7 Worst TV Brands To Avoid and 7 Most Reliable Brands (Buying Guide)

The television is one of the most staple appliances in the home. As a matter of fact, it is the most popular, most sought after one because families cannot just live without it.

High-end homes have the fireplace as the focal point but there is something low-key and intimate about televisions as the centerpiece of any room too. 

However, because of the popularity of TVs, some are just deal breakers. To this end, you have to know which TV brands to avoid, which brands to search for first, and other information that you should know about TV shopping. So, here goes. 

Do TV brands really matter? 

This is satisfied by the complex yes-no answer. At the yes end, the reputation of the brand signifies a certain set of expected quality and upsides. They also set a wider price point for different TV selections so you can have more chances to cross-check. 

On the other hand, it is also a no. As far as the TV market and customer rating, the competition for low-budget, sleek features TVs are on a spike and you have to take advantage of that if you are considering buying a TV today. 

TV Buying Guide

Before we go to the TV brands to avoid, it is imperative to be aware of the factors that must be considered when buying one. Through this, you can easily eliminate those TV brands that do not make the cut, helping you in saving time, effort, and money. 

1. Price range

HDTVs and Smart TVs are now the television of the present age and they have been very accessible through the years because you can buy 55-inches of these TVs at less than a grand.

However, some ‘cheap’ TVs do not live up to the hype. So, although budget is a critical factor, going for reputable TV brands is still recommended. 

2. TV size

When it comes to the TVs of the present, the market has conditioned consumers that bigger is better.

If you are into smaller TVs, there are still 24-inches to 32-inches selections but you would find that you get the most out of the popular 4K display feature of TVs if you start shopping at 40-inches and up. 

3. Choose 4K LED or OLED

When it comes to TV displays, you should never settle less than 4K LED or OLED features. If you want a superior, unpixelated picture technology, splurge on the more expensive OLED display.

The 4K LED does not disappoint too. Offering a superior display quality, built-in surround sound, and other smart features at a lesser price, 4K is one of the best TV choices. 

4. TV resolution

There are two main TV resolutions nowadays: HD (1920 x 1080) and 4K UHD (3840 x 2160). Both are popular resolution choices but when it comes to clarity and number of pixels for superb details, the more expensive 4K Ultra HD is a good TV to invest in. 

5. HDR compatibility

Always ask the salesman if your TV is HDR compatible. Compared to non-HDRs, HDR televisions produce images with brighter images and better contrast.

HDR TVs also support a wider range of color spectrums so it just gives a better entertainment impact. 

6. Connections and ports

It is also important that your TVs come with essential ports like USB ports, HDMIs. Choose v2.0 HDMIs instead of the more common v1.4 HDMI because it ensures greater compatibility. TVs that come with an extra HDMI 2.1 port is also a great upside if you are a gamer. 

7. Smart features

It can be from low-key smart features like an ethernet port, or a more handsfree internet connection like WiFi connectivity, Bluetooth, and voice recognition feature. Through these smart features, you can have a remote TV experience, and unlimitedly stream different apps. 

7 Worst TV Brands To Avoid

With that comprehensive buying guide, let us go straight to the worst TV brands that you should avoid at all costs.

Aside from being dealbreakers in one or more of those mentioned factors, they also lack good warranty service and have been rated low in customer service reviews and brand rankings for the last five years. 

1. RCA

This one is considered as the cheapest 4K TV, and to that end, consumers say that you get what you pay for. It has consistently received low ratings and bad reviews because of its modest features.

Aside from its 54% rating from 2020-2021, one of the most observable low points of this TV brand is its limited sizes (only 30-50-inches selections). Other downsides would be the following: 

  • No local dimming. 
  • Mediocre picture quality. 
  • Limited HDR compatibility. 
  • Port placements are inconvenient. 
  • Viewing angle is narrow. 

2. Hisense

This popular Chinese TV brand has been a household name in the US for a long time. It is another cheap 4K TV choice with decent features but there are several dealbreakers which outweigh its popularity, gaining a consistent rating of just 58%.

The downsides of this TV brand are the following: 

  • Ineffective local dimming. 
  • Black contrast is poor. 
  • There are two HDMI ports but only on a 2.0 support. 
  • Smart TV features are mediocre. 

3. Westinghouse

It is a shocker to find this TV brand here but it has just been rated 57% when it comes to efficiency and customer satisfaction for the last two years.

The main selling points of new Westinghouse TV selections are their voice recognition feature, remote connectivity, and commendable contrast ratio. However, the following issues surfaced in online customer fora: 

  • Lacks deep black colors although in 4K. 
  • Viewing angles are just poor. 
  • Color spectrum looks skewed. 
  • Non-HDR television. 

4. Hitachi

This is a reputable Japanese TV brand that has been around for long so you might wonder why it made it to this list.

Generating just an average rate of 51% from customer satisfaction for the last three years, its main low-point is its lack of commendable smart features considering that it is manufactured in a very technologically advanced country.

Other low-points of this TV brand in some TV series would be the following: 

  • Issues on screen blinking. 
  • Smart features are limited. 
  • Picture quality is mediocre. 
  • The sound quality is poor. 
  • Warranty and after sale service are not commendable. 

5. Sceptre

Although it has gained an above average rating of 61% in terms of customer satisfaction and brand ranking, the appeal of Sceptre as a TV brand for consumers has dwindled through the years in spite of its reasonable price. Some of the experienced issues over this TV brand are: 

  • Has 4K selections with no standard smart features. 
  • They still market non-4K televisions. 
  • Volume is weak. 
  • Image quality is not below average. 

6. Insignia

There have been a lot of commendable non-4K TV selections for this brand but the 4K and smart TV models are not just making the cut.

Although one of the leading cheap TV brands, all the features are rated as just decent, hence, explaining its 48% customer satisfaction rating. Specific downsides of this TV brand when it comes to 4K and smart models include: 

  • Decent picture quality. 
  • Pedestrian build and features. 
  • Sound has a tin-can like register. 
  • Settings are hard to navigate. 

7. FFalcon

This TV brand is already shady because it is not a household name but what is more frustrating is that there are cheaper TV brand choices that live up to the hype but this one just would not.

Its only selling point would be its upscale user interface and adjustable ambient lighting. On the downside, it has an overall rating of 42%, primarily because of the following issues: 

  • HD rating is very dismal. 
  • Does not conform to the SD standard. 
  • Sound quality is so-so. 

7 Most Reliable TV Brands

On a more positive note, here are some of the most reliable TV brands in the market that you should start cross-checking if you intend to buy a TV.

In terms of customer rating, online reviews, and brand rankings, they have been consistently rated at 75% and higher for the last five years. 

1. LG Electronics (96% rating)

This brand is a trailblazer when it comes to appliances but when it comes to TV, it has been dubbed as the OLED leader but at a considerable price.

The picture and sound quality are just superb and the sleek finish keeps all the ports and connections hidden. 

LG also offers a diverse TV selection for different price ranges but with the standard sleekness of the brand. Mid-range LG TV selections include LG Nanocell and LG QNED TVs as well as the more budget-friendly LG UHD models.

The best innovation that LG incorporated so far would be their LG Magic Remote and great smart and remote features. 

2. TLC (94% rating)

This is another household TV brand and for good reasons. For one, it is considered as the value champion in the TV world, offering high-end TV technologies including well-rated budget TVs with LED and QLED picture and sound qualities.

Recent updates like THX Gamer Mode have been a breath of fresh air for gamers who want the best surround sound and graphics quality in their TVs. 

Topping the bests in TLC TVs would be incorporating a Roku OS which offers pre-installed streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and YouTube. 

3. Samsung (97% rating)

If you are looking for an all-around TV brand that truly offers a little bit of everything when it comes to prime entertainment, Samsung is still the brand to consider.

It has been one of the pioneers of 4K and 8K LCD, LED, and OLED TVs, setting selections at different price points to support a wider consumer base. 

One of its major TV breakthroughs as a brand in the market today would be its launching of the QD-OLED hybrid offering an ultra-viewing angle technology, sleek and curved, and very clear picture and sound quality. 

4. Sony (96% rating)

When it comes to picture quality and mostly in terms of sound quality, Sony still leads the TV brand ranking. When OLED TVs surfaced, it was a standout TV brand alongside LG.

The main selling point of Sony TVs would really be the built-in sound technology (Sony Music and proprietary Acoustic Surface Audio+). 

The mentioned sound technology of Sony TVs gives a unique entertainment experience because instead of the downward or outward sound projection of TVs, Sony TVs emit sound directly from the TV panel. 

5. Vizio (94% rating)

This fast-rising TV brand has received a consistent high-rating for being the best budget TV brand in the market.

Flooded with issues on limited smart features at its introduction, it has kept up competitively, offering 4K and 8K LED and OLED TV selections in just a few years. 

At a reasonable price, you get the built-in Chromecast and AirPlay compatibility of Vizio TVs. Through these upsides, you get to play your favorite streaming services and multimedia remotely or sync it using your tablet, iPads or phones. You can get a good Vizio LED 4K TV for less than $500. 

6. Panasonic (93% rating)

When it comes to one of the most cinematic TV brands, this household TV brand is still one of the best choices. Offering sharp display quality, it is still the brand of professional movie colorists because of its fail-proof contrast and OLED system. 

The HLG Photo Mode of Panasonic TVs nowadays is also a staple for photography and multimedia companies thanks to its 5 out of 5 HDR quality when projected on a secondary screen.

The sound quality of newer Panasonic TV selections sports a patented HCX Pro intelligent processor for powerful built-in speakers with an equally cinematic effect. 

7. Philips (91% rating)

Although cannot be sold in sets yet in the US, Philips remains to be a top TV brand. When it comes to sound quality, it is comparable to Sony with its built-in Bowers and Wilkins speakers.

At the same time, the selection of Philips TVs now supports Dolby Vision for better display quality and HDR10+ for clearer picture and more multi-angled views. 

Of all the innovations in Philips TVs lately, the most well-celebrated feature would be their Ambilight technology. It is dubbed as an immersive technology setting for three-to-four-sided viewing.

When this feature is activated, you can project the screen with the same sharp colors and images behind the TV screen, on the two sides, and the main screen.

Some honorable mentions when it comes to the best TV brands would be: Sharp, Toshiba, and Hitachi. If you are considering more mid-tier price ranges with smart features, these three would be good TV brands to check out too. 

Mistakes to avoid when buying a TV

We can never be invulnerable as TV brand consumers and at some point, we could make expensive mistakes when it comes to choosing TV brands. To give you a bit of a heads up especially for neophyte TV consumers, here are the mistakes to avoid when buying a TV. 

1. Opting for smaller TVs

As have been mentioned, the game that TV brands play now is go big or go home. Large screens embody the point of innovating towards LED, OLED, and hybrid picture and sound technologies. Giving you the best entertainment experience would be bigger TVs. 

2. TV placement

The wrong spot for the TV affects the viewing angle quality of your TV. For this, you have to consider if the TV would be the focal point of the room, the space that gets the prime lighting, and where the wireless outlets are located.

Mounting the TV in the right place or enclosing it with the sound insulated TV cabinets give you the best sound quality for your TV too.  

3. Sound amendment

No matter how advanced the sound technology is, never skip on buying extra soundbars because at some point, the built-in speakers would eventually lose their power.

This is especially true for sleek and very thin designs since they are expected not to provide a lot of sound power. 

4. Accessorizing is essential

Beyond amending the sound quality of your TV, accessories such as wall mounts, upgraded cables for the HDMI, WiFi, streaming devices, and other essential TV accessories elevate all the things that your TV has to offer, regardless of the brand. 

5. Upgrade at the first sight of low-point

TVs are important investments because they keep us entertained. Just because they are still working would not mean that you can keep them until they are busted.

The worst mistake to commit would be not to upgrade to more environment friendly, more sustainable and ergonomic features which TV brands are now standardizing.  Best Buys, fortunately recycle old TVs so if you have one, sell your old TV to them. 

FAQs

Other than what we have already covered here, there is also other information that you should know about when it comes to TV brands. Hence, here are some FAQs surrounding TV brand cross-checking. 

When should I buy a new TV? 

On a more technical side, there are basic red flags that should signal you that you need to buy a new TV. These signs would be the following: 

  • LCD lines on the TV screen. 
  • Diffused sound or weak sound quality. 
  • Black or blank screen. 
  • Power lights blink but the TV screen does not turn on. 
  • Flickering TV screen.

Which TVs last the longest?

When it comes to TV longevity, the main determiner will always be maintenance and upkeep. But in terms of build, features, and innovativeness, the following are rated as the most durable TV brands in the market: 

  • Sony
  • Samsung
  • Vizio
  • LG
  • Panasonic
  • Sharp
  • Phillips
  • Toshiba

Is JVC a good TV brand?

Yes. When it comes to reputation, it has been around in the same span of time as Hitachi, Hisense, Toshiba, Panasonic, and Sony. JVC was one of the first household brands to innovate VHS and CD compatibility during the 90s.

In the present TV brand ranking, it is at par with above average TV selections that incorporate Roku technology. Overall, it is a good TV brand. 

What TV brand has the best picture?

At the top rank would really be Samsung. When it comes to viewing angles, clarity and picture quality, Samsung remains unrivaled.

For one, it is one of the pioneer brands for LCD TVs in the 2010s and then the LED, 4K LED and smart TVs after. Samsung also now features an 8K LED, OLED and Q-OLED hybrid. All of these are innovations on TV picture quality and resolution. 

What TV brands are best for gaming? 

The standard picture and sound features of gaming TVs are 8K LED, OLED and Q-OLED TVs. When it comes to these gaming resolution requirements, the following TV brands (and specific models) are considered as the best in the market: 

  • LG C1 OLED
  • Samsung QLED
  • Hisense U6-U9G
  • Vizio M7 Quantum Series
  • Vizio P Quantum Series X
  • Vizio OLED
  • Sony OLED
  • TCL 5/6 Series
  • Sony X90J
  • LG Nanocell

What TV brands are American made?

Technologies, gadgets, and appliances, tend to be skewed among top electronics and technology countries like Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and China. But when it comes to reputable TV brands, the US also takes pride in well-rated TV brands such as the following: 

  • Olevia
  • Westinghouse
  • Phillips
  • Silo Digital
  • Vizio
  • Sharp
  • Element
  • Seura
  • SunBrite TV
  • Sceptre

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Conclusion

The primary aim of this post is to give you a heads-up and a deeper understanding on TV brands and why we have to be very meticulous when it comes to choosing one.

Being one of the most timeless forms of entertainment, you need a dependable TV brand that could stay around for long or at least deliver what you paid for. 

We are easily enticed by sleek features, glossy finish, and cheap price. But not all that bling is gold, as they say, and this is also true for TVs. So, keep these in mind if you want to land on the best TV brand choice in the market today.

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