Does brand loyalty count for anything when you are shopping for a new TV? According to Consumer Reports Annual Product Reliability Survey, certain brands of plasma and LCD televisions do indeed consistently underperform while others are consistently excellent, garnering rave reviews from most consumers. The two worst performing brands of LCD TVs were Hitachi and Dell. (Dell has recently discontinued its TV line—still, if you find one on deep discount, pass it by.) The worst performing plasma TV award went to Philips. On the positive side of things, Panasonic consistently over-performed and was cited again and again as the maker of the best plasma TVs available today.
Other brands that had low repair rates and did consistently well in both the LCD and Plasma markets were Sony, Samsung, Toshiba, JVC, and Pioneer. So brand name does count, and not always in the expected way. For best results, do a bit of online research before buying, and jot down the best brands and models before shopping,