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It was seven months ago that I posted about how I broke a promise regarding a new TV, specifically that I decided to replace our 15 year old 32″ tube TV with a new flat screen TV, even though I'd said a while back that I'd keep the tube TV until it died (my guess, that TV is still out there somewhere, as good as ever).

For seven months I had no regrets.  Until I turned it on the other day and saw some lines running up the center of the TV.  And a surefire spot at the bottom where it had likely suffered a crack.

Crap.

I still have no idea what happened, although my guess is that the kids may have been playing with something and hit it.  I have seen our two year old throw some toys, and unfortunately she has thrown some ‘hard' toys as well as the typical toys that are OK to toss around (balloons, soft balls and the like).

It's weird because when the TV is off, I can't see the cracks at all.  I've held a flashlight up to the screen and looked as close as I can, and can't see anything.  I'm thinking that maybe the actual crack is under the lip of the plastic edge of the set.

Still, I'm a little sick thinking about it.

The TV is under the original warranty, and I also have a SquareTrade warranty that kicks in after that one runs out, but from everything I've seen, any sort of crack is pretty much going to be denied.

Fixing it seems pretty questionable as well.  Most people who have posted about these things have found that replacing the panel is just as expensive as the TV was originally.

Crap.

mb-201309tvAs of right now, we're still using it.  You can see from the attached photo how things look.  The lines are noticeable, but they're in a pretty limited range of the viewing area.  The biggest bummer is that it's basically in the dead center of the screen.  You can see at the very bottom the black / cracked areas where the damage likely took place.

After I found it, I brought my wife downstairs to show her.  I asked the kids if they remembered anything, and I got a variety of answers.  Either way, they're too young to remember or really know what happened.  Even if it was something that they did or remembered doing, what am I going to do, take the money from their college fund to replace it?  No, it's one of those things.

For now, we're trying to keep a better eye to make sure that they aren't throwing things.  If and when we replace this TV, it would be beyond ridiculous if the same thing happened again.  Though, since I have no proof, who knows?  Could it have just cracked from vibrations or from some weakness in the manufacturing process?  I guess we'll never know.

The plan

So, what's the plan?  Nothing for now.  As I've said, the TV is still viewable, though it does get distracting.

What I'm thinking is that since the damage seems to be fairly isolated, we might replace the TV when we find a deal that's as good or better (I paid $449 for this TV), and move it down to the basement.  We have a play room down there that currently has 27″ and though it was a low priority, I was going to jump on a 37″ or similar set that I could find for $250 or so.  Since we aren't down there very much, the damage is something we could live with, and say we spent $450 on a replacement, the total difference between what we were planning on spending for the downstairs TV would be roughly $200.

It's not chump change, but it'd be something I could swallow.

My only concern with this plan is moving the TV.  I'm afraid that since there's already a crack, picking it up and carrying it downstairs could put stress on the already weak panel and make it unusable by the time we got it downstairs.  I guess that'd be a risk we'd have to take.

With the new TV, I wouldn't have to buy a warranty, since the SquareTrade warranty we bought would be able to be transferred over to the new set.  So the total out of pocket would be whatever we paid.  Small consolation.

Either way, the thought remains the same.

Crap.