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  1. Member brassplyer's Avatar
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    Looking at various sales on HDTV's. There are any number of these less expensive, Neverheardofit brands in the various stores.

    Should they all be considered throwaway items or not necessarily? I have a relative who has a Dynex 37" from Best Buy that's been running like a champ for probably 6 years or more, and it's on a lot. Reading through various stories and reviews of HDTV's, it's clear that there are a lot of them - both expensive and not expensive - that crap out in a lot less time than that. With HDTV's it seems unrealistic to expect 15, 20 and more years out of a TV as was common with CRT's. My one negative on the Dynex mentioned above, their picture while not terrible seems slightly more "dull" than others.

    I found a ProScan 37" 1080p on sale locally for a good price, but wondering about the longevity. The picture actually looks good, even next to much more expensive tv's.

    Any experience with that particular off-brand or others? I assume many are made by the same manuf and just have different labels slapped on.

    Is/are there brands (both more expensive and less expensive) you feel are consistently and reliably likely to be more long-lived?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by brassplyer; 13th Nov 2012 at 16:25.
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  2. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    Stick with name brands such as samsung,lg,sony etc,proscan is a curtis product which is crap.
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  3. I might choose a cheap brand as a second or third TV for the bedroom or kitchen, but I always spare no expense on my main TV.
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    You're confusing "longevity" with quality.
    You might get a cheap, crap TV that lasts 10 years, and shows shite pictures for that time - or a "Quality" TV that fails after 6 months. But the "Quality" TV will be able to be properly calibrated, and show realistic, well upscaled and properly de-interlaced pictures, with (hopefully) good tech support. But Heck - most people wouldn't know a good TV picture if it punched them between the eyes (which most cheap TV's DO)
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    Reliability today is more uneven and "relative" than ever, although the big names are still your best (or let's just say "better") bet. Keep in mind that the USA isn't the only big-time outsource concern on the planet. A Samsung Tv is unlikely to have a Samsung display panel, SONY outsources almost every part of their brand and no longer makes their own displays (a lot of their front panels are made by Samsung), LG makes nice black-level contrast for other brands but can't even get a good dark gray on their own branded sets and is a crap shoot when it comes to quality control -- and so is Samsung and, to a lesser extent, so are all the others. Panasonic's image and audio get unquestionably worse with every new flood of models, and Toshiba has lost all standing as a quality name. The rage today is overpriced LED panels that do nothing for image quality, and the corner-cutting on everything is getting atrocious. It says something about the way things have changed when you see higher ratings for brands like Visio than you do for the old-line outfits.

    Try these websites for reviews and stay away from CNET reviews. Some of these sites are in the UK, but the models reviewed have North American counterparts:
    http://www.televisioninfo.com/
    http://www.hdtvtest.co.uk/news/category/reviews
    http://www.whathifi.com/reviews/tvs
    Last edited by sanlyn; 23rd Mar 2014 at 13:20.
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  6. I'm a big fan of DLP technology for large Hi-Def Television sets. unlike a flat screen it uses a bulb which can be easily replaced. Picture quality is excellent. They are also 3D ready. Just my 2 cents.
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    MM, well..not everyone has the room or the budget for DLP, and bulbs start losing quality within a few hours after they're installed -- the latter cost a pretty penny as well, and require recalibration with every replacement. (Yes, I know. Calibration? But isn't this stuff "digital"? Dream on). As KBeee noted, most consumers wouldn't know a good image from a bag of beans, but in that regard I'd say SONY is probably a good bet for performance and reliability, if you're willing to tweak the picture a bit (at least they give you the controls for doing it). You can get a decent pic from LG if you're willing to calibrate its actually-very-good color management system and as long as you don't find 4 broken pixels onscreen (good luck). Samsung will probably give you at least 3 months without blowing up but another 9 months to replace it when it does. And last of all, I've seen some of the higher priced Visio's that actually look pretty nice and haven't started smoking after a year.

    None if this stuff will last. It's not designed for that. In fact, it's obsolete before you walk out of the store with it.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 23rd Mar 2014 at 13:21.
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  8. Member brassplyer's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
    None if this stuff will last. It's not designed for that. In fact, it's obsolete before you walk out of the store with it.
    Part of my concern - that it's deliberate, they simply don't *want* their product to keep going and going and going..... Also nightmare stories about trying to get vendors to honor warranties. Endless hoops, estimates on time for replacement that keep getting revised, requiring the purchaser to pay ridiculous shipping charges that make even having it repaired under warranty pointless. No you can't just drop it off at the repair center even though you live in the area, you have to pay to ship it. WTF?

    I've seen some videos and references to people doing their own "warranty repair" - replacing cheap blown caps with better ones and the set works fine thereafter. Obviously Joe Q. Public isn't likely to go digging into it like that. Surely those involved with the design of these things are well aware they're using crap parts where better parts could be used for a few pennies more. This practice apparently isn't limited to cheapo sets.

    I wonder if whatever board of directors would frown and regard my brother's still working flawlessly Dynex to be a "mistake".

    stay away from CNET reviews
    Uninformed? Bought and paid for?
    Last edited by brassplyer; 13th Nov 2012 at 19:15.
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    The term "in depth" does not apply to anything CNET reviews. Try some reviews from a couple of those links I posted and you'll see the difference in what some reviewers look for.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 23rd Mar 2014 at 13:21.
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  10. Originally Posted by brassplyer View Post
    Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
    None if this stuff will last. It's not designed for that. In fact, it's obsolete before you walk out of the store with it.
    Part of my concern - that it's deliberate, they simply don't *want* their product to keep going and going and going.....
    Yes. And it's industry wide. I think they shoot for a ~5 year replacement cycle now.
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    Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
    The term "in depth" does not apply to anything CNET reviews. Try some reviews from a couple of those links I posted and you'll see the difference in what some reviewers look for. I've seen them pooh-pah some very excellent hardware on the basis that a certain button was lacking, and not a word about overall performance where it matters: the picture, the sound, upsampling, or whatever. But each to his own. I prefer more precise comment, and the more details the better.
    Sites likes About.com and CNET.com have strict guidelines for reviewers that pretty much prevent overall negative reviews, while encouraging nitpicking regarding "features". So you end up with warped bullshit about how the remote buttons are not laid out perfectly, yet the TV is "fine" (even when it's really not -- or even when it is). If you don't follow the rules, you get shitcanned as a reviewer, and they'll replace you with another lemming. The guidelines pretty much call for bland reviews with colorful bullet points, which must then be expanded into tidy little paragraphs.

    What I find ridiculous "the bottom line" that ends each of them -- the phrase alone is stupid, though it does reflect the money-prioritized slant of the organization. It's shit writing to bury the most important information at the end -- unless you're writing a mystery novel. But it's done this way on purpose, since most people don't finish reading articles.

    Those sites care more about advertising and pleasing manufacturers than they do unbiased consumer content.

    I'm not a big fan of Consumer Reports, but they are at least a lot more fair in this regard. You get decent overall performance reports, though still mildly offset by odd sidetracks regarding "features" (many of which are marketing gimmicks to begin with).
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    Oh...to answer the O.P.'s question about "bargain" HDTV....
    Nowadays you never know, but the Dynex example you quoted would be a bargain job that is either: (a) bargain priced because it's part of a huge single-model production run with maybe decent but not-expensive parts that hold up reasonably well, or (b) a stroke of luck, pure and simple, or (c) used frequently, but maybe with fairly clean household A.C. and few big electrical shocks or burns over time, and wasn't used in overly bright torch mode, or (d) again, pure luck. On the other hand, to say it "still works" doesn't mean it works optimally. Likely its color balance and overall contrast levels have changed, and I'd wager some capacitors have dried a bit and the image more pale than before due to changes in the backlight, and there's more noise. Consider the LCD's cells themselves have an estimated life of 40,000 - 60,000 hours average. so at 8 hours a day, the little LCD gels should last for some 20+ years. The rest of the circuitry and power supply might not be so lucky.

    Electrical disaster and bizarre acts of nature aside,you can lengthen a tv's life by using clean power (get a nice $100-or-more Belkin anti-surge device with A.C. filter and conditioning (not a cheap $30 unit, but one that really shuts off and stays off when it senses a surge). Calibrate the set to D6500 standards with a colorimeter and something like free HCFR software (instead of one of those calibration disks, which might be "better than nothing," but not by much) instead of playing it in "vibrant and intensely colorful explosion" mode, and keep it well ventilated.

    On the other hand, why are people so surprised when a cheap bargain set deteriorates? I guess you have to define a
    "bargain" as having good performance and at least nominally decent construction at a reasonable price. Just because it's cheap doesn't mean it's a bargain.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 23rd Mar 2014 at 13:21.
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    I agree on the house brand or "not so well known" brands that are out there. I researched around xmas last year and I came up with a Vizio 32 inch 1080p. I got the 1080p so I could use it for a pc monitor also. Turns out that the panels Vizio uses are cast offs from LG. The picture itself is OK. I have no major issues. The sound is crap and the panel itself may last 20 years, but i have to agree about the other parts...my guess is the 5 year thing is the best yardstick to go by.

    i would just go to amazon and read all the cons or bad reviews and you can get a general idea of what will work ok. As a whole, stick with Vizio, LG, samsung (lately I've been reading some pretty bad reviews) and sony. Toshiba has lost their spot in quality. I don't know what happened to them.
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    It's a bit hit and miss. I had one off-brand set go for years and outlast two top-branded ones in the other room. Generally, the off-brands are worse in some regard, but sometimes they can be very good and sometimes top-priced brands can be poor performers. Also, off-brand sets may have limitations in other areas (number of analog & digital connections, sound quality, crappy remote) but perfectly acceptable picture quality.

    Personally, I tend to go with a known brand that has good reviews for the living room that will be used a lot, but am perfectly happy to cut costs by getting a house brand for a set that won't be used as nearly much (bedroom, spare room) or, hypothetically, if I was getting something for kids to use game consoles on.
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  15. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    I was gung ho on Vizio until I ran afoul of the "power supply capacitor leakage" problem (when just hitting the warranty 1year limit) and then found out how truly abysmal their support/repair division is. Needless to say, I will never buy another Visio product again and recommend you do not either!

    Now I'm much happier with LG stuff. At least they quickly fix/replace a unit for you.

    Scott
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  16. You should post your question over at the AVS forum. You'll get a ton of replies.

    And I'd be willing to bet the phrases "panel lottery" and "5-6 year replacement cycle" come up.
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  17. Member brassplyer's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
    On the other hand, to say it "still works" doesn't mean it works optimally. Likely its color balance and overall contrast levels have changed, and I'd wager some capacitors have dried a bit and the image more pale than before due to changes in the backlight, and there's more noise.
    ~shrug~ Is there any set of any price that doesn't experience some degradation over time? I've read about plenty of people who spent thousands on HDTV's and it didn't buy them any impressive lifespan. This Dynex still turns on, still produces a picture that's acceptable - looks okay to me. Whether you'd notice a difference next to a brand new, state of the art set probably isn't a realistic guideline. It looks a lot better than the picture on a set that cost 10 times more and went *pfft* after 3 years.


    Calibrate the set to D6500 standards with a colorimeter and something like free HCFR software (instead of one of those calibration disks, which might be "better than nothing," but not by much) instead of playing it in "vibrant and intensely colorful explosion" mode
    The calibration does what, puts less stress on the components?

    On the other hand, why are people so surprised when a cheap bargain set deteriorates?
    They probably feel a lot more ire when a high-priced set doesn't live very long.
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  18. Member brassplyer's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by fritzi93 View Post
    You should post your question over at the AVS forum. You'll get a ton of replies.

    And I'd be willing to bet the phrases "panel lottery" and "5-6 year replacement cycle" come up.
    So you feel nobody makes a solidly reliable built like a tank out of only quality parts HDTV.
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  19. Member brassplyer's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    I was gung ho on Vizio until I ran afoul of the "power supply capacitor leakage" problem (when just hitting the warranty 1year limit) and then found out how truly abysmal their support/repair division is. Needless to say, I will never buy another Visio product again and recommend you do not either!

    Now I'm much happier with LG stuff. At least they quickly fix/replace a unit for you.

    Scott
    This guy sure didn't think so - see the comment from Whyrens at the bottom.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/244561/hdtv_reliability_and_satisfaction_lg_is_the_brand_to_beat.html

    The problem with a lot of reviews is they all seem to be about relatively new tv's. Okay, it looks spiffy a month later, how is it doing 4 years later?
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    Originally Posted by brassplyer View Post
    The calibration does what, puts less stress on the components?
    It gets a lot farther than that, but less operating stress is usually one of the side benefits. Most TVs I see in homes that I visit to repair PC's are playing in overly bright, over saturated modes. They look even worse than a lot of old unadjusted CRT's. Keep in mind that most budget sets don't have the controls needed for a better calibration anyway -- and some more expensive sets don't have them either. For the most part, anyone who wants a properly adjusted TV wouldn't buy a budget set. But if you find a budget TV that has mode settings for a decent pic to begin with, you've found a "bargain". They do exist, but they're not usually bottom-of-the-line models. Go one notch up the scale and just a few bucks more gets better performance. Visio and SONY seem to have some good offerings in that category and have a "better" reputation for endurance, but I'm sure there are others. I recall seeing reviews a few years back of a budget Walmart Sanyo (not a name you'd usually think of) with good specs. I've seen that same Sanyo in a motel lobby where my family stays on vacations, and it's still going strong 24/7 for the past few years. So a little research can pay off.

    ConsumerSearch.com is one source for reviews, but you have to look deeper into their summary articles and side panels to find additional links for info. Their recommendations are really collections of various review sources.

    My LCD is a budget 1080p SONY with decent performance in its default settings for color, contrast, deinterlace, upscaling and plain old 60Hz motion control (in fact, I was quite surprised there, but I did a lot of research -- and my first copy had a defect in its blue response!). It has some shortcomings when it comes to more detailed calibration, but a little fiddling gets it pretty close to spec.

    Calibration is another subject altogether. As noted here and elsewhere, most people have no concept of the idea, wouldn't bother with it, and wouldn't waste their time in a/v forums learning about it. But any hobbyist who's interested usually gets started at helpful websites like this: http://www.curtpalme.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10457 . The cheap and basic way of doing it is discussed here: http://gizmodo.com/5098917/how-to-calibrate-your-new-hdtv-and-not-lose-your-mind -- but videophiles would go a lot further.

    Originally Posted by brassplyer View Post
    On the other hand, why are people so surprised when a cheap bargain set deteriorates?
    They probably feel a lot more ire when a high-priced set doesn't live very long.
    Of course. That was my first experience with my first HDTV, a Samsung plasma. It developed pink screen disease within 2 months and took nearly a year of haggling to replace. The replacement still works after 5 years.

    You wouldn't normally place much confidence in consumer reviews found at Amazon, BestBuy, etc. Most people have no idea what they're talking about. But those reviews are helpful when you're looking for reports of breakdowns and defects. If you see a big percentage of complaints, take that as a warning. It's not a sure-fire guide, as irate people tend to post more often than pleased owners, so you have to use a little judgment there.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 23rd Mar 2014 at 13:21.
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  21. Originally Posted by brassplyer View Post
    Originally Posted by fritzi93 View Post
    You should post your question over at the AVS forum. You'll get a ton of replies.

    And I'd be willing to bet the phrases "panel lottery" and "5-6 year replacement cycle" come up.
    So you feel nobody makes a solidly reliable built like a tank out of only quality parts HDTV.
    You did ask about "bargain" TVs. And several members have said or implied that there's an element of luck involved.

    Nevertheless, it was a serious suggestion. They know TVs at the AVS forum.

    As to whether there are any well-made TVs made any more. I dunno, these days they aren't made with the same expectation for length of service. I think the old CRTs averaged ~ 17 years, didn't they? I certainly hope my 65" LG is well-made and lasts a decade. (fingers crossed)
    Last edited by fritzi93; 14th Nov 2012 at 12:52.
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  22. I wouldn't say my Mom's HDTV is junk but it is a 480p 20" TV and unless you look at it right on eye level it looks like it is covered with a oil slick. She used have her CRT TV up on a shelf in her bedroom and she would look up at it, but once she got this LCD TV it can only be viewed at the one certain level. I also had to nearly max out the brightness and contrast to see anything on it because it was so dark.
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  23. Originally Posted by brassplyer View Post
    Originally Posted by fritzi93 View Post
    You should post your question over at the AVS forum. You'll get a ton of replies.

    And I'd be willing to bet the phrases "panel lottery" and "5-6 year replacement cycle" come up.
    So you feel nobody makes a solidly reliable built like a tank out of only quality parts HDTV.
    I think any brand name will do the job if you are looking for a budget TV.

    here are few deals(or wait until blackfriday)

    Sony BRAVIA KDL-42EX440 $499 cheaper than amazon http://www.amazon.com/Sony-BRAVIA-KDL42EX440-42-Inch-1080p/dp/B008KECFRO

    http://www.techbargains.com/news_displayItem.cfm/323804


    Sharp LC-42SV50U $399 .worst buy is asking for $479

    http://www.techbargains.com/news_displayItem.cfm/323784
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    Go with the SONY. Sharp looks like crap, an old CRT would look better.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 23rd Mar 2014 at 13:21.
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  25. Member brassplyer's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
    It developed pink screen disease within 2 months and took nearly a year of haggling to replace. The replacement still works after 5 years.
    Btw, it took a YEAR for them to make good on their warranty? I applaud your tenacity but even if they eventually replaced it, that's abysmal. Sounds exactly like some of the horror stories I've read. They drag their feet on this crap hoping you'll just throw up your hands. They have your money, there's enough other suckers out there who they haven't pissed off yet to skim from. That seems to be the Megacorp way.
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    Originally Posted by brassplyer View Post
    Btw, it took a YEAR for them to make good on their warranty?
    If you think I learned something from the experience....you're wrong. The top rated 32" LCD that year was from the same company. So what did I do? My plasma had just been replaced and it was a damn great image after calibration, so I figured I need something for all those old 4:3 classic movies and didn't want to tempt fate by fogging up the middle of this new plasma. And I figured, OK, they finally made good and the TV more than lived up to the reviews, so maybe this is a fluke and I owe 'em another chance (Don't laugh yet). So I bought their top-rated super-rave-review hot-stuff 32" LCD. Nice stuff. Almost rivaled my old CRT in PQ. 4 months later, people onscreen start turning pink and blue. Service was a little better this time.....only took 3 months to get a service rep who seemed sharp enough to walk and chew gum at the same time. Only problem: they have no more replacements for that model ? ? ?? Would I like the newer (and lesser) model that did not have inputs for two of my favorite (and very very very expensive at $750 and $1000 each) a/v components? I exploded right there on the spot and had the rep's ears burning. A month later I finally got a manager by email. Two more weeks, and two wrestlers show up to cart off the defective TV and handed me a refund check. Did I buy that same brand again? I'm probably stupid, but I'm not crazy.

    In the end the plasma replacement has 5 years on it and going strong, the other-brand LCD has 4 years on it and going strong. And my 20-inch CRT from 1992 is -- yep -- still going strong.

    On the other hand, there's that cheapo Sanyo LCD in the motel lobby, going 24/7/365 with no end in sight. So, in fact, you never can tell.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 23rd Mar 2014 at 13:22.
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  27. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    I gave my sister my 37 inch sanyo lcd after buying a 46 inch sony lcd and the sanyo looks as good as new except for a dead pixel,sanyo aren't top of the line or bottom,I worked on them in shop for warranty repairs and they were always decently built.
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    Get the Sony. They have some of the best HDTVs on the market, and have for about 5 years now.

    Samsung and LG (mostly Samsung) have some decent 2nd-place models.

    Meanwhile Sharp hasn't produced a good HDTV in at least 5 years. I bought one of their last EDTV models, back when their EDTV and HDTV panels were all the rave. I actually wish they still made the 4:3 EDTVs, because those were perfect for kitchens and bedrooms, when you mostly use them to watch old TV show DVDs.
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    Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
    So I bought their top-rated super-rave-review hot-stuff 32" LCD. Nice stuff. Almost rivaled my old CRT in PQ. 4 months later, people onscreen start turning pink and blue. Service was a little better this time.....only took 3 months to get a service rep who seemed sharp enough to walk and chew gum at the same time.
    Clearly there's principles of business that elude me. I assume they have access to engineers who know the difference between crap parts and solid parts, they know how to assemble them. Why not make the tv's out of all solid parts that are well assembled and bypass this whole bullshit dance of dealing with the fallout from putting out a hit & miss product? I.e. make the lonely Maytag repairman scenario a reality.

    I could even see them going a step further and saying - if you buy our solidly built product we'll warranty it for X years. If you can provide documentation that you run it plugged into a good power conditioner & surge suppressor (such as you...or someone suggested) i.e. you've gone the extra step to protect it against acts of nature and the power company to such extent as is reasonable, we'll take the extra step and warranty it for 10 years - or whatever.

    Presumably the bean counters have determined the bullshit dance model is more profitable?

    I guess somewhere in there has to be factored in those who'll try to scam the system.
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    Originally Posted by brassplyer View Post
    [Why not make the tv's out of all solid parts that are well assembled and bypass this whole bullshit dance of dealing with the fallout from putting out a hit & miss product?
    Gambling.
    Why gamble? Greed.

    You gamble that it doesn't fail. If it does, it's a cost of business. The greed is that your cutting corners create an extra marginal return of 2% or whatever it is. All of that 2% goes to "investors" (Wall St *******s), of course. Not the company employees, not savings passed to customers, etc.

    The is why companies like Firestore and Toyota have released unsafe car parts. Deaths are just a cost of business. And people wonder why we need government regulations.
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