February 13, 2007
Dear CNET members,
When it comes to flat-panel TV brands, most of us all are aware of the popular ones such as Sony, Toshiba, Samsung, Panasonic, and so forth. But what about the TV brands that are fairly new to the TV arena or are unfamiliar to the general public? What I'm talking about are off-brands--flat-panel TV manufactures such as Vizio, Maxent, Westinghouse, Syntax Olevia, or even Polaroid (whose brand is best known through their cameras, not their TVs) that offer flat-panel TV at a much lower price compared to major brand names.
When I was shopping for a flat-panel TV, Costco was one place I went to compare, and they offered the Vizio brand flat-panel TVs. When I noticed the price difference between the Vizio brand vs. the more popular brand names, I was pretty stunned by the big price difference. It really got me wondering if I should lean toward an off-brand as opposed to paying an additional premium for a major brand. In many stores I visually compared the picture quality of off-brand TVs to that of the major brands, and while some off-brands look just terrible, many of them looked equal to, if not better than some of the major brands--however I'm no professional here. Even aesthetically, some off-brands were nicely designed and looked well crafted. But what is still holding me back from buying an off-brand TV is not knowing "the unknown," such as the history and reliability behind those brands. However, the lower costs of those off-brand TV sure are tempting. So while I'm still on the fence about these off-brand TVs, join us in this hot forum discussion thread created by one of our members, and tell us what you think about these off-brand TVs Would you consider buying into them, or do you solely stick with well-known names that have a lot of history? Is it worth paying the extra chunk of change for popular brands, or is it better to save your money because you are pretty much buying into the same? And if you have already invested into an off-brand TV, share your experience with us, good or bad, because I'm sure people like myself would love to hear what you have to say.
This week's hot topic:
Hot Topic goes here
Recently a CNET member shmody posted a forum discussion topic wondering why some people were bashing off-brand TVs. He asked our members if it is because people just dislike them or because they are simply disappointed in the quality of those TVs. Members were quick to jump in and tell us why they do or don't buy into off-brand TVs.
Let's not go for knee-jerk reactions
"Although the Visio Plasma is inferior due to being the previous generation, their LCDs are good. I do not believe that a name brand is necessarily better and certainly not that it has better service. I will not buy Sony ever again for example, as I have had too many problems..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member Paul KimelmanJust read the reviews. Horrible picture!
"I knew this would happen. everyone rushing to Wal-Mart etc. and snatching up all those off-brand cheepies, Just read thru CNET and you hear folks complaing about picture quality and service problems. I have seen your Vizio on display, and one would have to be blind to buy one..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member stewart norrie"Vizio is OK"
"There may be some minor advantages to the better known brands, but after just a month, I'm very happy with my VX37L Vizio. The packaging was very impressive, the out-of-the-box setup was just about what I like, there's minimum glare (reflection) compared to all plasmas, and the price was hundreds less than..." (Read more)
--Submitted by: CNET member davideoSpeak Up!
When it comes to shopping for a flat-panel TV, what major role does brand name play into your buying decision? Are the name-brand TVs worth the additional cost? Or are off-brands equally as good, given that you are just buying into the brand name? Why or why not? Now it's your turn to tell us what you think.
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