You walk into the show room and look at the wall of flat panel TVs and notice that there are roughly 27 of them that say “Samsung” and have a price range of $900 to $4000 and have little idea what the differences are. The information tag has little but a model code and vague numbers of tech specs. You're friend told you to go in and only look at Samsung because they “make the best TVs” now and have a hard time finding out anything other than the fact that they make the most. You figure that, at first glance, they all look the same and you're friend recommended Samsung so you just figure you'd save money and get the $900 set. Did you make the right choice? Is brand name alone enough to merit the purchase of a TV? Did you know what the difference was between the set you chose and the $4000 one? Or even the $2000 one? This is something that puzzles a lot of consumers and often leads them to believe that sales associates just have their hands in their pockets when bringing them over the higher priced sets. Are they wrong to do so? No, and I'll explain why.
It is understandable that we set budgets for ourselves when considering buying a new set. The sad fact is that most of us do NOT do as much research as we think we do and dart to the brand name we like and start at the bottom of their list and try to merit choosing it with such logic as, “I just can't justify spending $1600 on a TV,” or “It's a Sony so any model they make is good enough for me!” Some of us will even conclude through rigorous research that certain things like 240hz and Internet Connectivity would be beneficial to own and, once we see the price difference, try to convince ourselves that we don't need it. There are even some of us that, in stores like Best Buy as an example, are almost afraid to step into their Magnolia Home Theater room because that is where all the expensive sets are. But consumers don't really know why the ones that are in rooms like that are in there. Every TV brand has a hierarchy. Do not think of it as “low end” and “high end” as those mainly depict price. Think of it as entry level and performance grade. There are reasons why you would be well suited for the top of the time performance set. There are few reasons other than limited budget or which room its going into that would lean you towards entry level. Obviously consumers aren't putting Pioneer Elites in their bedrooms. It is sad though that consumers are putting 55″ entry level Vizios in their movie room. Not a knock against a rising company like Vizio, but you get the point. Going back to the first thing I said, a lot of consumers don't understand why Samsung has different models going from Series 3 to Series 9. It's the same like the people that think Sony makes one TV and it's called the Bravia.
What do you gain going up in models? The easiest way to think about it is to divide the assortment into thirds. Allow me to use Samsung as an example since they make the most models. If you look at their lower third (entry level), you'll see that the things that tend to change as you go up in models will be Resolution, going from 720 to 1080p, contrast ratio and USB connectivity. I just described six models right there. When you go to the second tier (mid range), you gain access to things such as a higher hertz rate (120hz), contrast ratio, clear reflective screen for improved contrasting, and internet connectivity. I just described roughly eight models there. Then you go to the upper echelon (performance level) and you start getting into things such as the highest hertz rate (240hz), top contrast ratios, 3D capabilities, specialty remotes and thinner depth. I just described about five sets there. In that example, I just went from their model C350 LCD to the model C9000 LED with that simple example.
Before you say to yourself that you don't “need” what the C9000 from Samsung or performance end from any brand offers, go and have a look at them. You are guaranteed to be impressed with what they have and offer once you see it. Then you can go down the lineup to see where price and performance meet to suit your needs. EVERYONE loves the C9000 for a lot of reasons but the C6500 is one of their top sellers because of its combination of price and performance in many people's eyes.
It is important to be informed as it is equally important to know what is true and what the differences are between each model. If someone advises you to have a look at a particular model, ask them what the difference is between it and the model above it. I advised everyone to have a look at the Pioneer Elite TVs when they were still being sold. It wasn't because I got paid more to sell them or because I owned one, it was because I knew it was important to have a look at what the best is so that consumers can see where things are going. Simply put, you do not know what you truly want until you see what you can have.