WHF?S&V - take a stand re flawed & unreliable TVs, please


Well-known member
Oct 26, 2007
Judging by this forum’s threads, it would appear that for almost every current flatscreen TV that the specialist media showers with praise, 5-star ratings and awards, owners in the 'real world' experience faults and flaws, such as backlight-bleed/clouding, motion blur, decreasing black-levels, judder et al. Furthermore, it seems that far too many current TVs also have reliability/build-quality issues, confirmed by the following BBC.co.uk News article - 'Top 10 consumer complaints revealed' (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8483788.stm) - which cited TVs as no-2 for complaints: 1. Second-hand cars from independent traders 2. TELEVISIONS 3. Mobile phone service agreements 4. Mobile phone hardware 5. Laptops, notebooks and tablet PCs Source: Consumer Direct IME, I've had four flatscreen TVs since 2003, ALL of which developed faults: a 26in Philips LCD - can't recall model nos, it had a silver front with full-height, built-in speakers at sides & a curved, white back - which had clouding/backlight-bleed issues; a 32in Samsung LCD - gloss-black with a silver V-shape lower edge, BBC's F1 folks use same model in the après-GP Forum - when 2 yrs old it suddenly emitted a very loud 'phuttt' and filled my living room with thick, acrid smoke that smelt of formaldehyde(!), thereafter the speakers constantly 'buzzed' & the picture quality (PQ) was 'soft'; a Panasonic TH42PX70 plasma, when 2.5 yrs old it developed a full-length vertical green line, centre screen; a Philips 47PFL7404 LCD (my current TV) that has issues with ever-increasing clouding/backlight-bleed + headache-inducing (literally) motion blur. Were it not for the Consumer Direct survey's findings, I'd suspect that I am cursed re TVs. However, among the tat it seems there was/is a gem: Pioneer's Kuro range. Relatively complex initial setup aside, it appears that the Kuros were/are without flaw, subjective or objective, re PQ and that owners' experiences matched the specialist media's verdicts/reviews? Meanwhile, from what I can gather, Kuros are also more reliable in the long-term? For example, I know three Kuro owners and none have had reliability issues - coincidence? Of course, Kuros were not exactly 'bargain priced' - but perhaps that's the point? To produce a flatscreen TV that performs well AND is also reliable, a manufacturer has to price its products accordingly (Pioneer's perceived 'premium brand' loading accepted)? Was the Kuro range a classic example of you-get-what-you-pay-for, while other manufacturers' cost-cutting to match consumers' price expectations produces sub-standard products? Granted, consumers should not expect life-like, crisp PQ when paying c. £700 for a 50in TV but we are entitled to products that don't fail after relatively short-term use. Are TV manufacturers simply taking too many short cuts during R&D and sourcing/producing too many low-quality components, in order to frequently re-new their ranges - seemingly every six months - and offer so-called improved products? Whatever the permutations of cost-cutting, fast-paced R&D, poor-quality components etc may be, surely it's clear that the current world of TV hardware production is fundamentally flawed. Therefore, perhaps other members of this forum will join me in urging What HiFi? Sound & Vision to please use its reputation and influence to actively campaign for improved overall standards from TV manufacturers? Thanks.

Clare Newsome

New member
Jun 4, 2007
An excellent from-the-heart post

There were, of course, complaints about the Pioneer Kuro plasmas 'buzzing' (though we never found/still don't find that an issue with our reference set).....

Both when we encounter problems in our test rooms, and get feedback here of issues, we do bring it up with manufacturers, I can assure you. And we'll continue to do so.

For example, i've just been looking over a TV SUpertest we've got coming up in the new issue, where we mention a range of flaws from tinny sound to motion-blur to overblown colours to over-complicated set-up menus.

Flatscreens are still relatively new technology, and I doubt there's been a perfect one yet, sadly.
We can only tell it as we see/hear it, guide you to what we feel are the best buys, and finally - as ever - urge you to try before you buy. (While, of course, urging manufacturers to up their game...)

And finally....taking advantage of free extended-warranty offers - from manufacturers and retailers - is something to consider, as is knowing your consumer rights under UK and EU law. There's no reason to put up with a faulty set that's not fit for purpose.

Deleted member 2457

I'm with Clare an excellent post

I have owned a philips lcd "high end" tv for about roughly 3-4 years now, i still love it and still get a "wow" factor BUT

one of my ambilights has packed up, i have recenly developed a big screen burn mark about 8 inches long luckily it's near the left hand side of the screen and you can't always see it.

My dad brought a pioneer plasma the 42 inch PDP-427XD around 3 years ago, not 1080p but a fantastic set in every way and has never had any quality issue's what so ever.

BUT it does "buzz" not everyone notices it but I do pay great attention to it when ever i have seen it and it does buzz not loud but noticeable. Now wheather the buzzing is on every pioneer plasma set i don't know becaue you can only tell i think in your own living room.

Now when i put together my current home cinema system about 2 years I explored every possible aspect of what i could do presently and what to do in the future. I definetely wanted my home cinema system, but i also new i would never be able to have a 50 inch pioneer plasma if i went that route.

So now i find my self asking the question if i buy a 40 ish philips lcd/led how long is it going to last?

I know one thing if i brought a pioneer plasma i would not be asking the same question.


New member
Oct 30, 2008
I think you make you make an excellent point. I bought a sony 32v2000 31/2 years ago for around 1200 pounds. This was, even at the time considered to be an expensive tv and a premium product, but i think i got what i paid for as it still works perfectly and the blacks are possibly even better than when new. I read with great interest the recent review of the ex503 in whf and decided to check it out for myself in my local sony centre. To say i was disappointed would be an understatement. Certainly not the premium picture whf was claiming. Bad motion blur and picture noise were just the start of its problems. Moving up to the more premium nx series and things started to look a lot better but certainly not up to the standard of sony's of old. You are definitely on to something with your post. I'm off to see if i can find a Pioneer Kuro!


Maybe TV's aren't designed to last years. Put it this way when we all had the cheap old chunky CRT screens how often did we replace them? Mine all seemed to last as long as I wanted them and only got replaced when I decided to buy a larger one. I cannot recall ever owning one that broke or had a fault. Imagine how much money the major manufacturers make with new flat panels that get replaced every few years or so. If they created faultless screens that never failed they would be shooting themselves in the foot a bit wouldn't they? If they can create a screen that is initially great but that they know will pack up in 2-3 years then why not? I agree with the original post though, it's about time some of the manufacturers got a swift kick up the backside. Screens may be improving but but prices continue to go up and literally every screen out there is still alleged to have faults.


New member
Nov 21, 2008
Post of the year, so far!

I paid £1200 for my 37" Toshiba LCD about 4 years ago, and it still works perfectly. At the time, it was one of the best out there. I hope my Kuro continues to function like a dream for many years to come!


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