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Anh T. Huynh's new VU42LF for $1050 from Costco  (Source: DailyTech)
LCD TVs sold in Costco, Wal-Mart make best-seller in North America

When it comes to household names in cutting edge televisions, the first that come to mind are Sony, Philips, Sharp, and in recent years, Samsung. But all those companies have recently been elbowed aside by a relatively unknown newcomer.

According to a recent report by iSuppli, Vizio in the second quarter shipped 606,402 LCD-TVs in North America, up a stunning 76.4 percent increase from 343,704 in the first quarter. The sales surge caused Vizio to jump from the fifth-placed North American brand in the first quarter to top in the second quarter.

In comparison, Japanese electronics giant Sony slipped from third place to sixth place, with the company’s shipments declining to 263,377 units in the second quarter, down 36.1 percent from 412,323 in the first quarter. Sharp, on the other hand, gained a position to hit third, though iSuppli believes that is due to an increased availability of Sharp’s eighth-generation panels.

ISuppli analysts believe that Vizio’s mass-market retail approach is what gave it the edge over the electronics veterans.

“Vizio’s success is mainly due to the company expanding its retail presence to Wal-Mart and Sears at the beginning of the second quarter,” said Riddhi Patel, principal analyst, television systems for iSuppli. “The company already was selling its LCD TVs through the warehouse stores Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ's Wholesale Club—but the addition of the two new retailers gave Vizio’s sales a significant lift.”

On the whole, the entire LCD TV market experienced growth throughout the year. LCD TV shipments increased to 4.2 million units in the second quarter, up 14.9 percent from 3.7 million units in the first. Vizio leads LCD TV sales in sets that are 47-inch and smaller – with the 32-inch model being the most popular size in North America.

When LCD technology first launched in the TV market, North American consumers gravitated towards the trusted brands of established electronics makers. As the technology becomes more familiar to consumers, iSuppli believes that consumer attitudes shift to become more price sensitive.

“Americans have grown comfortable with value brands, making Vizio’s low-cost sets an alluring alternative to the established names,” Patel said.

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How long will they last?
By mal1 on 8/22/2007 9:39:43 AM , Rating: 3
I wonder what the failure rate of these budget LCDs is compared to higher end sets.

RE: How long will they last?
By Master Kenobi on 8/22/2007 9:44:00 AM , Rating: 2
As long as it lasts 3-4 years at which time I can find something newer that is better.

Hell I have a Westinghouse O_o

RE: How long will they last?
By mdogs444 on 8/22/2007 9:46:14 AM , Rating: 2
I have two westinghouse's: a 47" 1080P in the family room, and a 32" 1080i in the bedroom. Both have exellent image quality, color, and contrast. The 32" has been going strong for about 1 year, and the 47" is only about 2 months old. As far as affordability goes, they are one of the tops in my book.....but side by side, i think the color and image on them is on par if not better than many of the more expensive models.

RE: How long will they last?
By Brandon Hill on 8/22/2007 9:53:50 AM , Rating: 3
I've also got a Westinghouse. 32" unit in my bedroom -- heck, it was even a refurbished unit and it still looks and works great.

The price difference between the Samsungs and Sonys of the world aren't worth the cost difference IMHO. For others, it doesn't factor that way.

RE: How long will they last?
By FITCamaro on 8/22/2007 10:16:37 AM , Rating: 2
I'll stick with quality Samsung units. Of course I wouldn't buy an LCD. I'll stick to the far cheaper for the size, but with just as good image quality, DLP sets. Samsung 50" 1080p DLP sets can now be found in the $1500 range. 60" sets can be found for under $2000. I really could care less about hanging it on a wall.

RE: How long will they last?
By mdogs444 on 8/22/2007 10:20:10 AM , Rating: 2
Samsung DLPs have a pretty nice picture...but not a big fan of the maintenence that you are responsible with them. If i pay over $1000 for a tv, i do not buy it with the expectations that i have to give routine maintenece on it like a car.

RE: How long will they last?
By Adul on 8/22/2007 10:42:52 AM , Rating: 3
That's why I bought the LED version of the DLP sets. Bulb life should good for 5 to 6 years

RE: How long will they last?
By lumbergeek on 8/22/2007 6:16:40 PM , Rating: 2
The only thing I don't like about the DLP sets is the side-angle picture blows.

RE: How long will they last?
By FITCamaro on 8/23/2007 8:01:45 PM , Rating: 2
I paid $900 for mine($600 off). ;)

And I got the service plan on it from best buy that covers tha bulb. So in 3 years 11 months, I'll call in the warranty and get the bulb replaced.

RE: How long will they last?
By omnicronx on 8/22/2007 11:28:37 AM , Rating: 2
I'm with you, ill stick with quality units too. You can notice the difference, its just lcds have hit the point where the average user just doesnt care for the extra quality at the expense of a whole lot of money. and the fact most people are watching digital cable or analogue cable on their HDTV's. If you dont order HD content, more expensive models are useless to most people.

RE: How long will they last?
By MADAOO7 on 8/23/2007 2:29:17 AM , Rating: 2
I recently bought a new Westinghouse 32" LCD as well. The price was right for a student budget and the picture is pretty good. I'm very happy with the TV.

However, at the same time, I think you'd have to be blind not to see the difference between a Westinghouse vs. a Samsung or Sony. The difference is HUGE .

The blacks are much deeper and the whites are much brighter. Playing Gears of War (a great game to judge the quality of a tv since it has a bright sky and a gritty foreground) on the 360 on a Samsung or a Sony, you'll see 10x more grades of black, and hence more detail. The Westinghouse blurs the blacks together. It's a great tv since it costs 50% as much, but it's simply not a comparison side by side.

RE: How long will they last?
By Samus on 8/23/2007 7:16:23 AM , Rating: 2
I've been satisfied with Syntax LCD's, but I'll admit my friends Sharp is WAY nicer, albeit twice as expensive.

RE: How long will they last?
By Samus on 8/23/2007 7:14:15 AM , Rating: 2
I was in TigerDirect the other day and they have nothing but truck loads of 32", 37", 42", and 47" Vizio LCD's. All refurbished.

My roommate works at Circuit City and says Vizio LCD's AND Plasma's take the cake for most returns of any other PRODUCT in the store due to defects, mostly unacceptable pixel defects and lighting problems like backlight failure.

They're also rated below average in all LCD categories in Consumer Report.

You apperantly get what you pay for. Just make sure you pay for it at Costco and don't mind making frequent trips to the store to exchange it.


RE: How long will they last?
By darkpaw on 8/22/2007 9:45:27 AM , Rating: 2
Don't know, I bought a Vizio as my first HD TV in February and have been very happy with it. I also got it before Costco changed their TV warranty so if anything does happen I'll be covered.

Its not perfect, there is some bleeding (especially with bright reds), but for the $800 I paid for it I'm extremely happy with the results. My family and I watch a ton of movies and play a lot of games so it has been well worth it. Considering I've paid half that much for video cards I usually get two years or so out of, I think it is quite worthwhile.

I do see a lot of returned ones at Costco though so either they have a fairly high failure rate or a lot of people just don't know what they are buying when it comes to HDTVs. I'd probably lean toward the second since there is always a lot of returned HDTVs stacked up in the return area at Frys.

RE: How long will they last?
By glitchc on 8/22/2007 10:21:57 AM , Rating: 2
It could also be people returning TVs after buying them for one-shot use i.e. for a family gathering or a function of some kind (birthdays/anniversaries with tribute videos come to mind). They never planned on owning the HDTV anyways. Just wanted to take advantage of the return policy of many of these major chains.

RE: How long will they last?
By darkpaw on 8/22/2007 10:26:14 AM , Rating: 2
Yah I'd definately agree here. There is always a ton of returned sets rights after events like the Super Bowl.

U.S.A.! U.S.A!
By DCstewieG on 8/22/2007 10:28:10 AM , Rating: 4
And the States finally get back into the electronics industry. Yes it's a budget brand but it's cool to see some home grown stuff again.

RE: U.S.A.! U.S.A!
By grampaw on 8/22/2007 11:34:37 AM , Rating: 3
Two comments from a satisfied Vizio 47" LCD 1080p owner:

The warehouses sell way more of these than the Big Brands models - so of course there a lot more returns.

You get what you pay for - so of course the SONY picture is better, however the Vizio picture is Good Enough for 90% of the people.

Also I understand Phillips makes the Vizio LCD panels.

RE: U.S.A.! U.S.A!
By Spivonious on 8/22/2007 12:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
I could have sworn that Vizios were made in China...shows what I know.

RE: U.S.A.! U.S.A!
By Oregonian2 on 8/22/2007 6:26:22 PM , Rating: 2
Made in China or Korea, but grown in the U.S.

We got an Olevia for the bedroom that on sale was even cheaper than Visio for the same feature set (slightly). Not the greatest on an absolute scale, but great for the price. Easy to spot aberrations that a good set wouldn't do, but not serious (for a bedroom set). Of course even spendy sets have things one can spot too. :-)

RE: U.S.A.! U.S.A!
By Suomynona on 8/22/2007 1:27:07 PM , Rating: 2
I'm curious how much of the engineering work is done here though. Both Vizio and Westinghouse seem to have fairly small staffs in the US and contract a lot of their work out to Taiwan. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the work is done over there while mostly just the business headquarters are here in America.

RE: U.S.A.! U.S.A!
By MGSsancho on 8/22/2007 6:07:14 PM , Rating: 2
<-- also a proud 47" 1080P visio owner. yeah colors need to be calibrated. try getting a dvi->hdmi cable on the screen. then see how bad its off. but once you calibrate it, its great.

Yes the other brands look nicer. but for an additional $1500? to me its not worth the cost

RE: U.S.A.! U.S.A!
By Anh Huynh on 8/22/2007 6:30:09 PM , Rating: 2
How do you like the 47"? I'm considering returning my 42" and picking up the 47" for a little more. The black levels of the 42" aren't that great, are the black levels on the 47" any better?

RE: U.S.A.! U.S.A!
By Samus on 8/23/2007 7:20:17 AM , Rating: 2

In my experience, the larger the LCD you get, the worse the black level gets. At some point, the backlighting is just too large and bleeds into the corners and edges of the screen.

My 42" Olevia does this, sometimes unacceptably (in very dark scenes it seems like the contrast is maxed) but then again my friend's Sharp 42", nearly identical specifications otherwise, has amazing black level and clearly better color.

Now who makes the Panels?
By Jedi2155 on 8/22/2007 10:35:51 AM , Rating: 2
Now I understand that there are many Companies that sell TV's...but only a few OEM's who actually makes the Panels....who does Vizio take thier panels from? As well as Westinghouse and so on...

RE: Now who makes the Panels?
By ChipDude on 8/22/2007 11:24:48 AM , Rating: 2
Rumor is the new 52" are from LG Phillips a cheap small time manufacture of low quality electronics that will die in a few months :-)

RE: Now who makes the Panels?
By INeedCache on 8/22/2007 10:05:23 PM , Rating: 1
Sorry, but LG is not a cheap, small-time manufacturer of low quality electronics. I have had stuff from LG dating back to the 60s and 70s when they marketed their stuff here under the Goldstar label, and have never had anything fail, nor was I ever disappointed with the quality. We have sold many LG LCD monitors over the last 3-4 years and have had no failures reported to us, nor have any customers complained about the performance or quality. We use them ourselves for business and personal use, and love the picture quality. By the way, they aren't small time, either. You obviously know very little about them.

RE: Now who makes the Panels?
By ChipDude on 8/23/2007 4:56:42 PM , Rating: 2
Dude noticed the :-) ? I have a clue who LG is!

RE: Now who makes the Panels?
By jedisoulfly on 8/22/2007 11:28:09 AM , Rating: 2
I have heard that before but was not sure if it was true. I figured it was. would seem then that it would be a good idea to try and find panel model numbers on some of the high end displays and then try and find the same panel on a lower cost display. if its possible.

RE: Now who makes the Panels?
By EarthsDM on 8/22/2007 11:39:32 AM , Rating: 2
For LCD panels there is a 25 point rating scale that OEMs and manufacturers use that the consumer is never informed of. Two panels from the same provider, with the same model number, can be of wildly different quality.

Quantity vs. Quality
By mdogs444 on 8/22/2007 9:44:28 AM , Rating: 3
I've seen some Vizio displays around and no doubt, they are nice for the money. But when compared side to side up against a nice Samsung or Sony or Toshiba, the image quality and color is noticable - but so is the price tag. Good job Vizio, you are helping lower prices of top model LCD displays and make them (more) affordable for the average consumer.

Id be more interested to know some sales comparisons & customer satisfaction between some of the very popular, lower costs displays: Vizio, Westinghouse, Sceptre

RE: Quantity vs. Quality
By spwrozek on 8/22/2007 10:36:47 AM , Rating: 2
I totally agree. Nice job driving down prices but they do not look that good at all. I don't really think it is worth the savings for how the Vizio displays look. As you said the side by side comparision isn't even close.

Personally if I was going HD I would pay to get a TV that compliments the HD.

RE: Quantity vs. Quality
By Spivonious on 8/22/2007 12:56:20 PM , Rating: 2
I agree too.

I have a 32" Vizio that I got from Sears and no it doesn't look as good as the Sony or Samsung that was next to it, but it was almost half the cost! Plus the Vizio has all the features I needed and more (2 HDMI, VGA, 2 Component, 2 Composite, ATSC/QAM tuner). If it ever does break, losing $600 is a lot better than losing $1100.

Plus, once I got it home and calibrated the display settings, the picture quality is almost equal to the more expensive sets, and colors no longer bleed. Well done Vizio!

Who is VIZIO
By ChipDude on 8/22/2007 12:04:35 PM , Rating: 3
There is a nice article about the founder of Vizio at Its a colorful story about a business man who used to make computer monitors, survived a tragic jumbo jet accident, helped gateway with TVs and now is making it really big beating the big guys.

Lets get real guys, LCD tvs are a commodity. The panels are made in multi-billion dollar factories by a handful of companies. The key chips are manufactured by a few IC houses then distributed to many. Sure SONY, Sharp and Samsung do enough volume to invest in their own LCD plans and design/manufacture their own key chips. But companies like Westinghouse, Vizo and others can now secure everything they need from many of the same manufactures and get the big contract manufactures to design and manufacture them and cut all the overhead and marketing of the fancy names.

LCDs are where PCs were 10 years ago. You got the COMPAQs and IBMs offering incremental quality with huge price premium for custom parts. Then you got the commodity manufactures that offer 99% of the features at 60% of the cost.

VIZIO as what 20-50 employees and one office building in Irvine. No marketing or distribution overhead and contract everything out to the big manufaturing guys. Damm I figure FOXCON probably does their design too. Great model and great for the consumer.

I got a 52" from costco for 1899, sure it looks a bit less bright then that Sony or Sharp that was on the floor but for that $1500 difference I can trade up to a 60"+ in two years from Vizo. Am I worried that it'll crap out in 2 years? Could I get a lemon, possible, but with what I know about electronics I'm pretty sure that if I had walked out of Costco with that expensive Bravia I think in 5 years or that Vizio that i have they will both be working and anyone visiting my family room will be hardpressed to see what that extra $1.5K got beside that nameplate.

RE: Who is VIZIO
By MGSsancho on 8/22/2007 6:13:49 PM , Rating: 3
its about binning. the highest quality LCDs go to airline industry. then hand pick the glass. (cant have a dead pixel on the instruments. imagine an 8 turned into a 6.) after airliners, are the pro displays which are 2x to 3x the price you see at the stores. they have more accurate colors etc. these goto pros and medical uses and rich people. after the $6000 42" lcd market, are the bravias and stuff for $3000 at the store. then you have visio. after that, the bad parts get cut out and re used for low tech displays like security camera and stuff like that. LCD monitors dont fit here. DPI is totally different. but they would come in and 2nd and 3rd pick glass. from what i hear, its almost like bidding a process

By lobadobadingdong on 8/22/2007 1:52:56 PM , Rating: 2
My parents bought a 27"vizio recently, it has the worst ghosting I've ever seen on any lcd panel made in the last 10 years. (I've seen up to 7...yes 7 frames at once in action scenes)

RE: ghosting
By noxipoo on 8/22/2007 2:31:27 PM , Rating: 2
you run fraps on that movie to get that number?

Any good small LCD widescreens out there?
By Chriz on 8/22/2007 2:25:02 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not really familiar with what type of LCD TV's this company makes, but I've noticed the selection of smaller widescreen LCD TV's seems to have grown smaller. I have a Dell 17" widescreen. I will be looking for a replacement soon, but Dell does not even make small TV's anymore and there seems to be nothing worthwhile with other brands until about 23 or even 26". I would like one under 23". I know Samsung makes some, but the reviews I have seen have not been very good.

By lumbergeek on 8/22/2007 6:28:37 PM , Rating: 2
Do you need a tuner? If not, get an LCD computer monitor and use the DVI input for video.... I use a 22" Sammy at my desk for HDTV. Exceptional..... I use Satellite as my source.

By kamra on 8/22/2007 3:23:56 PM , Rating: 2
Friends from work have Vizio 720p and 1080p screens and I've heard nothing but good stuff about them. Frankly, it's surprising to see how many units that they've been selling versus the other brands. I personally own a 32" Westinghouse that has some minor ghosting that I notice mostly when i watch NFL football in HD, but with HD gaming, I haven't seen it. Not sure why, but overall, i've been happy with my Westinghouse. It was made in Mexico... not Taiwan.

Cheap crap
By SavagePotato on 8/22/2007 3:35:36 PM , Rating: 2
You can never discount the market for cheap crap I guess. While I suppose theres nothing really wrong with buying a lesser quality product for less with the intent of getting a new one sooner, I don't see the logic.

I just bought a Samsung FP-T5084. While theres even more high end plasmas out there, This thing is excellent for it's price based on the quality it puts out. Definitely not in the price range of the super cheap 1000 dollar entry level lcd though.

The way I see it Is I plan to get as much as 10 years out of this tv, averaged out over that time the 3200 bucks I payed for it doesn't come to much. For me, I would rather have an excellent quality tv for 10 years than by crappy ones every 2 years and count on technology improvements. Before anyone says 3200 is too much for that TV that isn't American pricing, it's Canadian, after tax, which is actually about 1000 bucks less than current Canadian overpriced retail.

To each their own, Ill take a high quality long term purchase any day though.

By JSK on 8/22/2007 7:51:44 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently their panel glass is made at same production facility as one of the big three. I picked that up on the AVS forums but dont have the link handy.

I have been eyeballing their GV42LF for around $1100. 1080p, even over vga for those using dual displays on their pc, 42", 2 HDMI inputs, a pretty good deal.

Sure you may be getting 80-90% of the quality of a Big Name manufacturer, but you also get it at half the price. Thats the trade off.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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