What is the real Lifespan (before failure) of modern flatpanels? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 03-10-2012, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys,

I am considering a big 65" Plasma as an alternative to a projector again, due to limitation when it comes to give the projector adequate throw in order to project at 92" image.

But following sporadic news stories about flat TV's failing "after a few years" has me worried about having to re-invest in a TV after say 2-years when the warranty expires.

If I bought say the new 64" or 65" from Samsung or Panasonic, just to have it fail few years after, requiring replacement, is a very pain full thought.


What is the current opinion of a realistic lifespan before-failure for a modern flat tv in the upper end??


Is is true that it has become shorter of the last 5 years, because of cost cutting???
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post #2 of 33 Old 03-10-2012, 01:08 PM
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You should expect a minimum of 5 years without any repairs. Samsung had a capacitor problem that Samsung has acknowledged and is fixing for owners with that particular problem.
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post #3 of 33 Old 03-12-2012, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

You should expect a minimum of 5 years without any repairs. Samsung had a capacitor problem that Samsung has acknowledged and is fixing for owners with that particular problem.

I have a Panasonic that is 5 years old and going strong. But a friend bought a Panny in May 2010, and it died in September 2010. After well over a month of no parts available Panny refunded his money and he got another Panny in November of 2010. Last night it let out a loud POP with a flash of sparks out the back and won't work now. Needless to say he is not impressed. According to Consumer Reports reader survey flat panels have been pretty reliable products overall, at least for teh first few years. Longer term data is really not available.
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post #4 of 33 Old 03-12-2012, 07:18 AM
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The average MTBF is 4 years accordng to consumer reports. The failure rate is about 2-5%. Of course, the mean time between failure doesn't apply to a set you bought yesterday, so there is no way of knowing how long today's product will actually last. However, I will say that it costs about the same to make a crap circuit board as it does to make a good one, so assuming quality control remains the same, a set you buy today should last about the same 4 years.

You always hear the horror stories about sets failing, but you rarely hear about the overwhelming number of sets that do not. Afterall, posting "my set still works, kthxby:, isn't all that interesting...
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post #5 of 33 Old 03-12-2012, 08:28 AM
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At home I have a late-2005 Panasonic 50" plasma that gets used daily and often and has yet to have any noticeable picture quality reduction or any other technical failures.

I have a spring 2009 Samsung 63" plasma that similarly has had zero issues and the PQ is awesome.

At work we have a ton of flat screens, some of which have been in service since 2002 (and on all day usually) and are still going strong. None of them have technically failed in fact. A few of the LCD's (yes, the LCD's and not the plasmas) have some burn-in images but none have stopped working or become so dark as to be a problem.
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post #6 of 33 Old 03-12-2012, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Webmonkey View Post

Hi guys, I am considering a big 65" Plasma as an alternative to a projector again, due to limitation when it comes to give the projector adequate throw in order to project at 92" image.

But following sporadic news stories about flat TV's failing "after a few years" has me worried about having to re-invest in a TV after say 2-years when the warranty expires.

If I bought say the new 64" or 65" from Samsung or Panasonic, just to have it fail few years after, requiring replacement, is a very pain full thought.
What is the current opinion of a realistic lifespan before-failure for a modern flat tv in the upper end?? Is is true that it has become shorter of the last 5 years, because of cost cutting???

Ideally any electronic item should last for dozens of years, but we all know that electronic things can eventually fail early whether it's a TV or a clock radio or a dimmer or cell phone. Does this mean we should decide to not buy a TV or clock radio or dimmer or cell phone? No. I have had several electronic items fail earlier than expected going back as far as the early 70's, but i also have several electronic items that are still functioning perfectly after several and even dozens of years of daily use. I had a small RCA color TV in the early 70's fizzle out a year after buying it, i've had a top-of-the-line Sony stereo receiver smoke it's IC output after two years in the late 70's and there were no repair parts available. I had several cordless house phones go bad after a year or two. None of these premature failures kept me from buying replacements.

A Plasma TV is one of the more reliable electronic devices you can buy, but like any modern electronic device there is a small failure rate (roughly 2-4% on Plasmas according to CR). In my industry we have about a 5% failure rate of electronic items. Modern electronic components are designed to be just barely good enough and yes sometimes there is a failure. But this fact doesn't stop people from buying new electronic items and it should not be a factor in choosing to buy or not buy a new TV.

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post #7 of 33 Old 03-12-2012, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post

Ideally any electronic item should last for dozens of years, but we all know that electronic things can eventually fail early whether it's a TV or a clock radio or a dimmer or cell phone. Does this mean we should decide to not buy a TV or clock radio or dimmer or cell phone? No. I have had several electronic items fail earlier than expected going back as far as the early 70's, but i also have several electronic items that are still functioning perfectly after several and even dozens of years of daily use. I had a small RCA color TV in the early 70's fizzle out a year after buying it, i've had a top-of-the-line Sony stereo receiver smoke it's IC output after two years in the late 70's and there were no repair parts available. I had several cordless house phones go bad after a year or two. None of these premature failures kept me from buying replacements.

A Plasma TV is one of the more reliable electronic devices you can buy, but like any modern electronic device there is a small failure rate (roughly 2-4% on Plasmas according to CR). In my industry we have about a 5% failure rate of electronic items. Modern electronic components are designed to be just barely good enough and yes sometimes there is a failure. But this fact doesn't stop people from buying new electronic items and it should not be a factor in choosing to buy or not buy a new TV.

What do I tell my buddy after 2 Pannys have croaked on him..and I am the one that told him Panny was good. He is PISSED at this point and I can't blame him. I know the failure rate is pretty low on these..weird that he got one that lasted 4 months or so and the next one barely past a year. He called Panny today and first them told him tough luck, but then he went off about being a 'loyal customer' and they assigned a case number. Somebody is supposed to call him back. After this track record they need to make things right. If they don't I won't be suggesting my friends buy Pannys anymore.
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post #8 of 33 Old 03-12-2012, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanBuck View Post

What do I tell my buddy after 2 Pannys have croaked on him..and I am the one that told him Panny was good.

You tell him the same thing i told my friends several years ago when i was always recommending Sony products when they failed early - you must just have bad luck

I must have good luck - i have about a dozen Panasonic items (including 3 Plasmas) that i've bought over the years and not a single one has failed, but i know full well that any of them could suddenly fail at any time and i accept this eventuality. When that time comes, i'll replace it with another Panasonic. When i was a hardcore Sony-only consumer i had similarly bad luck.


Quote:


He is PISSED at this point and I can't blame him. I know the failure rate is pretty low on these..weird that he got one that lasted 4 months or so and the next one barely past a year.

I don't blame him for being pissed - i had horrible luck with Sony products with several failures in and out of warranty and i did eventually abandon the brand completely several years ago and replaced every Sony item that failed with a Panasonic or JVC.


Quote:


He called Panny today and first them told him tough luck, but then he went off about being a 'loyal customer' and they assigned a case number. Somebody is supposed to call him back. After this track record they need to make things right. If they don't I won't be suggesting my friends buy Pannys anymore.

I was lucky that i was able to switch from an unreliable brand (Sony) to a more reliable brand (Panasonic), but in your friends case any other brand he switches to will statistically have a slightly higher chance of failure. Panasonic is the most reliable brand, but even they aren't immune to developing a defect.

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post #9 of 33 Old 03-12-2012, 06:48 PM
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I have a Panny 42px75 from 2007 that is still going strong, survived a major power surge and a house fire (same day, only a few pieces of electronics survived that surge and the following drenching, a PS3 60gig was the only other item that made it intact (my Panny blu-ray player that lived is now a DVD player as it won't read blu-ray discs at all)

The set has a major buzz now and I fear it will fail at any time but it has impressed me with the abuse that it has suffered over the years. (haven't tried to erase the IR the set has from years of cable news) and it has been almost 1 year since the fire and I am most impressed with it.

My melted Samsung plasma is still the closest I have gotten to burn-in on a Plasma.

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post #10 of 33 Old 03-12-2012, 07:10 PM
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Well I have a basic sony lcd that is five years old and going strong. And a samsung flagship plasma that barely made it over its second birthday and needs a panel replacement.... Seems like a lottery to me.
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post #11 of 33 Old 03-13-2012, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post

You tell him the same thing i told my friends several years ago when i was always recommending Sony products when they failed early - you must just have bad luck

I must have good luck - i have about a dozen Panasonic items (including 3 Plasmas) that i've bought over the years and not a single one has failed, but i know full well that any of them could suddenly fail at any time and i accept this eventuality. When that time comes, i'll replace it with another Panasonic. When i was a hardcore Sony-only consumer i had similarly bad luck.


I don't blame him for being pissed - i had horrible luck with Sony products with several failures in and out of warranty and i did eventually abandon the brand completely several years ago and replaced every Sony item that failed with a Panasonic or JVC.


I was lucky that i was able to switch from an unreliable brand (Sony) to a more reliable brand (Panasonic), but in your friends case any other brand he switches to will statistically have a slightly higher chance of failure. Panasonic is the most reliable brand, but even they aren't immune to developing a defect.

Good points. Maybe the best plan is to not suggest a certain brand to friends..lol
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post #12 of 33 Old 03-13-2012, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaTaSTrOphiK View Post

Well I have a basic sony lcd that is five years old and going strong. And a samsung flagship plasma that barely made it over its second birthday and needs a panel replacement.... Seems like a lottery to me.

Only because you are using worthless statistics, your own anecdotal info.

Tony
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post #13 of 33 Old 03-13-2012, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adone36 View Post

Only because you are using worthless statistics, your own anecdotal info.

?? This entire thread is based on worthless data. Everybody's personal experience with various panels. The OP started this with his " news stories".

Worthless discussion since is just a complaint thread.

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post #14 of 33 Old 03-13-2012, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by adone36 View Post

Only because you are using worthless statistics, your own anecdotal info.

One anecdote is not especially interesting. It's like conducting a presidential poll, having your friend tell you he's voting for Mitt Romney, and concluding Mitt Romney will be elected (no politics here, guys, insert Obama, Santorum, Paul, Gingrich.... whomever you like).

Many anecdotes, however, constitute data. Data is interesting.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working.
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post #15 of 33 Old 03-14-2012, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by AlanBuck View Post

Good points. Maybe the best plan is to not suggest a certain brand to friends..lol

Well no, if i feel that a particular brand and/or model is a good fit for my friend/relative/neighbor/co-worker etc that is less knowledgeable than myself then i'll give my recommendations, but i always tell them about inspecting the TV upon delivery and i also tell them that like any other modern electronic device there is always a chance that the TV will fail during or after the warranty.

I always recommend using a good credit card that adds one year to the warranty, otherwise i recommend that they buy a Mack or Square Trade warranty if they're really worried about a future failure. At my job i have customers return defective electronic items all the time (dimmers, ballasts, TVSS, GFCIs, circuit breakers, lighting contactors, $800 lighting timers etc) so i accept the fact that electronic devices can and do fail a lot. When people say they're not going to buy a TV that is going to just blow up, then i tell them to not buy a TV at all because even the best brands have a certain failure rate. We HAVE to accept this cold hard fact.

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post #16 of 33 Old 03-14-2012, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post

One anecdote is not especially interesting. It's like conducting a presidential poll, having your friend tell you he's voting for Mitt Romney, and concluding Mitt Romney will be elected (no politics here, guys, insert Obama, Santorum, Paul, Gingrich.... whomever you like).

Many anecdotes, however, constitute data. Data is interesting.

Accumulating worthless data gives worthless results. It's just like during elections when your friend tells you that in an AOL poll of High School dropouts, Kanye West will be elected president in a landslide. You check Gallup and it says Obama. Gallup will be right within TENTHS of the actual result.

Tony
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post #17 of 33 Old 03-14-2012, 02:43 PM
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Well my pioneer 433cmx plasma is 9 years old and is still as good as day i bought it.

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post #18 of 33 Old 03-14-2012, 02:58 PM
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well one thing that has been statistically and scientifically speaking is that all sony sxrd sets will eventually suffer ob failure requiring a very expensive repair. if you haven't accepted a sony offered replacement set yet it may be too late.

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post #19 of 33 Old 03-14-2012, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanBuck View Post

Good points. Maybe the best plan is to not suggest a certain brand to friends..lol

Hmmm, Vizio comes to mind
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post #20 of 33 Old 03-14-2012, 07:51 PM
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My 2 Philips 9631's from late-2006 are going on 6 years....the 42" has about 8,000 hours and the 50" has about 10,000 hours. Aside from replacing 2 blown capacitors on each panel that cost $5.00 per TV to replace, they've been a joy !!
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post #21 of 33 Old 03-14-2012, 08:30 PM
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32" Viewsonic (yes, viewsonic) 720p LCD from mid-2006 - Still works, although it doesn't respond to remote commands until after a few minutes of being on and even then it barely responds. The OTA digital tuner also no longer works. Channel menu is greyed out on tuner input even with antenna plugged it.

my dad's Philips 42PFL7422D LCD purchased in late 2007: works but has a weird black smudge/line right through the middle of the panel, really distracting and visible with all content.

My 46" Sharp LED-LCD purchased in Feb. 2010 - pretty sure it takes longer to turn on now than it did when it was new, but aside from that it's fine.

Panasonic 50" G20 plasma purchased Apr. 2010 - still going strong, knock on wood.

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post #22 of 33 Old 03-15-2012, 07:42 AM
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I would like to add my 2 cents to this discussion that doesn't involve a run down of every perfect and problematic display I've ever owned. I've had sets that have given me years of reliable service and others that have been replaced/repaired multiple times-- but one thing that I've been able to identify as a root cause to early electronic failure is power.

I'm an apartment dweller in a suburban town in the USA that, like most towns in the US, has an infrastructure that was never designed for the stresses of the population that now inhabit it. Power conditioning and protection is the single most important lesson I've learned to keeping my electronics running for years and years. It's almost funny as I've owned duplicate items that will be plugged into seperate areas of the home and one will experience failure while plugged into a 'surge suppressor' while the one plugged into a power conditioner just keeps going and going. I could offer more anecdotal evidence of items I'm convinced fell prey to power issues but I'll save you all by simply stating that I believe poor electricity is one of the silent killers of electronics.

This is, unfortunately, one of those discussions that ends the way most arguments about cabling/connections ends: one side firmly on the side of "it's worth the cost" and the other on the side of "it's snake oil". Just like that argument the truth lies somewhere in-between. I can't prove to you that my APC power conditioner has saved my HT and I can't even prove that my last dead flat panel was killed by my use of an inferior power strip. But I have yet to experience a failure while my equipment is properly protected that wasn't the fault of my own negligence.

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post #23 of 33 Old 03-15-2012, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adone36 View Post

Accumulating worthless data gives worthless results. It's just like during elections when your friend tells you that in an AOL poll of High School dropouts, Kanye West will be elected president in a landslide. You check Gallup and it says Obama. Gallup will be right within TENTHS of the actual result.

This thread is not accumulating worthless data, however. Which is really the point.

That Gallup poll will include probably most of the following:

* a high-school dropout
* a drug addict
* an alcoholic
* someone who has abused their spouse
* someone who finds kids a little too attractive
* a racist
* a socialist
* the child of a hippie
* someone suffering from early-stage dementia

etc. etc.

So long as they are likely voters, properly sampled from the population, the poll will be closer to a perfect predictor.

This thread of the actual experiences of TV owners is a lot closer to the Gallup poll (there is horrible sampling bias), than to the high school dropouts for 'Ye (which has far, far worse sampling bias and doesn't even pick the right population to begin with).

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working.
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post #24 of 33 Old 03-15-2012, 09:59 AM
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This "poll" is worthless simply because it is sourced from a select group, and from people within that group that have an axe to grind. If you have a "vote" in a post about flat panel failures, your result will be totally different than one in a "check here if you never had a problem" post.

Scientific polls are compiled across large spectrums of the population, even people who don't even OWN a tv. Pollsters choose segments of the population that all together mimic the nation as a whole and word their questionnaires in such a way that the same questions are asked multiple times.

Tony
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post #25 of 33 Old 03-15-2012, 11:21 AM
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On this particular topic of reliability of HDTVs, I think the best source of information is the publication Consumer Reports. It tracks a statisticly significant sample from a mixed group of consumers. Unfortunately, the furthest they take the data is to the manufacturer. It would be nice if they drilled down by panel technology type and screen size, but they don't, nor is there enough data to do that in a statisticly significant manner.

As with all manufactured appliances, the consumer reports HDTV information is a good indication of the relability of sets manufactured 2-4 years ago. That is the best you can do, there is no way to tell the relative reliability of current production sets. Furthermore, with the almost universal practice of contract manufacturing, there is no guarantee that the actual manufacturer of the set you buy is the one that particular logo'd brand name used 2-4 years ago.

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post #26 of 33 Old 03-15-2012, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary McCoy View Post

On this particular topic of reliability of HDTVs, I think the best source of information is the publication Consumer Reports. It tracks a statisticly significant sample from a mixed group of consumers. Unfortunately, the furthest they take the data is to the manufacturer. It would be nice if they drilled down by panel technology type and screen size, but they don't, nor is there enough data to do that in a statisticly significant manner.

As with all manufactured appliances, the consumer reports HDTV information is a good indication of the relability of sets manufactured 2-4 years ago. That is the best you can do, there is no way to tell the relative reliability of current production sets. Furthermore, with the almost universal practice of contract manufacturing, there is no guarantee that the actual manufacturer of the set you buy is the one that particular logo'd brand name used 2-4 years ago.


yep the problem with consumer reports is that they evaluate models that are at 1-3 years old, not the models that are currently on the market. so it is of limited use.

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post #27 of 33 Old 03-15-2012, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by adone36 View Post

This "poll" is worthless simply because it is sourced from a select group, and from people within that group that have an axe to grind. If you have a "vote" in a post about flat panel failures, your result will be totally different than one in a "check here if you never had a problem" post.

Scientific polls are compiled across large spectrums of the population, even people who don't even OWN a tv. Pollsters choose segments of the population that all together mimic the nation as a whole and word their questionnaires in such a way that the same questions are asked multiple times.

I know how to run a poll. thanks.

I didn't say the results of a poll here would be scientifically valid; I've already addressed selection bias.

But the notion this is "worthless data" is patently absurd.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working.
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post #28 of 33 Old 03-16-2012, 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mr. wally View Post

yep the problem with consumer reports is that they evaluate models that are at 1-3 years old, not the models that are currently on the market. so it is of limited use.

Yes, but there is NO WAY to evaluate current production for reliability, only for other parameters such as initial quality. You have to wait long enough and count enough flaws to get a good reliability measure.

Anything else is anecdotal and of no use whatsoever.

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post #29 of 33 Old 03-16-2012, 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by sage11x View Post

I would like to add my 2 cents to this discussion that doesn't involve a run down of every perfect and problematic display I've ever owned. I've had sets that have given me years of reliable service and others that have been replaced/repaired multiple times-- but one thing that I've been able to identify as a root cause to early electronic failure is power.

I'm an apartment dweller in a suburban town in the USA that, like most towns in the US, has an infrastructure that was never designed for the stresses of the population that now inhabit it. Power conditioning and protection is the single most important lesson I've learned to keeping my electronics running for years and years. It's almost funny as I've owned duplicate items that will be plugged into seperate areas of the home and one will experience failure while plugged into a 'surge suppressor' while the one plugged into a power conditioner just keeps going and going. I could offer more anecdotal evidence of items I'm convinced fell prey to power issues but I'll save you all by simply stating that I believe poor electricity is one of the silent killers of electronics.

This is, unfortunately, one of those discussions that ends the way most arguments about cabling/connections ends: one side firmly on the side of "it's worth the cost" and the other on the side of "it's snake oil". Just like that argument the truth lies somewhere in-between. I can't prove to you that my APC power conditioner has saved my HT and I can't even prove that my last dead flat panel was killed by my use of an inferior power strip. But I have yet to experience a failure while my equipment is properly protected that wasn't the fault of my own negligence.



There is no argument, what you say is 100% true.

Power conditioners will stop any power related failures.

We had a small server in an office that was constantly needing repairs. After installing a power conditioner zero repairs.

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post #30 of 33 Old 03-22-2012, 03:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by spyboy View Post

You should expect a minimum of 5 years without any repairs. Samsung had a capacitor problem that Samsung has acknowledged and is fixing for owners with that particular problem.

The word "shoud" is what worries me.

Does Samsung and Panasonic normally fix such issues out of warranty??
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