Best Selling HDTVs

November 3, 2007

HDTV Buying Tip: Do Not Purchase An Extended Warranty

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Consumer Reports: Panasonic's 50-inch TH-50PZ700U Plasma TV Best Model Ever Tested

When you go out and buy a flat-panel TV this holiday season, here is an important tip to remember: do not buy an extended warranty! Consumer Reports released a report yesterday that found LCD and plasma TV's rarely require repairs during the first 3 years of their lifetimes, a time covered by standard warranties. LCD and plasma sets overall have a repair rate of only 3% and the majority of those repairs are free because they fall under standard warranties. The very few consumers who did pay for repairs paid on average $264 for LCD sets and $395 for plasmas. Factor in the $300 or so you'll probably pay for the extended warranty and the <3% chance you'll have to pay for a repair, you can see why you shouldn't purchase the extended warranty.

The report which will be featured in the December issue of Consumer Reports' magazine also rated brands and models based on their overall reliability. Panasonic's 50-inch TH-50PZ700U plasma model was deemed by Consumer Reports to be the best flat-panel ever tested and overall Panasonic LCD and plasma sets had the lowest rates of repair falling under 2%. Other brands with better than average rates of repair included Sony, Samsung, Toshiba and JVC in LCDs and Pioneer and Samsung in plasmas. Among the less reliable brands included Dell (who no longer manufacture TV's), Hitachi and Phillips' plasma models.

Not surprisingly, rear-projection TV's, especially those using digital light processing (DLP) technology were much more repair-prone averaging an 18% repair rate. This is most likely due to the use of a bulb in rear-projection sets and bulb replacements accounted for 25% of overall repairs. Because bulb replacement typically falls under standard warranty, Consumer Reports once again recommended that buyers do not purchase the extended warranty for rear-projection sets and if they chose otherwise, to make sure the extended warranty costs less than a replacement bulb or no more than 15% of the TV's purchase price.

Via Information Week

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Posted by Justin Davey at November 3, 2007 1:05 PM

Recent Comments

Even with the odds in your favor, it's hard not to buy a warranty. I'm sure those numbers for DLP televisions will change drastically in the future. The newer DLPs have LED lights instead of the bulbs and color wheels which make them much less prone to problems. If I bought a television today I'd still go with DLP because of the lower price and superior picture quality.


Posted by: Matt at November 5, 2007 11:22 AM
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