More Black Friday Bad News: Why Cheap TVs Might Really Cost You More

Illustration for article titled More Black Friday Bad News: Why Cheap TVs Might Really Cost You More

You know Black Friday is dangerous, but our friend Gary, the HD Guru, got pretty specific on a few particularly bad deals. For example, that 32" Emerson on sale at Walmart for $248 sounds good, right? Not so fast.

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Gary points out that the warranty on this baby is so bad (90-day labor, 1-year parts) that if it broke, it "will cost the owner another $150 [or more] after the 90th day of ownership and at least $250 to repair after the one year warranty is over." He also mentions that failure rates on cheaper off-brand TVs are generally higher—and often significantly higher—than the big well-known brands.

Make the jump to read the details and check out more of Gary's great exposé, including why a Westinghouse TV might not be a good deal, what cheap Blu-ray player to look for, and why 240Hz HDMI cables aren't just a ripoff, they're flat-out BS. [HD Guru]

DISCUSSION

I believe it's called the Wal-Mart effect. Stuff sold at Wal-Mart are often "special" models for Wal-Mart (in order to meet Wal-Mart's demanded pricing - if they want to sell a TV for under $800, they'll demand the supplier provide them for $500 or so).

So now the supplier has to cut stuff out in order to meet that goal (or not sell at Wal-Mart period). Warranty is expensive, so it's often the first cut (length, convenience, etc - imagine having to ship your TV to China to have it fixed!).

So that's why Wal-Mart TVs are often exclusive. Stuff that's similar across Wal-Mart and other stores, the savings difference is a lot smaller.