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Going for Good Service with Your HDTV Purchase

When you're buying an HDTV set, you're spending a relatively serious chunk of change. Heck, even if you're loaded, spending $10,000 or more on a front-projector system starts to move out of the pocket-change realm pretty darned fast.

So, getting your money's worth is important. That doesn't just mean getting the lowest price for the particular TV you've chosen (though that's an admirable goal); it also means getting decent service to boot.

Now, everyone has his or her definition of what good service is, but here's what to look for:

  • Delivery services: Lots of places (both online and local brick-and-mortar stores) are offering white glove delivery services. This means that people deliver that huge big-screen TV that wouldn't fit in the back of your Mini in a million years; but they don't just drop it off on the front stoop and boogie on out of there. Instead, they deliver the unit to the room you want it in, get it out of the box, and even take all the packaging materials with them (no doubt, to be recycled). Importantly, if they drop it along the way, they dropped it and have to replace it.
  • Warranty: Beware of the extended warranty services offered by many consumer-electronics stores. After all, what's the point of paying $30 for a warranty on a $35 cordless phone? But check out the warranty that comes with your HDTV closely — that TV is a major investment after all. And consider buying an extended warranty if it's not too expensive. With some types of HDTVs (such as DLP and LCD projection systems), you might pay back the warranty when your bulb needs to be replaced after a few years of heavy usage.
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