Is Your HDTV A Toxic Asset?

April 15th, 2009 · 43 Comments · LCD Flat Panel, Plasma

element-hdtv-400.jpg

Vizio Addendum Added April 16, 2009

(April 15, 2009) Dozens of “no name” brand HDTVs currently flood the US market.  Buyer beware! Many cost more to repair than they’re worth and some brands don’t offer any warranty.

To ascertain warranty and post warranty policies, HD Guru contacted the customer service departments of a number of these “off brands,” some of which have no local repair service.

In order to obtain in-warranty repairs, owners of those sets must pay for shipping cartons and freight charges. HD Guru always recommends keeping original packing material, whether you buy a name or  “off brand’ set.

Which are these “no name” brands and how do their warranties differ from the traditional TV makers? Manufacturers like Sony, Toshiba, Sharp, Panasonic and Samsung often produce key components and assemble TVs in their own factories.  These set- makers work hard and spend a great deal of money to maintain a reputation for quality and reliability.

Local authorized service centers handle these set repairs.  The HD Guru called Samsung (1-800-Samsung) customer service to learn about its warranty policies.  All Samsung HDTVs (32” and larger) include in-home authorized service.  The customer service representative (CSR) said Samsung makes all warranty repair arrangements.

This is generally not the case with “no name” brands like AOC, Apex, Coby, Digital Lifestyle, Dynex, Element, TruTech, Viore and Vizio. In fact, many of these “TV companies” are not manufacturers at all! They’re really importers, often using contracted Chinese TV design and assembly facilities.  Buyers have no way of knowing who built the set or of the parts quality.

These companies do not have longstanding brand reputations to uphold.  The contractors build the sets and the “off brand” companies simply market and sell them to independent dealers, national and regional chains and home shopping channels.  The HD Guru and other websites list hundreds of complaints from angry consumers with failed “off brand” TVs with no repair route, yet unwary or naïve consumers mesmerized by what seems like a lower price, continue to buy them.

Below are some of the good, bad and ugly “off brand” company policies beginning with the most egregious examples.

Sears, Kmart and some independent dealers currently sell Element HDTVs.  Circuit City sold them for years until its recent bankruptcy and liquidation.  The Element website (Link) contains a notice informing owners of certain model Element HDTVs and other products (such as digital picture frames and MP3 players) and about its agreement with Circuit City, which it claims absolves them of any warranty responsibilities.

A call to an Element customer service representative (CSR) confirmed the Circuit City situation.  The Element CSR said the models listed were sold to Circuit City without a warranty and that Circuit City assumed this responsibility, though how consumers were supposed to know that the purchase did not include a manufacturer’s warranty was not explained.

What about the Element sets currently sold by Kmart and Sears?  According to the CSR, they have one-year in-home service.  What about parts and labor after the warranty period?  “You’re on your own,” the CSR told the HD Guru.

Corian USA imported and distributed Digital LifeStyle HDTVs.  According to its CSR, Corian stopped selling LifeStyle HDTVs.  The Corion rep added it no longer honors the warranty and provides no parts or service.

Apex Digital HDTVs include a 90-day parts/1-year labor warranty.  You must ship to its Walnut, Ca. facility for service and pay freight both ways according to the CSR and after 90 days, pay an additional $50 parts charge. Post warranty service costs $205 for parts and labor.  Best Buy currently sells the Apex 19” HDTV for $199.99.  Apex’s CSR warned there’s no warranty on any Apex HDTVs purchased from Amazon.com.

AOC offers a one year parts and labor warranty.  However, you are responsible for shipping in a suitable carton and pay the return freight.  The cost of a carton, shipping and insurance for its 42” LCD (using a UPS store shipping from NY to AOC in Freemont, CA) is about $181.00.  The cost of its latest model 42” HDTV at Target today is $699.99, making freight and box over 25% of the replacement cost!  Post-warranty parts and labor flat-rates at a whopping $590. Add the shipping cost and the price exceeds that of a new set! Repairing a TV with a defective panel is flat rated at $950.

Dynex and Insignia are not really TV manufacturers. They are brand names used by Best Buy on the models they contract to import. A call to the Best Buy Insignia/Dynex customer service number revealed owners must return it to a Best Buy for warranty service. Only Best Buy in store personnel can answer post-warranty questions.

The Best Buy visit revealed there is no post warranty service available on Insignia and Dynex TVs. However, according to the salesperson with whom we spoke, you may purchase an extended warranty.  This came as no surprise considering the recent recall of an Insignia 26” HDTVs (due to a possible fire hazard) required the return of the TV to Best Buy in Minnesota in exchange for a gift card (Link), not a replacement of the set’s possibly defective power supply.

Target and some independent dealers sell TruTech.  According to a Target CSR, the store offers a one-year in store exchange warranty on TruTech sets.  After the warranty expires, you must deal with Target’s supplier, Proview Technology.  Good luck with that endeavor. Six calls over a two-day period to its customer service line (during its business hours) yielded the same result: no answer.  A quick Google search of TruTech revealed posts by around a hundred TruTech HDTV owners complaining that their sets couldn’t be repaired because there are no parts available.  TruTech HDTVs are truly toxic assets and disposable HDTVs.

Coby Electronics offers only 90 days parts and labor on its TVs with no local servicers. You must ship your set to its Brooklyn, NY facility at your expense.  The company offers no post-warranty parts or service, according to Coby’s CSR.

Broksonic offers a 90 days labor/one-year parts warranty.  You ship your set to its Brooklyn NY facility for service.  After the warranty expires, there is a flat $80.00 labor rate. Parts prices are determined after receipt of the TV.

On the plus side, Curtis-Mathes provides an advance replacement unit during its one-year parts and labor warranty and picks up all freight charges.  Its CSR added they have a national authorized service network for post-warranty parts and service.

Newcomer Honeywell offers three years of parts and labor and a five year parts warranty.  You can find its warranty information at (Link)

Bottom line: websites list hundreds of complaints of poor “off brand” TV reliability and a lack of parts and service. Don’t add to the list by getting suckered into buying one because you think you’re saving money. In the short run, maybe you are. In the long run, you’re not.

Today, the price difference between an “off brand” HDTV versus a name brand is often $50-$100 (depending on screen size).  HD Guru recommends spending the extra dollars for a proven brand name HDTV manufactured by a company that values your business and is invested in its reputation, customer service and local repair programs.

If you are considering an “off brand” HDTV, do not make the purchase until you investigate the company’s warranty and post warranty services.  Otherwise, you may find out too late that “no name” brands like Astar, Niko and Norcent (still offered for sale on websites and retailers) are out of business!

Vizio Addendum

After HD Guru’s first Vizio article appeared, the company updated its warranty and parts sales policies. You can search the site for subsequent Vizio coverage, but to summarize what you’ll find: Vizio (like the other no name ‘toxic asset” brands above) is not a television manufacturer, though it now bills itself as “America’s HDTV Company.”

According to an authorized spokesperson, foreign contract manufacturers produce all Vizio HDTVs. Like many of the “off brands,” Vizio imports, distributes, markets and sells its branded HDTVs to resellers.

Vizio’s current warranty (Link) includes in-home service for sets 30 inches and larger.  However, the warranty’s wording is vague and uses “generally,” a conditioner not seen in tier 1 manufacturer’s warranties reviewed by HD Guru.  Here is an excerpt from the Vizio warranty.

“Repairs required on displays which are thirty (30) inches and larger will generally, but not always, be made “on-site” where the display is installed.  However, the decision to perform an on-site repair is dependent upon the manufacturing defect and is at VIZIO’s option and sole discretion. Repairs required on displays which are less than thirty (30) inches generally will be performed at a VIZIO service center.”

By comparison, here is an excerpt from the section of the Panasonic 2009 model warranty dealing with in-home service (for displays 37” or larger):

“On-site service where applicable requires clear and complete and easy access to the product by the authorized servicer and does not include removal or re-installation of the installed product.  It is possible that certain on-site repairs will not be completed on-site, but will require that the product or parts of the product, at the servicer’s discretion be removed for shop diagnosis and /or repair and then returned.”

Regarding parts availability, Panasonic and other tier 1 name brand manufacturers maintain their own parts inventory and sales. Independent distributors supply parts to Vizio service providers. Both Vizio and Panasonic have independent post-warranty service networks.

-HDGuru® with Michael Fremer

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Copyright ©2009 HD Guru Inc.  All rights reserved.  HDGURU is a registered trademark.  The content and photos within may not be distributed electronically or copied mechanically without specific written permission.  The content within is based upon information provided to the editor, which is believed to be reliable.  Data within is subject to change.  HD GURU is not responsible for errors or omissions.

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43 Comments so far ↓

  • Poppies

    My Vizio 42″ LCD TV screen went blank yesterday – Vizio tech thinks it is a back-light failure. After speaking with the Vizio rep, we felt like we were getting the runaround, and found this website, which scared the heck out of me as far as getting help. However, we have had a good experience, as least this far. We bought our TV at Costco almost two years ago. Our warranty is for two years, and Costco Concierge Services was very gracious and helpful and said they will make sure our TV gets repaired or replaced. Vizio seems to be very helpful, also. We’ll see – we have a repair visit scheduled for a week from now. So far, though, it seems that they are handling it very well.

  • David

    I guess I will throw out a little opinion. I agree that the Sony’s of the world have a better service background, of course they also charge you for that service. Quality is a very hard thing to determine (especially for the component level). I will not claim to know what parts are made by whom, but if you dare open your lcds (Sony, Vizio, Panasonic, etc.) I bet you will be surprised to find some various parts made by the same companies. Sony may own some of their manufacturers, but I bet that those same manufacturers built components for other companies. And I must point out that if these less expensive units were not being sold that you would be paying a lot more for your LCDs from Sony. That is how capitalism works. Someone sells something for less, and that causes other companies to figure out ways to cost cut their products. So they may be off your list of things to buy, but I will be going for the least expensive unit with the most to offer for the price. I am an educated buyer and will spend some time learning about the warranties, and purchasing a unit that will be the best value for my hard earned money. I don’t buy Sony, just because the service is easier to obtain. And I don’t buy Vizio just because it is cheaper. I study, and learn what I need to know before purchasing. I know what my limitations are going to be, and make a decision I cna live with. I don’t think it is completely fair to lump all these companies into the same pile. Just as it is not fair to judge a unit as greater than another solely on the ability to get that unit repaired easier. I have been a electronics consumer for many years and can say that any electronic device is going to have manufacturing defects possible. It is possible to buy a Sony that will die a day after the warranty is out and at the same time have a Vizion that will last for a long time. But also don’t forget that you need to know the hours each set is rated at. It may be that you only watch an hour of tv a day and it will last for years on end, but those who watch non-stop, may find the lamp is dead faster. Also don’t get your panties in a wad over this. There are so many more important things in life to get all bothered by. If I buy a Vizio and it dies in 3-4 years I am probably not going to want to have it repaired since it will be outdated and those fancy 240hz lcds will be available for me to buy, since I only spent half of what I would have, I would be able to buy one at that time. So sometimes it is good to save money on something that is going to be outdated in a few years anyway. Just don’t get so uptight about all this and go outside and enjoy a sunny day with the family.

  • aaron

    vizio is an assembler of tv’s. they do not manufacture panels. the panels they use are rejects from first tier companies (sharp,sony samsung,panasonic etc)

  • John

    “While the small number of TV’s requiring repairs makes it impossible for us to comment on each brand, a few LCD brands stood out for ease of repair, Sony, Hitachi and Vizio(a newer brand with a number of sets that have done well in our ratings) had few problems associated with repair”

    source Consumer Report’s Electronics Buying Guide Spring 2009.

    note Sanyo and Sony scored the best in the amount of fewest repairs score of 1 and 2% respectively Toshiba, Vizio and Samsung scored the same at 3% and Polaroid and Mitsubishi scored the worse in repair history coming in at 6 and 7%.

  • Bdubs

    It was hard to read this thread, in fact I stopped only part way down. Who knows what I missed but If anyone reads all the way down; heres my 1/2 pennies worth.

    First, i’ve been a frugal shopper/car buying\TV buying/lifestyle living person/ instilled in me as a young-in’ and I’ve watched as people in the US have gone crazy spending money they don’t have on things they should do without.

    It’s hard to watch the @$$#oles on lifestyles of the rich and (crook-ed’) I mean famous or MTV Cribbs and not feel like somehow your life hasn’t amounted to as much b/c you don’t have those things….BULL S#1T!

    People aren’t saving up, setting aside for big item purchases they hope to have for 10+ years of service. This complete shift in paradigm from what it was for most of the last century has caused a fundamental change in the way we get an receive our products. “Legal” competition is good to a point it prevents monopolies (Microsoft) and stops companies (those that don’t form a cabal to price fix) from gouging customers.

    However, we in our race to have it all now and put on credit have often taken home items that are not of the same quality of other brands simply b/c they cost less (others have a Flat Panel TV…I want one…I’ll buy the Wal-mart special save some money….).
    I’m not saying everyone should be buying the ultra-outrageously-priced-items here I mean the good quality panels, transiter material, capacitors, fluorescent tubes (soon to be LED – come on manufacturers GO GREEN ALREADY) at a reasonable mid range price; manufacturers that make these quality TV’s are feeling pinched and hard by the lesser quality brands.

    The end result is that they too then go for cost cutting themselves…again SOME of that is good…but too much and we lose quality and the products don’t last as long or perform as well.

    I had the pleasure of buying my 92 year old grandmother still mobile like a cat a well known LCD TV last year (spare the brand b/c it’s not relevant they all have bad panels or customers have irratic unclean power etc…) and then I had the pleasure of dealing with the customer service, which from start to finish, took more than 2 months to fix my grandmother’s TV. They sent someone out within a few days and they made the most common diagnosis: bad mainboard so they sent away for the new one, we waited and called and called and called but this new TV that they were still selling in the stores took them 1/6th of a year to get the part sent.

    SO, my suggestion to all is to SAVE UP for a decent quality TV first (use that time to research TV — Find when each company comes out with it’s new models as you will see some of there best deals in the months prior – it happens every year at some point for all TV companies most~but not all~usually around the CES show in the spring).

    And then when you could buy it with your savings, use a credit card (one that doesnt’ cost you anything if you pay the balance each month – and pay it off immediately) and one that offers you a warranty doubling up to one year (AMEX, VISA) == mine as some Visa’s do offers a VERY affordable extended warranty. 5 years for my TV was $99; 3 years was $66.

  • fre

    i know perfectly well how service centers work. I work at one who does work for these companies. I dont think you are getting my point, so Ill just let it go.

  • John

    Actually AmTran which is part of Vizio makes their sets. What you are doing is mixing up your perception and assumptions and taking them as facts. and Vizio uses ITI for their repair services and Samsung, Sony etc have very very few of their actual repair centers, very few. They contract out to your local Tv repair serice center. If you think Samsung, Panasonic etc have their own service centers on every city and village block then again you are kidding yourself. Over 90 percet of their repair centers are contracted out to local service centers.

    Opinons do equal facts

  • fre

    “You are seriously fooling yourself if you think fixing a Sony or Samsung out of Warranty having to shell out for both parts and labors is going to be cheap.”

    I never said cheap, I said economically viable. Samsung, Sony, and Panasonic ALL provide training to their authorized service centers to help make those repairs viable, and support their products with parts and good schematics(ok samsungs arent the best schematics) while vizio contracts out to onforce to a bunch of untrained(not all) technicians who just swap what they are told. You’ll rarely get component(AKA CHEAPER!~) repair on a vizio, unless the tech you take it to is good and knows their sets through other manufacturers, or gets lucky with some bulged caps or maybe a bad fuse.

    If you still want to argue, lets take a lower tier company funai who make brands like emerson and sylvania. They are cheaper sets, maybe 300-400 for a little 32 in set. How do you get that repair viably? Well, funai makes their own sets and provide SCHEMATICS on those sets. So when that set breaks, I can tshoot it down the component level, say a capacitor or transistor, and get the customer a viable repair. 5-10 bucks in parts and 100 labor would be worth fixing.

    Vizio, doesnt make their own sets, so they dont have this info for repairs, so you are stuck with replacing that 600 dollar board, or that NLA dvd mechanism.

    So which is better, sylvanias which are repairable or vizio where you go buy a new one all the time when it breaks?

  • John

    and also if you keep reading in Panasonic’s warranty it states the repairs may have to go back to the shop. So wouldn’t that fit into the “Generally” category?

  • John

    To HD Guru – This type of service you are claiming Panasonic has is not offered everywhere in the United States. Panasonic does not have their repair service shops on every street corner in America. They do what every other company does that have in home warranty service, contract out to TV repair shops througout the country. In most cases that same repair company is also licensed to service Vizio, Sony, Samsung etc.
    And a loaner set will be mailed to you in these areas.
    So to imply that a Panasonic TV Repair Vans are all over the country is again very misleading, this is just not the case.

  • John

    You are seriously fooling yourself if you think fixing a Sony or Samsung out of Warranty having to shell out for both parts and labors is going to be cheap.

    Ok I hope you don’t have to find out the reality of it. Because it’s not sorry.

    If the main board has to be replaced in a Sony you are looking at about $600 +. Most people will just go out and buy a new one. That’s the fact.

    And another thing about his Blog when comparing Vizio’s Warranty to Panansonics, which say’s the exact same thing just different verbage, is Panasonics said it will only do in home service for set’s 37 inches and up. So if you have a 32 are you SOL? This blog is so biased it’s laughable.

  • fre

    “Bottom line whether you own and Element or a Sony, if your set breaks down out of Warranty, you have a Toxic TV because in most cases it will cost more to have it fixed or close to the cost of a new set..”

    This is absolutely wrong. There are a lot of shops out there that can make very economical repairs on sets. Its this kind of attitude that fill landfills and sparks poorer quality.

    HDGURU isnt implying that tier 1 tvs are covered forever, but that their support system is far beyond what vizio(although admittedly they have improved some) and other lower tier brands offer. These companies basically fire and forget products onto our market, and a lot of people do not realize what they are getting into when buying these products. Yes, they should know because of the price, but thats a whole different argument.

    You resign yourself to poor quality and to just go buy the next set, instead of making the manufacturer responsible for making a good product when you purchase these lower tier brands with no support.

  • Dennis

    Over the past 20 years, I’ve owned 2 top of the line Sony XBR tube TVs. Both are still operating, and in use, and have never needed repair. Yes, I paid more for these then I could have, but the investment sure has paid off.

    I have been enticed to go to an LCD TV by all of the ads for these toxic brands, but have held off, knowing that they will never match the reliability and value that a brand like Sony will offer. My wife said that we could get one when the Sony dies, and we both had a laugh!

    I doubt that anyone who read this article would think that any manufacturer will cover Out Of Warranty repairs. Name any industry that does that!

    But, if my Sony TV needs an out of warranty repair, it will probably be worth it. If a toxic brand needs an out of warranty repair, it will never be worth it for 2 reasons: Repair cost versus Replacement price, and availability of parts & service. Good luck finding someone to repair a toxic brand, be able to get the parts, and not charge you the same price as what a new toxic TV would cost.

    As was mentioned earlier, you get what you pay for, and these toxic brands should be looked at for what they are – disposible.

  • John

    So if your Sony was out of Warranty and needed a board level repair, Do you honestly think Sony is picking up that tab? And do you think it’s going to be any cheaper than a Vizio? And so if your Sony or Samsung is out of Warrranty and needs board level repair what makes you think that’ll it will be cheap and not expensive.

    This why these blogs are toxic, it leadd too many people who read these that their “Tier I” set, by Samsung or Sony is somehow going to cover your cost for Out of Warranty, No, HD Guru did not say that but this is what is implying.

    Bottom line whether you own and Element or a Sony, if your set breaks down out of Warranty, you have a Toxic TV because in most cases it will cost more to have it fixed or close to the cost of a new set..
    HD guru leaves this part out and it’s very very misleading.

  • fre

    Yes, for complete boards. You dont understand my statement. TV for a LONG time has been component level. Not board swap. Boards become obsolete very very quickly, which individual components do not.

    Vizio provides little to no schematic for tshooting of their sets, which makes component level repair much more difficult than it needs to be.

    Board level repair= expensive and not worth it.
    Component= better for all

  • John

    To Fre On their Warranty Policy it lists the names of it’s national Parts contacts and it’s national service centers. Don’t know where you got your information from.

  • fre

    have you seen a vizio service manual? its useless. no info at all.

    Down the road when boards arent available and you have to go component, who do you think will be there to help. i guarantee not vizio.

  • bertman64

    Any thoughts on WESTINGHOUSE tv’s? Ecost.com has many that are recertified but I’m not sure they are worth it!

  • John

    Oh and to Dave Pace who said Vizo quietly exited the Plasma Market, Hello it was all over C-Net and other’s that day. And who is that other MAJOR Tier 1 that has exited the Plasma Market umm let me think, Oh Yeah PIONEER. and Sony and Sharp stop making them years ago.!! Geeesh!!!!

  • John

    And again, what do you think it will cost to fix a Sony or a Samsung out of warranty. That part is left out. And these types of artilces are falsly misleading consumers to think that these Tier 1 Mnf. the Sony’s the Samsung’s are going to pay for your Out of Warranty Service. Well you would be wrong. You are on your own. Sony is not picking up the tab and the cost to fix them would be almost the same cost as new as well. These artilces are Toxic because they are misleading consumers.

  • John

    LOL this is just getting better and better with HDGuru and Vizio. Did anyone else notice with his side by side comparision with Panasonics. He critizes Vizio for using the word “Generally” but says nothing that Panasonic uses the wording “Where applicable”. IT’S THE SAME THING!!!!!!!! This is out of control. They all have similliar wordings. This is in the event that if someone calls up with a problem, the first rule is to see if it can be fixed over the phone. They aren’t going to send out a tech if a customer calls to complain they are seeing Black bars on the side while watching an SD program.

    As the other poster said he just hates this company. Their Warranty Policy is spot on the same as the other Big Boys.

    What is it with this guy and this company. Too many good Prof. and user reviews? I do believe Home Theater Magazine hailed Vizio for it’s Warranty Policy.

    Not the same as I read it. “Applicable” on Panasonic’s warranty applies to sets that have “in home”  service, as opposed to the smaller screen sizes that don’t.

    “Generally” as written by Vizio means to me they will not always provide  “in home service” on sets that are covered by an “in home” warranty.

    Panasonic also offers free “Concierge” warranty service on its flat panel HDTVs with in home warranty service. Panasonic  brings a van loaded with parts (except the LCD or plasma panels ) and fixes your TV on site during the visit. If your panel is defective, they carry a loaner flat panel HDTV in the van for you to use until they replace the panel.

    HD Guru

  • Kerry

    All I have to say on this is YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY for. Why do they make expensive cars when they all will get you to work? For all of you out there who think cheap no name products are equal to those that are not so cheap you must be trying to sell yourself on why you buy at discount houses.Also remember what drives up prices is advertising and those big companies support lots of great events but I guess that’s no reason to support them either? Let’s face it you won’t pay for service or quaility, that’s why you buy where you buy. So don’t complain when you are out of work. Or better yet when you replace your cheap TV much sooner than a good one. But what ever you want to look at it’s in your trailer…. Not my house! So each to his own.

  • Dave Pace

    Chad wrote:
    “HDGuru is a Vizio hater… Can you do your research about Vizio, or stop talking about it?”

    Chad he did the research and posted the facts. Corners are being cut everywhere by the off-brand companies. With the price difference so small by bother?

    From your post I found it costs about $120 year for the extended warranty at Vizo. Here is the qualifier which dumps the large shipping costs onto the buyer, even if they purchased an extended warranty.
    Onsite Service is included for ** MOST ** TVs!

    Further Vizio quietly stopped selling plasma TVs overnight so there is no replacement.

    I’m waiting for surprises with the 55″ local-dimming LCD (with cheesy speakers) in June for $2,000 MSRP. We shall see if this is a “bargain tier” as you claim.

    Here research shows Vizio offers HDMI cables at full retail prices, certainly not “bargain tier”:
    http://www.vizio.com/accessoryDetails.aspx?id=1444

  • Dave Pace

    Vizio has HDMI cables for sale at Best Buy at Monster Cable prices. The quality, reliability and performance are not just there. Someone needed to bring them back down to earth. Thanks!

  • BD

    Hey guy ,

    Do you think that crap product can get to Costco ?

    Based on the fact at Costco, they have the whole team to deal with manufacturers to make any product to Costco members
    1.Lowest price as possible
    2.Best quality

    In Feb 2009 , the VIZIO VS420LF1A 1080P LCD, the special edition for Costco member only cost $599 with 90 days unconditional return and 2 year warranty
    This product was quickly vaporized and Costco member asking for massive rainchecks

  • JD the Tech who does this all day and everyday

    OK guy’s, I hear you beating the same point Viso and the other Crap out there, how can you put them together. Well easy. The Good TV companies are not good just because of the TV but because of the overall service offered by the company and how they deal with their products. Visio is a crap company who will not make it easy to deal with your broken TV, If it is out of warranty the chance of having it serviced at a decent price is nil. BUT…. A Sony or Samsung will always get taken care of as there are service centers all over the place and parts are readily available!!

    You all should stop buying that crap. I got my Samsung PN-42A400 for $649 with a mail in rebate of $50 which I got two weeks after buying the TV. So for $600 I got a 42″ Samsung Plasma!! Are you telling me you would rather buy a 32″ Visio for $50 less at Costco?? Get a clue; it is not worth buying that off brand crap, if you do, good luck. You just might get lucky but likely you will be sorry in the end!!

    JD

  • Evans

    Yes, I understand. There are some very good points being made here. But again, do you really think it makes sense to put Vizio into the same group as brands like Apex, AOC or Corian?

  • fre

    vizio has no real national service, except onforce, which calls are routed through at very little pay/profit. 65 dollars minus fees for onforce listing and a guy is supposed to make a living. Good luck getting that tv repaired by the local pizza delivery guy, and then hope it stays that way.

    ask any tv tech, who would they rather work on, panasonic, or vizio, i bet it would be 99 percent panasonic. And by certain repairs, you wont normally change a panel in a customers home. its just not logical, so the set may be shopped.

    And if you have a panasonic or a sharp and there will be a delay in your repair, who gives you a free loaner at your local repair shop. I guarantee it isnt vizio. Does vizio overnight parts to their repairs like samsung? Howabout traveling to all their local service centers to do hands on training for repair on their units like LG? Vizio doesnt do that either.

  • Beau Corrigan

    So.. VIZIO says ‘generally will be completed’ and Panasonic says ‘It is possible that certain on-site repairs will not be completed on-site’ and you see a vast difference between the two statements?

    OK… I don’t really but whatever…

  • Evans

    Chad, thanks for the link, but I do know about Vizio’s warranty – it’s pretty good. I was just trying to be non-argumentative. Also, there are a number of sources, including one I trust to be very credible (Ultimate AV) that speak pretty highly of Vizio, at least for the money. I however don’t think it makes sense to lump them into the same group as brands like Apex, AOC or Corian.

  • Binh Dao

    I prefer 2 year warantty from Costco for any name

  • Alan

    The little “no names” are not the only ones using that policy/excuse. We bought an RCA 32″ LCD TV from Wally World and 6 months later it just up and died. Contacted RCA, submitted proof of purchase, RCA informed us, the defect was out of warranty and would cost $137, plus shipping to fix, BTW it cost $75+ to ship from a UPS store GROUND, it’s an LCD TV, but that’s a whole other story.

  • William

    What about the new line of Vizios coming out in June, the new LED backlit 55 inch TV will be $2,000. A comparable TV from Samsung, the LN52A7000, is $3500. From what I read about the previews of both sets, there was little difference, except I dunno about $1500 or another 40″ LCD TV!!!

  • Ray Palagy

    Have a Dynex 32″ but made sure to get the extended warranty from Best Buy. Picture is not great (blacks could be better) but is adaquate for the bedroom. Zero problems yet but I too decided that $100 of extra warranty was way cheaper than a Samsung that was double the price of this unit. If the difference was even $100-200 I would have gone for a brand name but not when it’s double the price!

  • Andros

    What about Olevia? What are they considered? I think they have a 1 year warranty standard if I read the box right.

  • Eddie

    Extended service contracts are as good as the service contract provider. Some credit cards offer extended warranties.

    No mention of Vizio? They offer extended warranty plans for $150.00 for 3 years, depending upon model.

    This article could be about any non-brand household item what-so-ever! :(

  • truthstater

    ummmmm. I plugged it in. But it doesn’t work. So I guess I’ll just keep WATCHING BOTH of my Vizio’s instead.

    Thanks though!

  • illegalprelude

    uummm. Yea, anybody who thinks Vizio makes good TV’s should go plug in a VHS player and enjoy their tapes.

  • Ezra

    Wow, you lump Vizio in with all the rest but you don’t say what their warranty is. Why? Cause it’s pretty good and doesn’t really make your point. Also, you don’t make mention of the relativity small percentage of problems associated with LCD/Plasma TVs vs CRT. In some ways, Vizio, is attempting to become mainstream and cares more about their name than Sony and other so-called name brand companies who rest on their laurels.

  • Mark

    There are plenty of major manufactures that have large support networks in place and still somehow manage to infuriate customers.

  • TerryS

    Have a 27″ Dynex (both it and Insignia are Best Buy brands) and it’s a nice bedroom TV.

    While the warranty is only a few months a service contract is available at a reasonable price (certainly less than the price difference between them and $$ models) that allows for in-store exchange/repair/etc., depending on the elapsed time.

    HDGuru needs to get out more.

  • Chad

    HDGuru is a Vizio hater. Vizio is mainstream now.. It’s not off-brand, but it’s in the bargain tier. Can you do your research about Vizio, or stop talking about it?

    https://crm.admin.waca.com/WaCA/WarrantyCenter/registration/secure/Vizio/ESCLookup.jsp

  • Evans

    How about Vizio? Do they not have a warranty comparable to Sony, Samsung, etc.?

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