I found an interesting article on tv reliability I thought I'd pass on. The first one is about Vizio specifically, and then a podcast about reliability in general. Vizio does not carry an inventory of parts to support their tvs, so it is basically viewed as a disposable/not repairable item. The article asks the major Vizio vendors how they handle problem sets.http://hdguru.com/vizio-disposable-hdtv ... back/5596/http://www.htguys.com/podcasts/2011/10/ ... ility.html
I often get asked about which tvs last longer, either by type (LED vs plasma) or by brand. This then ties into protection agreements/extended warranties/service plans, etc and whether or not they are worth it.
Anecdotally, we counted recently how many tv's have gone bad just sitting on our shelves in the last year:
2 RCA lcds (backlight bulb burned out on both)
3 Panasonic plasmas (two suffered from their infamous "rising black" an issue on 2009 and 2010 sets and the power supply went bad on a 2011 GT30)
2 Samsung plasmas (one suffered dancing pixels, one had a panel go bad)
2 LG plasmas (the screen would randomly turn green on one, and the other randomly shut off)
1 Sony led (bad panel)
2 Sharp leds (suffering from "light bleed" where the backlight shines through around the edge of the screen)
1 Toshiba lcd (would flash odd colors)
It is a small sample, but I came up with two things to take away
1) plasma seems to have more problems in the first year of ownership
2) since we carry and sell more Samsung led tvs than anything else, that should speak to their quality (at least initially)
Whether or not you feel like you should buy an extended warranty is really up to you. The price range on them is huge, from Costco's $99 5 year plan to over $1000 on some large 3D tvs at my store.
You have to look at what you get for your money. Some include a once a year tech visit at no charge, just to get into the service menu (something you typically cant do yourself) and do some minor calibrations to adjust to the panel's aging. Some stores will give you a refurbished tv if yours needs to be replaced. Some of them replace the manufacturers warranty immediately with greater coverage, some simply extend whatever the manufacturer would cover. Others include damage from electrical surges. The number of dead pixels covered is another thing that differentiates them.
Some things I tell customers who are considering them:
Customers who bought hdtvs 4 or 5 years ago are getting their problem sets replaced with the highest end tv's we carry - that $3000 42" 720p plasma bought in '06 can now buy a 60" 3D LED.
My best friend bought a 50" LG right out of college on a 36 month no interest plan. The service plan would have added about $8 to each payment. Three years later, just after getting married and buying a house, the tv went bad. Now he has to come up with $2000 to get another one, when he could have had his replaced by a 55" 3D led and not worried about it (or deal with his wife who wants a smaller one to fit in with her decor).