

    bigmike Guest

    "Jeff Strieble" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I was reading some of the threads regarding problems with Zenith
    > televisions a little while ago, and it got me to thinking. I have a
    > 1995 Zenith SM1917SG, which I keep as a backup for my RCA (Thomson)
    > F19261 in my living room. The Zenith does not work well anymore (tuner
    > problems, I think), but it is good enough to use (with a cable box)
    > until I can get a new set if and when the RCA eventually goes bad.
    > However, after reading the comments in this group regarding service
    > and other problems associated with Zenith TVs, especially since the
    > company was absorbed by LG Electronics (!) a few years ago, I am
    > having second and even third thoughts about getting another Zenith or
    > even another RCA if either of my sets goes bad. I have had the RCA
    > repaired twice in the last three years for the same problem (RF port
    > snapping off the tuner PC board); my warranty did not cover the
    > repairs, so I had to pay some $120 out of my own pocket to have the
    > set repaired. The set works well now on cable, but I would think
    > twice about having it fixed again. In fact, the technician even told
    > me not to bother having the TV repaired again if anything else goes
    > wrong; after three years it wouldn't be worth it, considering it is
    > now out of warranty by a year or so (I purchased an extended warranty
    > shortly after purchasing the TV itself).
    >
    > Needless to say, I am very disappointed with Zenith (and RCA) TVs.
    > It used to be Zenith was a very well-respected name in television,
    > radio, high fidelity and even hearing aids (the company was known as
    > "the royalty of radio and television" for many years, and made many
    > very good three-way entertainment-center consoles); however, these
    > days, since LG bought the company, the quality has gone downhill in a
    > hurry. I doubt if I could even get my own Zenith (mentioned above)
    > repaired anymore. When I read that parts are often NLA for sets made
    > as recently as six years ago (!!!) and that the sets often go bad
    > within a short period of time (a friend of mine told me his parents
    > bought an RCA in which the picture tube failed after only two years),
    > it made me stop and think--again. My Zenith was manufactured in 1995.
    > The chances are horribly good, I'm afraid, that if this set were to
    > quit on me, I couldn't get it repaired, or if I could, I'd be waiting
    > weeks or months while the shop waited for the replacement parts (if
    > they were available). Hardly seems worth it to me.
    >
    > What on earth has happened to Zenith and RCA over the last few
    > years? These companies used to be known for quality in their TVs and
    > other home-entertainment equipment; in fact, RCA pioneered
    > all-electronic compatible color TV in the 1950s, and Zenith proudly
    > proclaimed for years that "the quality goes in before the name goes
    > on." Remember those well-made hand-wired Zenith sets of the 1950s and
    > '60s, with beautifully designed console cabinets that looked like (and
    > were) fine furniture? Many of these sets went for years or decades
    > without major service problems; in fact, the older Zeniths are sought
    > after by collectors today (look at audiokarma.org in their
    > antique-television forum for examples).
    >
    > Unfortunately, however, we will never see the likes of hand-wired
    > TVs again. Zenith switched to circuit modules in its sets in the
    > 1970s, as did RCA (the latter began using modules in its original
    > XL-100 sets, which were introduced, if I remember correctly, in the
    > early seventies--and Motorola was using modular circuits in its "works
    > in a drawer" sets as early as 1967).
    >
    > Zenith and RCA, in my opinion (please, no flames), seem to have
    > forgotten the meaning of the word "quality." When these companies were
    > bought out by foreign interests, quality went out the window, for the
    > most part. These sets also were built to become obsolete within a very
    > short period of time--witness the fact that parts become NLA within a
    > period of only two or three years. I think today's RCAs and Zeniths
    > are made this way on purpose--so that retail stores and outlets such
    > as Best Buy and Circuit City can sell more of them, like everything
    > else these days. We may not like it, but the fact of the matter is
    > that planned obsolescence is a fact of life in the 21st century; it is
    > what keeps the stores in business.


    I have been a tech for over 35 years, and I could not of said any of this
    better myself. I agree with your observations of the situation. I think
    cheap inports had a lot to do with the decline of quality built products.
    Greed is also another prime factor.

    There is no way anybody is going to make me beleive that when these sets are
    designed, that they do not know how long these sets are going to last, when
    the caps are still of the same piss poor quality, heatsinks are too small
    to dissipate heat from power devices, and power resistors that are over
    heating under normal operation, and mounted close enough to the pc board, to
    char the hell out of it. These are not mistakes or cheap design flaws, not
    after they have been doing it this many years now, this is on purpose.

    I, like you, miss the days of higher quality. Todays tvs have advanced
    greatly in terms of technology, but quality and longevity are of little
    concern.

    The new HDTV widescreen TVs that are rolling out of the factorys and into
    the stores, are a vivid sign of how poor quailty and craftsmanship is
    anymore. Most of these sets come out of the box so poorly aligned, that
    people are paying large sums of money to have calibrators come to their
    house and adjust their set - ON A NEW TV!!! Did you ever in your wildest
    dreams, figure you would ever see anything like this?

    I have a new HDTV widescreen TV, and what an experience, even for a tech.
    Within one week, I had three TVs delivered because the first two RCAs had
    serious flaws and problems. Finally, after deciding on a new model JVC 56"
    widescreen, did I get a set that was properly aligned and without major
    flaws. After seeing how badly most RPTVs are aligned from the factory, I
    thank my lucky stars that I received one that is very well aligned.

    So, that's my take on the situation, pretty much the same as yours. What you
    said in the end, is very true - planned obsolescence is now a fact of life
    ..
     
    bigmike, Jul 22, 2003
    #3
  4. >
    > What on earth has happened to Zenith and RCA over the last few
    >years?


    Zenith got bought out by LG recently, although they were actually worse off
    before that.

    RCA went bust as a corporation in 1986.

    >These companies used to be known for quality in their TVs and
    >other home-entertainment equipment


    Until the Japanese came over and showed us REAL quality...

    >Zenith and RCA, in my opinion (please, no flames), seem to have
    >forgotten the meaning of the word "quality." When these companies were
    >bought out by foreign interests, quality went out the window, for the
    >most part.


    Actually, their quality had already been lost before their acquisition by
    foreign interests.

    >I think today's RCAs and Zeniths
    >are made this way on purpose--so that retail stores and outlets such
    >as Best Buy and Circuit City can sell more of them, like everything
    >else these days.


    Or just be made cheaper so that they can be sold at a lower price to satisfy
    the ever-increasing public demand for less expensive electronics.

    >We may not like it, but the fact of the matter is
    >that planned obsolescence is a fact of life in the 21st century; it is
    >what keeps the stores in business.


    It's what also kept the American auto industry alive for years ... until the
    Japanese came and changed that. - Reinhart
     
    LASERandDVDfan, Jul 23, 2003
    #4
  5. Jeff Strieble

    bigmike Guest

    "Mr. Lee" <> wrote in message
    news:AqiTa.88750$...
    > JOE BLOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    I couldn't agree more LOL

    >
    > > The new HDTV widescreen TVs that are rolling out of the factorys and

    into
    > > the stores, are a vivid sign of how poor quailty and craftsmanship is
    > > anymore. Most of these sets come out of the box so poorly aligned, that
    > > people are paying large sums of money to have calibrators come to their
    > > house and adjust their set - ON A NEW TV!!! Did you ever in your

    wildest
    > > dreams, figure you would ever see anything like this?
    > >
    > > I have a new HDTV widescreen TV, and what an experience, even for a

    tech.
    > > Within one week, I had three TVs delivered because the first two RCAs

    had
    > > serious flaws and problems. Finally, after deciding on a new model JVC

    > 56"
    > > widescreen, did I get a set that was properly aligned and without major
    > > flaws. After seeing how badly most RPTVs are aligned from the factory, I
    > > thank my lucky stars that I received one that is very well aligned.
    > >
    > > So, that's my take on the situation, pretty much the same as yours. What

    > you
    > > said in the end, is very true - planned obsolescence is now a fact of

    > life
    > > .
    > >
    > >
    > >

    >
    >
     
    bigmike, Jul 23, 2003
    #5
  6. Jeff Strieble

    John Del Guest

    >Subject: Re: Zenith TV problems
    >From: (LASERandDVDfan)
    >Date: 7/22/03 10:51 PM Eastern Daylight Time


    >Until the Japanese came over and showed us REAL quality...
    >


    During the 80s, it was the Japanese stuff that kept us busy. Amercian made TVs
    from the early\mid seventies through the late 80s (when they were pretty much
    gone) were the most trouble free in my opinion. Other than the Zenith module
    contacts, RCA XL100s\ColorTraks, Magnavoxs, GTEs, and even GEs were solid and
    dependable even when run 12 hours or more a day.
    John Del
    Wolcott, CT

    "Nothing is so opportune for tyrants as a people tired of its liberty."
    Alan Keyes

    (remove S for email reply)
     
    John Del, Jul 23, 2003
    #6
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