Now I Know I'm Really Crazy


Staff member
I haven't even paid for the servicing of my previously posted clock that has cost me an arm-and-leg and is shortly to incur even more charges when it's ready for pickup, and what do I do? Find other ways of spending money, or at least should I say, owing more money?

I decided my old Sony KV 32XBR450 HDTV was just too old-fashioned and occupying too much space so I just ordered a new Philips 47PFL7403D/F7 47" (120cm) LCD TV from Dell (they offer term payments, and it was reduced to CDN $1599 from $1999..LOL).

It's full 1080p, 120hz, 2ms response time, 29000:1 contrast ratio etc. etc.

Of course ordering that meant I had to start spending a large quantity in addition, such as a $400 console to sit it on, a $130 S/PDIF digital to analog audio converter so I can connect its only audio output to my now somewhat outdated sound system, not to mention several gold-plated HDMI cables at $50-odd a pop to connect the HD digital PVR cable box and other components.

I really should see a specialist about this compulsion to spend someone else's money. I mean is my name Bernard Madoff or what?

Of course the real reason to post this is to show off......just can't resist.:brows:

I always said, God help the person winding up my estate when I die because it will all be bills owing.

So now I'm in hock up to my ears for another 3 years at least. Please, don't let anything else break down.....!

I'll miss the Sony as I've grown rather attached to it but with so many HD channels now available I really want that bigger screen and a 32" 4:3 picture only translates to a 27" 16:9 HD picture. So it's going to a friend of mine whose own TV is on its last legs. I hope he can get it home in one piece as the TV alone weighs 200lb/91kg plus the base.

To show you how prices have changed over the years for high-end stuff. When I bought the Sony it was the top-of-the-line for its day (2002) and cost $3000, almost a $100/inch, now I get 47" for half that.


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Beautiful screen there, Peter... Gorgeous and very functional!

That said, you fell for a Madoff-worthy scheme: the cables and converters.

Modern audio/video cables carry digital signals, which are either 0 or 1 at any given moment. Signal loss will make a 0 a 0.2 and a 1 a 0.8 for example, but when it arrives at the destination it'll be clear that this was supposed to be a 0 or it was supposed to be a 1 and it'll be brought back to its initial values.

In the past, these cables carried analog voltages where 0 was a valid number wholly different from 0.1 and from 0.2, and so on and so forth.

Back then, gold-plating and ultra-high quality conductors meant going for the least signal loss along the way because it did make a difference in the final result. But with modern, digital technology, the same result is obtained almost regardless of the physical media used.

But places like Best Buy and companies that make these cables tend to "forget" that the signal quality doesn't really matter when they're telling you just how much clearer the signal will be as a result of the gold-plating and emerald-encrusting technologies they're using. They'll try to sell you the premium Diamond-ring topped cables too, if you'll let them. :/

Of course, I learned this after spending 75 bucks on "gold-plated" RCA cables for Component (RGB) YPrPB cables when DVD players first came out..........
Thanks. I'll now cry into my overdraft.....LOL

Yes, I should have known that but it was entirely my decision, noone persuaded me. I did everything all on my ownsome online.


The converter was unavoidable as the TV only has digital audio out (S/PDIF) and my sound system only has analog L and R RCA connections - it can't handle digital input....too old.

It's this one:

I did not buy new cables for that as I know that regular RCA cables are OK for that. Pity I didn't think harder about the HDMI cables because I already have two regular ones.

Here are some more pics of the TV and the base unit.


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Duh. I totally forgot it was an analog-digital converter. The stuff about signals mattering applies to that - that money wasn't wasted :smile:
Well thank goodness for that...! Now I'll stop showing off. Am I right for the purposes I'm using them for, converting to analog, regular RCA cables should be fine rather than buying dedicated digital/S/PDIF cables? They have the same connection interface.
Yeah, they should work just fine. That's what I was using on my desktop back when I had digital speakers.
I have loads of RCA connectors and all I really need is a really short one to go from the TV to that converter and the existing cables will do the rest.
I was just a little concerned that regular RCA cables may not be 75ohm S/PDIF compliant.
I see a 1 metre one (about the shortest available) on eBay for $9.88 S/H free and sold locally....if necessary. What do you think?
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Why not, its only $10. I'd rather have the cables I need around when I need them than haft to go online as I need them or to the store (most of the time online) just to get them. Heck, you might as well make the investment for a new sound system too :smile:

Enjoy your new TV. At least you'll get it in a reasonable amount of time compared to the clock.
Can't afford a new sound system, not just yet anyway. Yes, a week this coming Monday according to The clock, to be fair, has to be stripped down and re-assembled then adjusted, it all takes a long time.
A follow up....whilst my clock is back and working fine....the new TV isn't. When it worked it was the best HD picture I've ever seen.

It suddenly turned off...never to work again. The repair shop that Philips organized for me stated that it was a 1 in a milllion chances that this could TV failure, and not repairable. The power circuit had fried and taken everything else with it. (I'm using surge protectors).
Philips were very nice about it and stated that, as I bought from Dell, they should replace or refund, but I would have to apply through them.

Then the "musical chairs" routine started. One would think that Dell's Customer Service would take care of everything, that's assuming you get a person who speaks the same language, or any recognizable language for that matter. (I hate offshore call centres). No, they said that I must call the warranty people ( I ended up filing an online form of claim, which has been acknowledged. That was on Thursday so am hoping to hear early next week.

Meanwhile I'm straining my eyes to see an old 20" CRT TV that a friend has lent me. What a nasty come down!

I do hope that lightning doesn't strike twice in the same spot, as they say, and that the replacement TV works OK.

Philips are a very reputable brand but apparently their N. American market sets are made for them by Funai of Japan who I have never even heard of.
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Wow, how upsetting. I hope everything works out ok. They sure do make you jump through quite a lot of BS to replace a brand new TV that failed thier customer.
Thanks Justin. That's big corporations for you. The bigger they get, the worse they get when it comes to customer service.
You'll remember Curry's from your UK years Peter. I bought a pair of drop-down door hinges online from them to replace a broken one on the oven.
When they turned up, they were the same type, but different enough in detailed size and layout to be completely useless despite being advertised as the spare parts for the exact make and model.
When I used their online facility to request a Returns Number, and either a refund or replacement with the right hinges, I didn't hear a word from them, not even an automated acknowledgement.
I tried a straight email to their customer services, pointing out the lack of response from the web page, and, you guessed it, no reply from them either.
I tried all sorts of fishing addresses to their domain name - webmaster@, sales@ etc etc, in addition to copious follow ups to their published "complaints" and "services" addresses, but everything just fell into a black hole.
In over a year of trying, I have never had a single binary digit in response.
I'd assume the business was folding if I didn't see PC World, Curry's and Dixon's still merrily trading away on the high street every week (same parent company).
It's a very cost effective way of running a complaints department. Just ignore everything and only deal with the people who bring Court injunctions and bailiffs presumably.
Thank your lucky stars that someone at least talked to you, if only to shrug-off responsibility onto someone else.
Terry, yes I remember them well and I even bought a bike at Curry's years ago. At Dixons I bought a slide projector which is still in use by a friend of mine in the UK.
I hate these bloody companies like the plague, but when you see a good price you act, perhaps unwisely, but nevertheless you don't want to let a bargain slip through your fingers.
Sorry you had such a bad rap with them. No ombudsman to go to, or favourite media person who loves to tear these places apart?
(I'm hoping to God I don't have to go that far).
If it were a grand's worth of plasma screen rather than a hinge, I'd have been fire-bombing their stores to get some reaction, but I guess they rely on the fact that we all get to the point where we just think it's not worth the agro of continuing for a few quid.
Good news, the repair shop think they can repair it OK after all and may, just may, deliver it tomorrow.

That would be nice as I'm getting sore eyes squinting at the small screen CRT TV someone lent me.

In other news Alienware deliver my new computer tomorrow...or rather Fedex does. Guess what? It was actually made in Miami, not Taiwan, or Beijing, or Timbuktu, like almost everything is these days. Glad I did my bit for the North American economy.

So may be offline for a while transferring files and trying to get everything to work in a 64-bit environment...something new for me.
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No, not yet. As of yesterday, Philips finally decided (again...?) that the set was unrepairable and a replacement set would have to be provided. Wheels move slowly though when you have the repair shop dealing with a small Quebec-based subsidiary of a large US corporation, which in turn is a subsidiary of an even larger Netherlands Corporation. (Philips)
With a bit of luck I'll have a new set in 3 last count.

On the brighter side my new computer is up and running as we speak.

ALX® X58

Alienware ALX X58 web page

Processor: Overclocked Intel® Core™ i7-975 Extreme 3.86 GHz 8MB Cache
Alienware P2 Chassis: Alienware® P2 ALX Chassis with AlienIce™ 3.0 Video Cooling - Space Black
AlienFX®: Alienware® AlienFX® System Lighting - Fusion Red
Alienware P2 Chassis Upgrades: Alienware® High-Performance Liquid Cooling + Acoustic Dampening
Power Supply: Alienware® 1200 Watt Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply
Graphics Processor: Single 1,792 MB NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 295
Video Optimizer: AlienAdrenaline v1.0: Video Performance Optimizer
Memory: 12GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz - 6 x 2048MB
Motherboard: Alienware® Approved Intel® X-58 Motherboard- Socket 1366 Core i7 Ready, Dual Triple Channel DDR3 Memory
Operating System (Office software not included): Windows Vista® Ultimate (64-bit Edition) with Service Pack 1 plus Free Windows 7 Upgrade Option
System Drive: Extreme Performance (RAID 0) - 1TB (2 x 500GB) SATA 3Gb/s 7,200RPM 2 x 16MB Cache
Additional Storage Drive: Additional Storage Drive - 1TB SATA 3Gb/s 7,200RPM 32MB Cache
Optical Drives : Dual Drive Configuration - Drive 1: Dual Layer Blu-ray Reader (BD-ROM, DVD±RW, CD-RW)
Drive 2:6x Dual Layer Blu-ray Burner (BD-RE, DVD±RW, CD-RW)
Enthusiast Essentials: Dual High Performance Gigabit Ethernet Ports
Sound Card: High-Definition 7.1 Performance Audio
Gaming Headsets:
Alienware TactX™ Headset
ALX Exclusive Extra!

Keyboard: Gaming Keyboard - Logitech® G15 Keyboard
Mouse: Gaming Mouse - Logitech® G9 Gaming Mouse
Warranty: 3-Year AlienCare Toll-Free 24/7 Phone Support with Onsite Service
AlienRespawn: AlienRespawn v2.0 Recovery DVD – Windows Vista® Edition
Removable Storage: Alienware® 28-in-1 Media Card Reader with Bluetooth
Wireless Routers: D-Link® DGL-4500 Xtreme N Gaming Router Built Specifically for Gaming
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That however was not without its ups and downs. The day I got it, I failed to heed a warning that overclocking was about to fail, after swapping out some optical drives and adding some peripheral cards, and it BSOD'd on me. Had to reinstall the system, which gave me the golden opportunity to delete the RAID array and go for the regular SATA setup plus partition up the drives in readiness for multi-booting with a Vista testbed and the new Windows 7 final release on October 6 from Technet. I much prefer to be without the pitfalls of RAID arrays anyway and the speed difference is absolutely unnoticeable. The machine is blazing fast, even when I have 6 BOINC grid computing applications running in the background simultaneously.

The only thing I haven't managed to regain is the 3.86ghz O/C, but am working on that. 3.33ghz is ample really, but I did pay extra for the O/C.
I just discovered that Intel's Processor Identification Utility has been updated for Core i-7 processors, so here are the looks like it's a tad overclocked anyway.


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