You don't miss it until it's gone. I never realized how much the family room television meant to us, until it blew out the first time- and the second time- and the third time. I purchased this Polaroid LCD flat panel from Circuit City on New Years Day 2007. At the time 1080p resolution was just becoming popular and it was the "must have" of the season. I specifically purchased this Polaroid because it was one of the most reasonably priced 1080p televisions sold. As a matter of fact, we purchased two of them for our bedroom and family room.
Within a few days I noticed that the sound would crackle every now and then, and sometimes a blaring screeching noise would emit from the speakers. God help you if you fell asleep in the living room- that thing would scare you off the sofa! It would do this every few days and the only way to stop it was to turn the television off, wait a minute and turn the television back on. Upon researching others reviews some bloggers mentioned that it was the cable box input that was creating this problem. Other problems included getting the 1080p resolution and having trouble turning the television on. I hadn't noticed it with the DVD player, so I assumed the television was not to blame. In November the screen starting going blank and the screeching noise resumed every 10 minutes or so. Frustrated, I called Polaroid and the operator was very aware of the problems with these TVs. He ordered a replacement part and shipped it to my house. When the part came I called the service number (Sears) and arranged a service appointment. Their earliest date was at the end of January, nearly TWO MONTHS!
In January they came to service the television. The technician mentioned that these televisions were notorious for this problem, and he replaced the part in a routine manner without even testing the TV. I was moving, so left the television in the box until after our move. When we finally moved and used the television, the sound didn't work, the power button had to be pushed atleast 5 or 6 times to turn the TV on and the screen menus are pixelated. I called Sears because I assumed it was a problem with the installation. A technician came out (two weeks later), checked the installation and said that the part was bad. Apparently Polaroid is refurbishing the bad parts and he has visited homes where the part has been bad up to 3 or 4 times. So I called Polaroid, and they've sent another part. I received the part last week and my repair appointment is on Monday. Needless to say, if this part does not work I'll be TV shopping again.
When speaking with the Polaroid representative I asked him about another problem I seemed to be having. The picture was great (compared to our old television) but we noticed that the maximum resolution we were getting was 720p. I did my research and realized that the maximum resolution on our cable box was 720p, so that made sense. Next I tested our Playstation 3, with a maximum output of 1080p but still the television was only giving a 1080i resolution (1080i is less than 1080p). I looked on our television box (saved it for the move) and it said 1080p resolution, just as Circuit City had advertised it. I had noticed that Polaroid's site changed from advertising the television as 1080p to 1080i about six months ago, but I thought they had changed the model production. When I asked the Polaroid representative he said that all FLM-4234BH's were 1080i, and that it's not Polaroid's fault that Circuit City advertised it as 1080p. I told him over and over again that even our original box has 1080p on it, but he was "reading from his customer service manual" and couldn't give me any further assistance. He spoke with his manager who also said there was nothing they could do. So in essence, I paid for a 1080p television (despite its reasonable price for a 1080p) but only received a 1080i.
After all of this trouble I regret purchasing a Polaroid. The extra money spent on a Sony or Toshiba would have saved me a great deal of time and trouble.