Whether users purchase TVs larger or smaller than 50 inches, they tend to be happiest with Samsung models. A new survey from marketing researchers J.D. Power and Associates suggests that the South Korean electronics manufacturer narrowly beats out competitors like LG, Sharp and Sony when it comes to consumer satisfaction.
JD Power distributed surveys to more than 4,000 HDTV owners who rated their televisions on a scale of one to five based on seven factors: performance, reliability, ease of operation, style/appearance, features, price and warranty.
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After compiling the data, J.D. Power ranked each TV manufacturer on a 1,000-point scale. Generally speaking, people are satisfied with their TVs. Even the lowest-rated manufacturers (Element for TVs less than 50 inches, Sanyo for TVs 50 inches or more) scored 844 and 847, respectively, and wound up with an average consumer rating of two out of five (below average, but not irredeemable).
Videophiles were quite fond of Samsung, though. Its TVs less than 50 inches received an overall rating of 857, and a solid five out of five from consumers. In the more-than-50-inches category, Samsung received an 884 and another five out of five, as well.
Although consumers preferred Samsung to other brands, the difference between the top contenders was generally not staggering. For smaller TVs, LG received an 854 and a five out of five, while Vizio received 852 and a four out of five. Sharp, for larger TVs, received an 877 and a four out of five. After that, however, the drop in satisfaction was somewhat more precipitous.
The study had a few other interesting findings. While price is a top concern for both TV size ranges, people who buy larger TVs are more concerned with image quality, while people who buy smaller TVs fret more about screen size. Those who buy larger TVs are also more likely to do a lot of research beforehand.
Smart TV functionality was also almost than twice as common in the more-than-50-inches category. While only 37 percent of smaller TV owners opted for smart TV features, 72 percent of larger TV owners went for models that integrated streaming Internet services. This may be because larger TVs tend to come with smart features by default.
If you're in the market for a new TV, this survey is not quite enough justification to drop everything and buy a Samsung. That said, if you wind up with one, you'll probably like it.