July 8, 2013
Element Electronics ELDFT406 Review
40" 1080P 60Hz LCD HDTV
Some time ago, I encountered a box at my girlfriend's apartment. It was white with red or black letters in the shape of a rectangle. The text was unfamiliar to me. "Element Electronics." What the hell is this? I thought to myself.
"I got a new TV from black Friday," my girlfriend said. "It was only 300 dollars!"
This was new ground for me. I had always followed the rule that you don't buy a no-name brand television. The consequences would always outweigh the great "deal" you would be getting. I even get skeptical when someone tells me they bought a Vizio. Vizio is currently the leading brand of low cost High Def TV's. If this rectangular box had said Vizio on it, I would understand. But it did not.
"Element Electronics? Never even heard of it." I was not very hopeful at this time.
"Me neither. I'm sure it's fine." I began to open the box. I cut the tape and ripped out the cardboard sides. I could see the styrofoam and thought that maybe this won't be so bad. They wouldn't just use styrofoam to package any piece of crap, right? Little did I know that this was going to be the best part about the Element Electronics 40" 1080P High Def TV. I had no idea the horrors I was about to encounter.
The TV was out and laid on the floor. I bent over to pick it up. "This thing is heavy," I said. These words are not used very often in dealing with TV's anymore. Most TV's are lightweight now because of advances in technology. I put it down on the white table where a 30 or so inch CRT TV with a rainbow screen used to be just minutes ago.
I plugged in all the cords and opened the package for the remote. It came with batteries. "Here you go, your first look at High Definition!" I actually was pretty excited for her at this point. To go from standard to High Def was a big deal for me in 2006. I was the first of all my friends and sat for hours at a time looking at all the vivid colors. The reds, the greens, the blues, blacks that were darker than deep space, whites brighter than clouds on a summer day.
I pressed the power button and the TV turned on. So far so good. The cable box was connected to the HDMI 2 input so I needed to switch inputs. I looked over the remote and finally found a button with the words "source" written above it. I pressed the button and nothing happened. I pressed it again and nothing happened. And so it began. The downward spiral of using the worst product I had ever encountered was about to commence. And I was not excited about it.
"It's broken," I said aloud.
"It's not broken," she said back to me. "It's brand new."
I went over and pressed in the source button on the side of the TV. The input menu popped up. HDMI input 1 was selected. I was close but far. Which button do I use to change selections? The volume buttons or the channel buttons? I didn't want to make that mistake so I took another gamble with the remote. I pressed the down button repeatedly until it finally switched to input 2.
"Yay!" I exclaimed. "Look at the picture!" It took my eyes a few seconds to focus. When they finally did, the abysmal picture burned straight into my brain.
The colors were terrible. It looked like everyone had been locked in a tanning bed preparing for Jersey Shore. I tried switching the colors in the menu but it was no use. Contrast, brightness, temperature, I didn't really know what the hell I was doing. It was clear that the reason this TV was $300 was because the manufacturers didn't give a shit about the best part of High Def. The vivid colors.
About an hour later, the TV turned off. I looked around and saw the remote was nowhere near anyone's ass. And my girlfriend didn't have a dog. "Must've been the sleep timer," I said confused. "I don't remember hitting it though." Half an hour later it happened again. I was growing very suspicious. "That's enough TV for one night," I had never said those words before. We left the room without having to turn off the TV and went to bed. She said nothing about it and probably didn't care. But she would soon find out that these types of issues don't settle well with me...
The next day I switched on the TV without the remote. Didn't want to risk it. I grabbed the Comcast remote and tried changing channels. Nothing happened. "What the fuck!" She heard me yell. My anger management is not good around technology. I tried to stay calm but after last night I didn't know if I could take any more of this. "Now this remote doesn't fucking work!"
"Calm down," she said. It calmed me down a bit. "Let me see it." She tried with no luck. We turned off the cable box and turned it back on. It seemed to do the trick. It was okay. For now.
This was another problem that was not going to go away. For the next eight months, this television would shut off every half an hour for no reason at all. The remote worked occasionally (batteries replaced) to turn it back on, but did nothing else. The colors are the worst I have ever seen on a High Def TV. And for some reason, every time the TV turns on for the first time, the cable box doesn't work for two minutes. The cable box always stays on, so I have no idea why this happens. But it has got to be the TV's fault.
After eight months, I finally called support earlier today. I hadn't before because when I looked it up online, the reviews said that support was useless. She also doesn't have the receipt so returning it to the store was out of the question. I waited on the phone for about 8 minutes which is, compared to Comcast support, not too bad. While waiting, they had the typical "Your call is important to us" recording. But after the first woman saying it, another woman's voice says it. Then a man's voice said it and halfway through, the first woman's voice interrupts him. I kept thinking someone was actually trying to talk to me and it started to get to me. Was I hearing voices? Or does this company really have three different people to say the exact same thing over and over? It was strange but I got through. Minutes later, a new part is on the way to her place. A technician is supposed to come shortly after. The nightmare may be coming to an end. We will see in 3 to 5 business days.
This is the worst product I have ever used. Not the worst Television. The worst product. My blood pressure has never been as high as it is today and I have nothing to blame but the Element Electronics 40" 1080P LCD HDTV. It is possible that the health insurance companies and Element Electronics are in cahoots with each other. I am writing this article to warn people to stay away from any product by this company, especially this one. Never buy a no-name brand television. You may think you are getting a great deal, but 40 years from now when you die of a heart attack, you'd wish you never woken up at 5am just to stand in line at Target for an awful piece of shit that turns off every half an hour.
PS- Support phone number is 1-888-338-5666 if you want to hear the voices I was talking about.