Buying a Waterproof TV woes

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combitz

Standard Member
Hi all,

For the last 10 months I have been attempting to purchase a Waterproof TV for my partner for the bathroom in a new build house. The TV will sit directly above the taps so is required to be IP65 rated and for zone 1 use as far as I am aware due to it being within 1 meter of a water source.

The experience I have had is far from pleasant and is bordering on the ludicrous. We have now had 10 TV units from 5 companies in an attempt to get one that works, yet none have. I have now got the point where I can no longer keep quite Mod Comment: please read the forum rules on what you can and can't post, removed

Before I get started with this review about waterproof TV's I would like to give some background to ensure I have not missed anything obvious:

The biggest issue with almost all the TV's we have had is the tuner. If a TV states DVB-T Freeview I expect it to display freeview channels. I want my partner to be able to change channel and volume whilst sitting in the bath. I have spent a lot of time and have gone to great expense to ensure that our TV signal is of the best quality possible. We have a new wideband aerial installed by Wolsey Aerial Services who have over 30 years experience in supply and installation. I installed the cable (RoHS Compliant 125U Pro Power) and fitted wall plates at each point with f-type to f-type connectors so I could ensure the cable and connections are of top quality. They installed an 8 way signal distribution amplifier (Labgear MSA283LP) and checked every room after installation and were very happy stating that none of the rooms lost over 7% from the original source signal which was good enough to pick up all current freeview channels available and said after the install there is no issue with our signal strength or quality.

A little more about me:
I have 12 years experience in electronic retail and I have jumped through hoops including losing money on deals because of the law to ensure I conformed to what is the consumer protection act. I now think this was perhaps naivety and a little stupidity on my part as I find that I could of just said no and there would have been numerous cases that I would not have had to refund goods, however, I built a business that I was proud of and 90% of customers were repeat business so it was important to me. This is partly why it has taken me so long to post this as I normally just move on, never use the company again and let it go but now 10 months of misery has made my decision to forwarding these details to all the companies local trading standards and Watchdog as I feel there are hundreds or even thousands of Waterproof TV units in this country that have faulty TV tuners and someone is going to take the fall.


I would like to point out now that I cannot speak for all the waterproof TV suppliers out there in the UK as I only have experience from the 5 companies in this rant and I believe there must be some legitimate companies who's business is effected by these cowboys, but after my experience, I am no longer willing to try another company and will proceed in finding a specialist waterproofing company to advise me on how to make my own from a 19" UK TV that we can install. I will include the construction and build details in another post and be as honest as possible about the problems I face. Some are already known but there are bound to be others that are not and will provide me problems but we WILL have a TV in the bathroom that is safe and works like any other UK TV.

The first TV was purchased before we moved house, it was a 19" TWM019 from waterproof-tvs.com at £499 + £20 delivery. They were pleasant on the phone as are all sales people when they take your money but I was not sure what to expect with the TV, I got my worst fear, the TV found just 19 channels and could not display BBC2, channel 5 or any of the five, fiver five US channels without the picture breaking up and the speakers would pop and hiss even on low volume to the point where it would really hurt your ears. This was returned and a replacement sent out. The replacement was no better yet they claimed that the picture quality was our issue and under grate reluctance refunded me £480, £39 short of what I paid. The last communications I heard from them was:

"What ever, I will arrange for collection."

What a delightful customer service. With the advice of trading standards I wrote and posted recorded delivery to the company explaining the Sale of Goods Act and the 1979 Consumer Right Act but both letters had no result. We then moved from Wolverhampton to Cannock and Trading standards stated that because we moved, they would no longer help, and I should contact my Citizens Advise regarding methods to retrieve the refund. They have proven to be of absolute no use at all and in a clear email pointed out that I could take it to small claims but it is unlikely that I would be successful for such a small amount. £39 is £39 in my eyes; they have still broken the law. This went on for several weeks with unpleasant phone calls and the comments from the company would not be far from what you would expect off a street trader when trying to return something. They claim the TV works and I claim it didn't so the only option was the extra expense in court action.

I moved on and tried proofvision.co.uk. Again I received a TV and again it would not pick up any channels. They were very good and arranged collection and refunded me the full amount straight away so I have no issues with them.

I decided to spend more money and go for a brand, so picked Waview as their 1080p 19" TV picture and TV build quality is by far the best unit I have seen of all the units, it's also the most expensive but you can see why. Unfortunately the first unit had no power supply unit, the replacement found all the channels but had 3 pixels out and the left speaker did not work but I had seen the quality of the picture which was superb so they persuaded me to wait for a new batch from china which took almost 3 months to arrive. This was a trying time for any man whose better half has not had a bath since moving into her new home. The new TV arrived; we were all exited and ready for glory when.... you guessed it. It found 16 TV channels but could not display any. It would go though the auto tune process and then return to BBC1 with flicker and then the screen would lock and no controls would work. At this point I began to think what out DVB-T signal may be encoded slightly differently as we are on the Sutton Coldfield transmitter and I have a friend in Crew who is on the Fenton transmitter, maybe this could explain why we could not get the TV's to tune in. We travelled the 80 miles and plugged the TV in. They have an old Sony with build in freeview which picks up over 70 channels so we expected around a similar amount, it found 1 channel which it could not display. When I explained this they were very good and could not apologise enough. They sent another replacement and still no joy........ Then they decided to have a unit sent for repair and came back to me with an offer that they would send me a working one after the tuner had been fixed. We received the unit but the picture was green and looked like it was watermarked or pastel colours, like the old 16 bit screens. We waited for them to come back to us with all sorts of remote control codes to try and solve the issue but nothing worked, gracefully and honourably they gave us a full refund after 5 faulty units so once they do get them working I would honestly say they are the best build and technology, but the search continued.

My partner and I searched for waterproof TV reviews but could not find any honest reviews explaining this issue so if you have experienced this please post as we really do feel alone on this but with all the testing we have had done it cannot be an isolated incident.

The final straw was to try one more TV. It was gutting to look at the spec of the Waview and then pay a similar amount for a far lower spec TV but I gave in to the pressure and we settled on a Luxurite 19" at almost £800. My partner spoke to them on the phone and they claim their TV's are made with UK parts and tuners and they were not aware of any issues with tuners. We were unable to order direct as they are business to business only so we looked for a retailer. Unfortunately they are half way down the country called heatandplumb.com. We asked about the product but they said that they had not sold enough to have any feedback yet; well I have plenty that I'm sure they are aware of now. The TV arrived, I was horrified to see that the inputs were all open on the back and the only seal would be the sealant to the wall. This cannot pass IP65 rating and there is no British kite mark for the IP65 rating standard. Anyway that's getting away from this point, yet again the TV finds just 6 channels, does not store any of them and will not display any freeview picture, we tried to contact heatandplumb via email and messages and after 2 days I finally got through to someone who would not give his name but stated I would have to speak to Luxurite and then proceeded to give me the number, I was furious at this point but thought I would try the number. I wrote an email to the company requesting a refund but this was obviously ignored as I heard nothing else from them. The number they gave me range out about 20 times then cut me off. I phone heatandplumb back only to be told they would chase Luxurite. 2 Days went past without any feedback so I phoned heatandplumb, my partner had given me the Luxurite number she had spoken to them on and when I spoke to heatandplumb they informed me that they were unable to get in touch so I gave them the new number, They called me back to inform me that Luxurite wanted to send a booster. I went through the explanations that the booster would not work as it is not a signal issue and I still asked for a refund but they stated that the booster would fix the issue. A week went past and two further emails and no booster had arrived after being told to be patient. I even received the following email from Luxurite:
About your situation, I talked with our technical team again. Their explanation is

1. In some area of UK, the signals aren't very strong, especially when the customer connects more than 2 or 3 TVs at the same time, signal loss is very common.
2. Our TV is more focused on the waterproof function, so in a way, the metal box behind is blocking a lot of signals.
3. The TV motherboard is hardly any better than Samsung or LG, under the same circumstance, the ability to search for signals is less handy.

But anyways, the signal amplifier I sent you will solve your problem once and for all. Approximately it will arrive by next Tuesday. Pls give it a try and let me know how it works. Thanks.
I was in disbelief that the company could claim this when my partner spoke to them and they stated in an email they had no issue with the tuner units. re: point 1. I agree some coastal and far northern areas of Britain may have difficulty in receiving a signal but they have my postcode and can tell I'm right in the middle of the West Midlands so location is not the issue. point 2. Is just complete nonsense and is a poor excuse for a faulty TV with a none UK tuner fitted. The box on the back has absolutely nothing to do with the functionality of the tuner. 3. As far as I am aware all tuners PCB manufactures have to pay the royalties in cost for the technology in the tuner, so why would there be an issue with the board if they were legitimate UK components as they claim on their website.

This argument is still going on over 1 month later although they have had to admit that the TV is faulty as I just purchased a new 46" TV for the front room which has the 7% signal loss from original source and on the first set up it found 97 channels. Tada!!! Nothing wrong with our signal, the picture is awesome for standard freeview. However that has not made Luxurite accept that they must arrange collection. This has all got very messy as the unit was purchased from heatandplumb.com and they are claiming that they will not pay for the return as Luxurite should but at no point does their website or their sales team claim they are acting as an agent and they quite clearly stated before I purchased that they would arrange collection if the unit was faulty. Luxurite just continuously come back with false accusations and now as they cannot blame the signal they are trying to blame me and the parcel couriers for not arranging collection and a quote from DHL for us to pay to return their faulty TV which has never worked as I stated from day of receipt will cost us £69.79. I really don't know where to turn next so its name and shame time as this is fact and not slander as waterproof-tvs.com and Luxurite claim they will sue me; please try I'm now ready with plenty of evidence to back up all my claims.

Mod Comment: removed, by all means post your experiences here but allow others to make their own minds up

This is my personal experience of trying to buy a waterproof TV in the UK and I hope that the information in this post will help others to avoid the problems I have encountered.
 
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alexjholland85

Active Member
Best of luck with this - and I am proud to see another man willing to stand up and fight Mod Comment: removed, please read the forum rules on what you can and can't post Keep us updated
 
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combitz

Standard Member
Cheers Alex, it's been a hell of a lonely journey so far, 10 months in a new house, still no usable bathroom and we are still not at the end of it. (We have a shower :smashin:) I'm amazed there are not more reviews as we have never found any truthful feedback over the past 10 months but I will not give in. It's not rocket science.

I'm starting the process of looking for a good 19" TV to encase ourselves and once purchased, I will post a construction thread to highlight any unexpected pitfalls I come across, I'm aware of the following issues:

The unit cannot be a vacuum due to the pressure difference but all moisture or 99.9% must be removed to prevent internal condensation. I have some extra silica gel packs to enclose with the unit.

The TV will also need a heat soak test to ensure it won't get too hot. This is my main concern currently.

The screen cannot be glass unless it is safety glass (not really an option) but I know of 3 or 4 local plastic/acrylic suppliers, I know they can flame edges to make it look like glass but I'm not sure about the black surround. It's yet to be discussed and I think a vinyl will just shrink and crack, in fact I pretty sure it would.

The unit must have a solvent based seal to ensure it would conform to IP65 rating. Water based is not allowed apparently, it's prone to failure.

I have so far sourced 90% of the cables, some MYLAR waterproof speakers and nylon IP65 grommets.

I'm still struggling to find a steal pressing company that will press the back plate but I've not got actual sizes yet so I guess that's scaring them off at the moment and of course a waterproof remote control but I can get programmable units for about £6 so I might try sealing one myself as the other option is a dolphin one at over £100. You can't really get a shock off 1.5v so I'm not worried about that.

The current donor unit I'm looking at now the 19” LG 19LD350 at around £180 but if anyone knows of a full 1080p 19” unit that is not a monitor then please let me know.

If anyone has any other thoughts or input before I make a start I would really appreciate your input.
 
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AndyCob

Well-known Member
I know this sounds daft as is it's the sort of thing you may have tried but it can be one of those DOH! moments. Have you tried plugging in a standard TV to the bathroom aerial feed (one you know works) and see what that manages to tune in the way of channels just as a test (water precautions of course). I know you say the living room feed works and the bathroom one was checked by the installer (though presumably not by wiring up a TV) but that doesn't prove the bathroom feed works now, is it possible something in the wiring or amplification/distribution system has failed just on that feed?

I mean it the TV finds 100 on the living room feed but none etc on the bathroom feed then something bseides the TV is at fault. Just one of those things to check that can avoid embarassment later.

Otherwise keep fighting, and the people telling you to go after the manufacturer are fibbing I think, this seems a standard fob off in the UK, your contract as per the SOGA is always with the retailer and it is they who are liable for faulty goods (for as much as six years in some cases) no matter what they say about manufacturer warranties or anything else.

Last time I had an issue like this I consulted Which legal advice only £20 for a year or something if you are a which subcriber so actually had a couple of half hour phone talks with a lawyer and sent off the SOGA breach of contract form letters on the Which website, one to manager of store, the other should go to the CEO of the retail company (nothing to do with manufacturer no matter what the retailer claims). Hey presto a week later bran spanking new TV.
 

combitz

Standard Member
Hi AndyCob,

Yes the bathroom aerial point has been tested with my 32" lg5700. 97 channels found. I used the front room point as that was where the LG was until I just got my Samsung. If I plug any of my other TV's into the front room point I get 97 channels, yet when I plug the Luxurite or any of the TV's above, the luxurite displays 0% signal and no images. If i run the auto setup it goes all the way through and states it has found 6 channels but when it completes it returns to the luxurite logo for a second and then goes back to 0% signal and will not display a picture. If you open the channel listing it is empty.

I have gone through this time and time again with 5 companies now so forgive me if I'm a little blunt. I know the TV is faulty but if the retailer claims it works, the customer (me) claims it won't and no one seems to want to budge, I have another TV that wont work with a bill for almost £70 to send it back. I will never buy another waterproof TV online as 10 units is not just unlucky its poor manufacturing with cheap components. To top it off is the fact that they then claim that the box on the back that is not water tight interferes with the signal some how. What a joke!

I've had another email from them with several bullet points basically saying its my fault and they were not aware I wanted a refund. Once I've replied I will post it here with my honest points. I asked for a refund at the end of the day I received the TV as with the previous problems I was not about to leave it in a box for week. They new, but they are determined to say black is white. I have emails to prove it and they also have my answer phone messages!
 

AndyCob

Well-known Member
Oh well just a thought, I suspected you would probably have checked but don't ask, don't find out.

As I said sounds like your being given the right run around, if you are a Which subscriber you might want to join their legal advice is a lot cheaper than a sit down with a solicitor.

Otherwise and it sounds like sealing up a non water proof unit is the way your heading, have you considered possibly having the screen behind an additonal layer of glass or plastic, reflections might be issue, but you could drop a suitable perspex or glass enclosure into the wall and run a vent out to say another room, makes cleaning easier/safer to without any chance of scratching or marking the TV screen. Doh! forgot about speakers, you would also need to run some form of output from the TV to some waterproof or low voltage speakers also placed in the bathroom.
 

toesy

Standard Member
I feel for you fella, seems like you've been to hell and back.

I have a 17" tilevision TV in my bathroom, and I cannot speak about the Freeview reception, as its an older analgoue set, and I have SKY plumbed into it.

It has been an awesome TV mind, and the even when the IR receiver went, they sent out a new one F.O.C, ok I had to refit and reseal the TV since its sunk into a false wall, but it's pretty easy to do.

After reading your post, I am now wondering how I will get on when I decide to change it later this year, as I live in Birmingham and the switch over is coming. Yes I know I have SKY but its always wise to have both options.

I think tilevision do a 19" Freeview TV now, you now have me worried that I could face issues going forward, although from my experience they are worth the money.

Good luck and I hope you find the right tv for your needs.
 

combitz

Standard Member
I can only advise you to use a credit card with payment protection, a lot of credit card companies no longer have payment protection by default as we found out, they changed the rules about 4 years ago but failed to tell anyone about that change so it up to the credit company. At least its a fall back just in case.

Just make sure you test it before any cutting or fitting.

I have just bought a Sony kdlbx200 19" to use as the donar TV. A totaly standard TV off the shelf of any electrical retailer and pluged it in on the same aerial point and tada.... 97 channels found. Mint. After heat soak testing for 6hrs I opened it up to find the panel is very good for fitting, it's all in one and has an aluminium frame. I have my waterproof mylar speakers, 3m cables to reach to the room next door, ip68 grommets (6mm, 8mm, & 10mm) and some marine black sikaflex sealant. I'm now constructing the back box as I can't find a steel pressing company that will produce a one off unit, I did get a small steel tray as a trial but fixing the panel would have been a nightmare so I'm making a mould to creating a fibreglass rear housing that the panel can sit straight in with rear space for cables. I'll get some images up soon on another post to show the progress. It will either go horribly wrong or work a dream, only time will tell. Hopefully should have 3 weeks to do it so I'm just looking for a method to create the front screen that won't scratch. Currently speaking with glass and acrylic companies.
 
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black_thunder

Standard Member
combitz - to help prove your point of view that the TVs are faulty, maybe you can set up a video of the install process. You should really start with a video install of one of your known good TVs (which can receive 97 channels), then unplug that good one, and install the faulty TV. Ideally, this needs doing in one 'take' - without any edits.

HTH
 
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