Nov 20, 2012

How important is the brand (manufacturer) for LCD displays?

I was thinking about getting a new LCD display/TV for Christmas. It seems that the majority of electronic devices are made in just a handful of factories anyway. I mean, hey, Apple uses displays from LG and Samsung, Intel CPUs are used by everyone and their brother, multiple devices are assembled by Foxcomm, and so on. So I was wondering, does it really even matter any more what the name on the front is anymore?


It definitely still matters.  Just because there are a lot of common components, that doesn't mean that they all are.  I had an 32" RCA that I used for a laptop and gaming display in my home office.  I paid something like $650 for it about three years ago, and it is currently sitting in a closet now because multiple things failed over time.  The screen had issues first, then the power supply went belly up and it won't even turn on any longer.  It would cost as much to fix it as to buy a new display at this point.  


To echo Christoper's point, even if the same factory assembles device A and device B, that doesn't mean the specs for components are the same for both.  Look at failure rates and you will see the difference.  If I had the extra cash for a new display, I would probably get a Samsung.  If I didn't, I would still save up for a while for a decent brand.  I was burned by my relatively expensive (at the time) RCA, and I would rather spend extra than get another slab of junk. 

I know a guy who owns a guitar store and sells his own line of guitars, which are relatively inexpensive and made in South Korea. He tells customers that his guitars are "made in the same factory that makes Fender guitars." What he doesn't tell them is that his guitars use cheaper parts and electronics.

The name on the front of LCD TVs doesn't matter as much as what's inside. I'm a big believer in 1) reading reviews, both user and "pro," and 2) trusting your own eyes and judgment. If you go to a store with 20 different LCD TVs, you'll probably see three or four that stand out to you. Then just read about them in the store on your smartphone or tablet, or on one of the store's Internet-enabled laptops on display.

Answer this