On 11-18-08 I wrote an article [here] about some buying tips for purchasing a HDTV this holiday season. One of the comments I received from Carolyn M., praised the Vizio HDTV’s she owned. I have seen the Vizio sets in Wal-Mart and have noted the inexpensive pricing for the sets, whether they be plasma’s of LCD’s.

So with this in mind, I roamed around the Internet to see what comments were being made about the Vizio models. But first, a little history about the Vizio company. Vizio is located in Irvine, CA. and during the past few years has made quite a name for themselves in the HDTV market by offering their sets to companies such as WalMart, Costco, Sam’s Club, BJ’s Wholesale, Sears, Circuit City, Dell and Target stores nationwide along with authorized online partners. The company basically assembles parts from various suppliers and than distributes the assembled sets to the stores and partners listed above.

On the Vizio site they provide they following warranty information:

VIZIO provides a “ONE-YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY” (measured from the date of retail purchase) against manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship to the original purchaser of a new VIZIO display obtained from an authorized VIZIO U.S. reseller and used in the fifty (50) United States or Puerto Rico. If the display fails to conform to this limited warranty, VIZIO will, at its option and sole discretion, repair or replace the display.

In addition Vizio offers on site warranty coverage as well for certain models:

On-Site Warranty Repair generally, but not always, is performed on displays which are thirty (30) inches and larger.

Here is what I also learned about the cost of extended warranties. For sets under $1,000 retailers charge the following: Over at Sears they wanted $299 for a 3 year extended protection plan and Best wanted $199.99 for 4 years of protection. The best extended warranty, IMHO, is from Wal-Mart. They offer a 3 year exnted warranty for only $88.33. Or a 2 year extended warranty for only $59.88.

Wal-Mart also offers a 42″ Vizio Plasma 720p HDTV for $697.00. I just purchased a Panasonic Plasma 720p HDTV from Amazon for $765 with free shipping and no tax. So comparing the two models they are priced competitively when you add tax to the Visio model.

Oh, there is one difference. Contrast ratio. The Vizio is 30,000 to 1. The Panny is 1,000,000 to 1. This is just something to keep in mind when you go shopping. I also noticed that the 42″ Samsung Plasma being offered on turkey day at K-Mart is the older model last 3 digits are 400 with a lower contrast than the 450 model. So watch what you buy.

So share your opinion with us if you own a Vizio, Samsung or Panasonic plasma or LCD HDTV. Share your experiences with us, whether bad or good.

Comments welcome.