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Oct212011

Podcast #501: TV Reliability

We recently read and discussed an article by the HD Guru about disposable TVs (Vizio Disposable HDTV Sellers: Do They Have Your Back?) and thought it might be a good idea to discuss TV reliability. Armed with this information you can decide whether its worth paying a bit more for a TV that will last longer than some of the cheaper “Disposable” brands. This information comes from Consumer Reports. They surveyed 209,000 readers between 2007 and 2011 to determine Brand Reliability.

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TV Reliability

We recently read and discussed an article by the HD Guru about disposable TVs (Vizio Disposable HDTV Sellers: Do They Have Your Back?) and thought it might be a good idea to discuss TV reliability. Armed with this information you can decide whether its worth paying a bit more for a TV that will last longer than some of the cheaper “Disposable” brands. This information comes from Consumer Reports. They surveyed 209,000 readers between 2007 and 2011 to determine Brand Reliability.

The number one most reliable brand was Panasonic with 2% of LCD owners requiring a repair or reporting a serious problem. For Plasma Panasonic was also top of the list with 3% of owners reporting issues.

The worst TV for reliability was Mitsubishi LCDs with 13% of owners reporting problems. For Plasmas it was LG on the bottom with 8%. Poloroid and Westinghouse were also at the bottom end of the LC list with scores of 10% and 7% respectively.

Some surprises we found were that Best Buy’s house brand, Insignia, had a respectable showing at 4%, slightly edging out other known companies like Toshiba, Philips and Samsung. There has been a bunch of talk about Vizio’s reliability and according the Consumer Reports it just doesn’t hold up. Vizio had a very respectable 4% problem rating.

What Does this Mean?

From a picture quality point of view TVs have become so much better than they were just 10 years ago. The worst HDTV today produces a better picture than the best SDTV ever did. From a reliability point of view probably not much has changed. In the 70’s and 80’s there were some TVs that never broke down. Sony comes to mind when talking about reliability. Today Sony is tied for the number two spot with Sanyo and Sharp. But the difference between them and number one is minuscule.

There are also budget brands that can be had for less money but may not be as reliable as first tier brands. But the gap in reliability is much smaller. From a reliability point of view you may want to save some money and go with a second or even third tier TV. Especially if its not for your main room.

In the past reliability and picture quality was how manufacturers differentiated themselves. Today, thanks to technology, its much harder to do that without pricing your TVs out of reach for many. Now, manufacturers are using Internet Apps and Netflix to differentiate. If all you want to do is watch TV with a quality HD picture you have plenty of reasonably priced televisions to chose from.

 

 

 

Download Episode #501

Reader Comments (4)

Wow, the feature on TV reliability was very interesting to say the least. I think the choice to go first tier or second/third tier depends quite a bit on the size and price class of the TV under consideration. In my mind if the TV sells for less than $500 I would not consider repairability in the post-warranty period. I would expect that a TV repair plus two-way shipping could easily exceed 50% of the original price of the TV. I would be willing to take the chance on "non-repairable" brand if the up-front combination of features and price mae for a compelling value.

If I was spending more than $500 on a TV, I think I would have a strong bias towards TVs with better reliability records and factory authorized service centers "just in case". Even then, I think that today's TVs tend to become obsolete at a faster pace. So I would probably expect to replace the TV with a new one if it failed after, what maybe 5 years?

October 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

What is that 99 dollar 32inch you were talking about in your podcast

October 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJay Christian

Glad I'm not the only one who has heard "Our Editor Darian" 8)

Brian

October 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrian McCarty

This might not be the ideal place to request this, but I’m trying to find a reliable shop to repair our television online and and have no method to find out who is the very best. I uncovered this website which is I find reliable and wanted to see if any person has any reviews on them. Richmond TV Repairs. http://richmondtvrepairs.com
Please help me with this as my wife and I have been struggling to find a good/reliable shop to repair our television.

February 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarey Lawrence

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