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Today’s Show:

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


Posted by The HT Guys, October 20, 2011 10:48 PM

About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.