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New TV Advise - "Cheap" vs "Name Brand"

post #1 of 69
Thread Starter 
First of all, I have done a search and found some partially similar topics, but most are years old, so I apologize if I missed any already posted info.

Here's my dilema. I currently own a 42" Sony Bravia (cannot remember model number, I am at work..its a Wal-Mart 42KDL one) and love it. Have had great luck out of it. But, I lived in an apartment with a tiny living room..so the set was HUGE in there.

We bought a house in April and the living room is very large..so I am needing to jump to a 55-60" The current Wal-mart Bravia is about 1198 (not bad actually) and I am considering that model as the previous one served me well. But my question is this....is it work the extra 300-500 for a namebrand over other cheap (China?) brands such as Element, Spectre, RCA, etc?

I was considering moving my 42" to my office and my PS3/Xbox 360 into that room, and then just purchasing a cheaper HDTV for the living room..one large enough with decent picture but without spending too much.

I've not been able to really compare a Sony/Samsung etc to an Element/Spectre etc as I can never find good comparisons in a store.

I hear the China products are not good..so while cheaper...theycould die quickly.

Any pointers, advice..any stories about brands owned that worked fine even though "value" brands.

For instance:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/RCA-55-Cla...undle/19527755

RCA and Surround (yes, not the greatest sound) for only 800..but..is the TV any good? Hard to find decent reviews.


Sorry I rambled on...lol...any advice appreciated.
post #2 of 69
I don't think you'll find many of us recommending the crap brands on this site . . .

The old lady's parents always buy the cheapo brands and they look about like you'd expect. I'm not sure my 3x prices TV is 3x better PQ, but I can certainly tell a difference.
post #3 of 69
You don't need to buy cheapo brand to save money if you can get brand name TV for pretty much the same price. For example 60" LCD LED Sharp 60LE6300 can be had under $1K and if you get creative and find a deal then under $900
post #4 of 69
Cheapo brands do have a legitimate place in the market, depending on their intended use. If the set's going into a spare guest bedroom or vacation home where it's not going to see much use nor is it going to be the main tv in the house, if it's going into a kid's room where there's a high likelihood of it being smashed by an errant Wii controller, if it's going into a college dorm room, if your old set's just died and funds are temporarily too tight to go for anything better.

You should go into such a purchase with the understanding that the set's long-term reliability is questionable at best and that it probably won't be repairable due to lack of parts availability.
post #5 of 69
I'd rather go with a prior year name brand than with a current "no brand". And by "no brand", I'm including those former U.S. brands like Westinghouse, Emerson, Polaroid and others which are nothing more than Chinese-designed sets in which the Chinese companies have licensed the old brand. I bet we soon see Chinese sets with the brand Kodak on them. The Philips sets that are sold in the U.S. are also a Chinese license.

Also note that Wal-Mart and warehouse stores like Costco, Sam's Club and BJs often get models that are designed just for them. Sometimes these models are exactly the same as an existing model and have a different model number just so consumers won't think it's the same set and complain that the price is much higher in other stores and so other retailers won't complain. But other times, the slightly different model is the same design as the regular model, but uses cheaper parts or has a bit of functionality left out.

But I think the poster above has it right: if you don't care how long it lasts and it's just a guest room or dorm room set and PQ doesn't make all that much difference, go for it.
post #6 of 69
Thread Starter 
Great info, mostly confirming what I thought. Thanks all!

This TV is for my living room, so I don't want a TV that will crap out in a year. Now, honestly, I don't watch TV a whole lot..I watch movies now and then and I watch sports..otherwise I rarely use my TV. I do play PS3/Xbox but also VERY rarely..only for bursts when a game I really want is out which is not often.

That's why I thought maybe saving a little on one of those brands..I could just move my consoles into my office and my old TV which works fine.

Spare money could be used for other things I need...but I don't know if it's worth it.

I typicall buy Sony's and I buy the Walmart one because as said, normally same as another model but cheaper. The current one is 1198 around here for a 55" so might have to go with that.

Curious though, people mentioning Sharps for under 1,000 but I can't seem to find those type prices.

Any pointers / ideas on specific models and where to look for those good prices?

For instance:
Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon7 View Post

You don't need to buy cheapo brand to save money if you can get brand name TV for pretty much the same price. For example 60" LCD LED Sharp 60LE6300 can be had under $1K and if you get creative and find a deal then under $900

When I put this model in I get prices at 1,200 and up..nothing lower, mostly higher.


Edit:
A local person sells new in open box (claims buys them in open box lots new with packaging and plastic etc on them)...it's $799, new at store 1199, so good deal. Is this model:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...RAVIA_LCD.html

Curious what experience people have with open box lot stuff....looks like it's his legit business but is a pretty decent price drop..so want to ensure getting good product.

Oh and also, my room is 16 Foot wide so not sure this TV is even big enough. View distance is probably 14 Ft...do I need a 60"?
post #7 of 69
The Sharp 60" 6300 model is a hard tv to get or even find as its discontinued. Most retail stores dont even have them anymore. Online stores may still have them but some may also increase the price cause the model wont be made anymore.

Open box can be a good deal or it could be a very bad deal. Depends on why its an open box in the first palce. Was it ever used or returned? If the seller buys the tvs with packaging and plastic, is the tv still in packaging with plastic? If not, how come?
If a box is ever opened, it is never new no matter what. Open box items are never considered new, they have been opened for a reason.

For viewing distance you could easily go 60" since you have 14ft. But a 55" would be fine.
post #8 of 69
Thread Starter 
Hey Texas, where you from? I live in Forney, TX outside Dallas. The guy selling these is out of Arlington/Dallas.

He said they are not broken and still have plastic wrap on them and are new. I tried to find out how/why then were they open boxes? But got busy and didn't get to find out. He claims to buy them in lots...but that begs me to ask..why and where would he be buying lots of open tv's??? Doesn't make sense.

Here's the ad:
http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/ele/2826820639.html
post #9 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newyears1978 View Post

Hey Texas, where you from? I live in Forney, TX outside Dallas. The guy selling these is out of Arlington/Dallas.

He said they are not broken and still have plastic wrap on them and are new. I tried to find out how/why then were they open boxes? But got busy and didn't get to find out. He claims to buy them in lots...but that begs me to ask..why and where would he be buying lots of open tv's??? Doesn't make sense.

Here's the ad:
http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/ele/2826820639.html

Im near Ft.Hood.
I personally dont deal with craigslist or ebay stuff. Although ppl do have a good experience I don't trust things that r to good to be true. Just my way. I'd be happy dealin with more reputable dealers like Amazon, Newegg, TigerDirect, Cleveland Plasma among others... He is likely some kind of dealer/distributor that get the tvs wholesale. Which is why he can sell them much cheaper or it's simply not legit.

As for the tv itself its just a BX model which is Sony's lowest lcd model but you arent trying for anything fancy. More so size and price.
post #10 of 69
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I've dealt with craigslist a bunch, never had a problem. But wasn't sure what this was about.

I've had luck with the low end Sony's before (the one I have is a low end Walmart one) and I've loved it..price is good and my biggest concern.

I have more to spend but it's not something I REALLY need only rather want..so trying to find that balance.

NOt too keen on Sony stuff anymore though..any recommendations on Sony's that are a higher model..or other brands even..but still reasonable? (This answered by looking at Sony's website..though there doesn't seem to be HUGE difference in each....my current model served me fine so the BX model is probably fine for me...now just to figure out if these "open box" ones are worth that risk)
post #11 of 69
Always try to view the tv first if at all possible, and better yet, use the remote to adjust settings to your preferences.

My impression is that there are many relatively uncritical (re)viewers, skewing reviews on the high side, so they're not always reliable. Two, hdtv, even when done poorly, will usually look amazing anyway, compared to older crt tv's.

I bought a black friday model, and literally couldn't believe the quality. I was literally stunned for days and weeks on end by the newfound levels of detail and color saturation. It's probably taken me two months of both extensive viewing AND research to pinpoint what I like as well as what I don't like, and be able to articulate it.

The bottom line is, view the tv first, and if you can't, make sure there is a reliable return or exchange process in place.
post #12 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newyears1978 View Post

Curious though, people mentioning Sharps for under 1,000 but I can't seem to find those type prices.

Any pointers / ideas on specific models and where to look for those good prices?

For instance:


When I put this model in I get prices at 1,200 and up..nothing lower, mostly higher.


60LE6300 come on sale periodically you just need to watch. Best Buy had them whole last week for $999
post #13 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon7 View Post

60LE6300 come on sale periodically you just need to watch. Best Buy had them whole last week for $999

Most BB actually did not have them as that model has already been discontinued. If you can find them get one while you can.
post #14 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newyears1978 View Post

Yeah, I've dealt with craigslist a bunch, never had a problem. But wasn't sure what this was about.

I've had luck with the low end Sony's before (the one I have is a low end Walmart one) and I've loved it..price is good and my biggest concern.

I have more to spend but it's not something I REALLY need only rather want..so trying to find that balance.

NOt too keen on Sony stuff anymore though..any recommendations on Sony's that are a higher model..or other brands even..but still reasonable? (This answered by looking at Sony's website..though there doesn't seem to be HUGE difference in each....my current model served me fine so the BX model is probably fine for me...now just to figure out if these "open box" ones are worth that risk)

Just remember an open box is NOT new, no matter what.
TVs right now r going discontiued so might need to act fast before they r all gone and the 2012s start coming in over the next few weeks.
There r still some good deals and tvs out there just depends on how much your willing to spend. I dont care for Sonys much but I do like their NX720 and up models which r their higher end models.
post #15 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by texasrattler View Post

Just remember an open box is NOT new, no matter what.
TVs right now r going discontiued so might need to act fast before they r all gone and the 2012s start coming in over the next few weeks.
There r still some good deals and tvs out there just depends on how much your willing to spend. I dont care for Sonys much but I do like their NX720 and up models which r their higher end models.

I must not be picky then, I have had my Sony KDL 40S5100 (I thought I had a 42" but only a 40") for a few years and love it. I watch BluRays and play PS3/360 and it has been perfect..plus I love the one touch features for using with my Soundbar (Bravia Sync)

I'm willing to try anything though..I just don't need something real expensive..don't use it enough. Just like a nice picture..and quality.


Quote:
Originally Posted by texasrattler View Post

Most BB actually did not have them as that model has already been discontinued. If you can find them get one while you can.

Yeah I called my Best Buy and asked about that and they said it has been discontinued awhile and their store didn't have any in a long time.

Addition:
I am reading a lot of bad stuff on newer Sony stuff...scary stuff about bad products and cheaper production..so with this being the case..is there any recommendation for another brand, but that still has some lower budget units?

I found a 55EX500 for 1198 which is a great deal since is the same price as the BX...but then I saw some negative reviews (though there were more positive then negative)
Just trying to cover all my bases..this place only has 1 left in stock.
post #16 of 69
I cant say which brands have the best deals since most of the deals have gone or r going real fast. I am not a fan of the lower end models so I simply stay away from them. Most Sonys to me have a dull PQ so if I was to ever get one, it would be a higher end model. All of my tvs are Samsungs right now.
I know Panasonic have a 60" Plasma S30 model for $999.88 but I dont know if you like plasma.
post #17 of 69
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by texasrattler View Post

I cant say which brands have the best deals since most of the deals have gone or r going real fast. I am not a fan of the lower end models so I simply stay away from them. Most Sonys to me have a dull PQ so if I was to ever get one, it would be a higher end model. All of my tvs are Samsungs right now.
I know Panasonic have a 60" Plasma S30 model for $999.88 but I dont know if you like plasma.

Something I was looking into, unfortunately I don't know anything about Plasma or LED...I've read a few sites but don't really know how much different it would be for me. Have only owned LCD's.

I mostly watch Sports, BluRay movies, and play games..though my games will probably go to my old TV in another room.

What can you tell me about Plasma vs LCD? 999 for a 60" sure sounds like a steal. (I see some really bad reviews on that TV though..of course good ones outweigh the bad..but those "defective" "poor customer service" "broke and still waiting on repair 1 month later" type ones scare me. (These are on Amazon)
post #18 of 69
I own a Samsung 63" Plasma 3D C8000 model. Plasmas can offer good PQ and have a good size to price ratio.
As for reviews and what not, I would take them with a grain of salt and decide for yourself. Any tv can become defective for any number of reasons. Sometimes you just can get a bad model, it does happen. Those r NOT typical, its just what can happen.

Plasmas will offer a better PQ over LCDs. LCDs can be brighter while Plasmas may have a duller look but the PQ will be better on Plasmas. Both technologies have their pros and cons. Its really up to you if you like one over the other.

If you really want a Sony I would say go with the 55" LED NX720 but itll run $1499.88. I personally dont use LCD as a main tv anymore as I like LED and Plasma more.
post #19 of 69
Don't underestimate the Best Buy brands. I have had positive experiences with them. If you are on a limited budget and want a TV then you could get an Insignia and be fine.
post #20 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newyears1978 View Post

Addition:
I am reading a lot of bad stuff on newer Sony stuff...scary stuff about bad products and cheaper production..so with this being the case..is there any recommendation for another brand, but that still has some lower budget units?

I found a 55EX500 for 1198 which is a great deal since is the same price as the BX...but then I saw some negative reviews (though there were more positive then negative)
Just trying to cover all my bases..this place only has 1 left in stock.

I am not sure what they are talking about. First of all you are going to get negative reviews from all TV's, including Samsungs. That is just the way it is. And I have never heard Sony Bravia TV's being cheap. Sony and Samsung are still among the best of the LCD/LED TV's. I have the NX72 46" and it is awesome.
post #21 of 69
lol ... I laugh cause the BB Insignia is crap n so is Dynex IMO. I have never seen a good store brand tv, ever. To me their quality is sub par at best. I go for quality before anything else which is why I dont mind spending more to get what I feel is a better product.
If your on a budget, I guess you could get one but there r even some name brands that you can get cheap and have better quality than BB models.
post #22 of 69
Thread Starter 
I've heard a lot of bad stuff about the store stuff. Element, Dynex, Insinia, etc..all that crap made in China.

I am in the retail business and even though I deal with Vacuum Cleaners, it's the same thing. 90% of all Vacuum Cleaners are made in China/Malaysia/Mexico..and pretty much all of them are cheaply made crap.

Anyways..my main purpose to getting the cheapest thing possible is that we are using our tax refund. We have the money aside from that anyways, it's just not one of those "must have" items as we rarely watch it. I mostly wanted one with a decent HD picture from 14-ish feet, that could replace my 40" that's way to small. Gaming is no longer an issue because I think I am moving my consoles in my office in here, along with my old Bravia 40".

So if I can shave 300-500 that's money I can spend on some games, sound equipment, or just save up for something else...

However I don't want a piece of crap either. I'd like to stay at 800-1200 range (the less the better). I will have to go in the store and check out some Plasma pictures as I don't know what they look like.

I honestly think I would be happy with the Bravia though because my last 3 TV's were all Bravias and have always enjoyed them. But that doesn't mean I'm set in stone..especially if I can get something better, cheaper. Samsung has always been my monitor brand so might be worth looking into that..but those are a bit more expensive...so....got tons to research still...blah.
post #23 of 69
I would tell you to go with what you know and r comforable with and to me that seems like Sony. Get the one you can live with. If you like the LCD then I'd say get it and get it now as they will soon be gone or harder/more expensive to get.
post #24 of 69
Nothing to add to the great advice already being posted... Just wanted to pop up from Arlington [near Parks Mall ... temporarily in Denver right now though ...] to say Hi, fellow Texan

Another TV to consider is the LG LW5600... Awesome PQ and 3D [Passive] FRY's had the 55" for $1099 recently.. Also, check out the LG LW5700 at Costco [ 20 and Matlock ]
post #25 of 69
LG is not bad. I wish they would use a better screen than matte. I don't like the dull look. LG models r starting to get discontinued also so ull have to start looking and making a decision probably soon. I like the tv they made a year or 2 ago that used a all glass screen from edge to edge. Looked really good and was expensive.
post #26 of 69
Yeah I still have the 55" LH90 from 2009 ... beautiful picture!!.. IPS Panel + Full Array + Local Dimming = Awesomeness!!

Not sure how good the LG plasmas are but here's a slick deal at BB ...
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/LG+-+60%...8624&cp=1&lp=1

And here's a Westinghouse 55" LCD @ $599
http://www.target.com/p/Westinghouse...i_sku=13585434
post #27 of 69
Great info, mostly confirming what I thought. Thanks all!


post #28 of 69
Thread Starter 
Wasn't sure about LG so glad people chimed in. Will do my research and hopefully make a purchase this weekend!
post #29 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by greg4811 View Post

Don't underestimate the Best Buy brands. I have had positive experiences with them. If you are on a limited budget and want a TV then you could get an Insignia and be fine.

I agree. I know people that have used Insignia for years with no problems. I bought one for a relative at Christmas & liked the picture so much, bought one for myself & sold my 3 year old Samsung.
post #30 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by M5Rahul View Post

Yeah I still have the 55" LH90 from 2009 ... beautiful picture!!.. IPS Panel + Full Array + Local Dimming = Awesomeness!!

Unfortunately, the LH90 seems to have been the zenith of LG's HDTV technology. When they discontinued that, there wasn't anything nearly as compelling to replace it. Too bad they are long gone. There was a LE8500 local dimming LG, but it appears to not be available (either discontinued or never produced in quantity).
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