Looking for a TV for the Games room to replace the old fat-back unit... I typically buy known brands, believing that you get what you pay for - and so far I have found this to be pretty well true...
Having said that, I was wandering thru JB HiFi on Saturday and couldn't help noticing the cheap prices of the Soniq brand. Coincidently, I went to a mates for dinner last night and he's purchased a Soniq for his lounge room and is raving about it (features/quality for price).
I did a little Googling and found that they use either LG or Samsung display panels... so that gives me some confidence; but would be very interested to hear if anyone has purchased one - and if so, have you had any problems?? Thanks.
First up I'm no TV expert
A couple of years ago our rec club bought a no name with a Samsung panel, it's poop, I've been told it's because the electronics are cheap.
All TV's are so cheap now days I don't think it's a big jump to a brand name set, said rec club has just got a 58 inch full HiDef Panasonic Plasma for $1495, awesome picture, every ones happy.
But hey, if your mates looks good and the price is right and moneys tight, take a gamble
Edit, I just had a look at that link, for comparison while in Perth January this year I grabbed for my mum a 42 inch full HiDeff Panasonic for $830 with little bargaining (HN), again awesome picture and great brand a no brainer
The panel isn't what will fail, it will be the power supply or components around it due to heat. Cheap electronics manufacturers use cheap capacitors, which dry out after a couple of years and then go bang (seen it happen). Also their quality control isn't that great so they sometimes put in capacitors backwards (seen that happen on some daewoo TV's back in the day). They work for a while but then go screwy.
Last year I bought a cheap set top box that was like that -- it wouldn't even do 4:3 aspect ratio. So I took it back and got a different brand, that one lasted six months before the power supply started to provide just a bit too much voltage on the 6.3V rail, which caused the processor to overheat and shut itself down. I could force that rail down to 6.3V with a zener but then the zener would go bang and I'd be back where I started.
But that's chickenfeed compared to what really gives me the screaming heeby jeebies with cheap electronics -- the menu system. On a cheapy these are slapped together with almost no usability testing, little attention to detail, there are probably more buttons on the remote than your computer keyboard, and it really p's me off.
I like a system that has had some thought put into it, every button on the remote is put there for a purpose, as if the designer kept taking buttons off until you're left with what's really important. Which means that you can operate it in low light, or slightly sozzled after a couple too many Also getting the same brand of TV as your blu-ray player and sound system really makes life nice. My sony stuff talks to each other through the HDMI leads so when you put a DVD in, the TV automatically switches to playing it. That's really cool
Thanks guys - appreciate the feedback...
I tend to agree with you both - I've had/have some Sony, Yamaha, BOSE audio equip for over 20years now and it still performs as well as the day I purchased it. Been through a few TV's in that time though... mostly upgrading for features/size etc...
I think I'll wait for the July EOY sales and snag a brand name bargain...
good luck finding drivers and a native resolution to run that ;-)
Just another point on flat screen TV's, before you buy check out the power consumption. Walk into any retailer "touch" and "feel" the screens some are very hot and some are quite cool, the hot screens are using more power costing lots more $$$ both to run the screen and the need for air conditioning to keep your lounge room cool in summer.
You can get around the 60" size plasma from a known big brand for $1500 max now (poss quite a bit less) if you shop around hard enough. So you'd be wasting your money buying anything smaller.
Firstly, I'm no High Tech Wiz kid... But;
I bought a Soniq Sat Nav unit about 4 years ago, brand new from JB Hi-Fi. Opened it up at my desk at work, and it was already "fried". Like KFC Fried... The Power Button had an obvious "cooked" or "lightly fried" look to it.... Needless to say, I finished my lunch and took it back for a replacement... To be confronted by the biggest numpty employee, accusing me that I had dropped it !! Our discussion escalated quite quickly, and I wisely decided to ask, "can I speak to your manager?". Within 1 minute the manager was there, and happy to replace it, and within another minute, the Store Franchise Owner was also there, plus another guy.... they were personally inspecting all of the SONIQ devices...
I prefer to pay a little bit extra for at least mid range brands, with the conceptual thought that they will be less likely to set my house on fire !!
I recently looked at 32 Inch SONIQ Normal HD LCD TV for roughly $495 (5 inches thick)... Sony had a comparative model for about $576 (5 inches thick). I ended up spending $816 on SONY's FULL HD 32 Inch LED TV, Super Slim Line Model (only 1 inch thick)....
Being a waranty service agent for Soniq - I wouldnt buy one.
While the cheap brands may have either Samsung or LG panels, they are generally 'seconds' that do not perform to specs to put in their own models and certainly are not driven but the same quality driver boards, both in design and manufacture.
As for the caps in the power supplies - I would say that 75% of all electronics that use switch mode power supplies (LCD, plasma, dvd, bluray, some audio products etc), caps will fail and cause power supply issues within 5 years. 50% of all our 'out of warranty' repairs would be power supply issues generally caused by failed caps (this can and often will lead to other components failing as well).
In saying all of that - get a tv, whether it be LCD or plasma (my fav is LCD), that has a picture that you like. And most importantly - GET AN EXTENDED WARRANTY. For the extra cash, thay are worth their weight in gold. The odds are that after a cpl of years the parts may not be available and the ext warranty company (basically just an insurance company) will replace the set with a new one.
This is the one I bought for about $812 or something. After a few short months, already dropped down to $750-ish. (32 inch).
Have an earlier model (12 month old) of tha one had no prob yet and the pic is perfect, has all what you need even a USB 2 port. It is my bedroom tv, @ $ 350.00 it is a bargain.