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Warranty important by LCD TV

Extended Warranties For LCD TV and Monitors

What you need to know about LCD Television Warranties

Update: April 2006
Reviewer: Jack Burden

Copyright © 2004 LCDTVBuyingGuide.com. All Rights Reserved.

It is natural for anyone who's investing thousands of hard-earned dollars in a high-end flat-panel LCD television to wonder whether it might be worth it to spring for an extended warranty. And to those people, I say, "Absolutely."

Here's why:

While manufacturers are always working to keep their defect rates down, LCD monitors are by no means defect-free. In fact, the sheer number of transistors embedded in a given LCD display means that defective transistors, ones that get stuck in either the "on" or "off" position permanently, are inevitable. Which means you will have a certain number of defective pixels in any LCD TV, though, percentage-wise, this number is usually infinitesimal. (An LCD display with a 1024 x 768 native resolution panel, containing a total of 2,359,296 [or 1024 x 768 x 3] red, green, and blue pixels, that has, say, 20 defective pixels, would have a pixel defect rate of 0.0008%.)

Manufacturers allow for a certain number of defective pixels per unit before said unit is officially considered "defective." Since there is no way to repair defective transistors once they have been embedded in the LCD display element, any LCD monitor with an excess of defective pixels will have to be replaced. Usually, you will know whether yours is a "defective" LCD TV right out of the box -- at which point you're still covered by the manufacturer's warranty. And, since most manufacturers warrant their products for one (1) full year, you have some time to ascertain whether or not your LCD TV is actually defective, pixel-wise, at least.

You need to realize, though, that a lot can happen to LCD displays after a year of use. There might have been sufficient time for all the defective pixels to have turned-up, but other things can go wrong, too. Like your backlight dimming prematurely … or your tuner malfunctioning … or whatever. You can hope that any "bugs" in your LCD TV become apparent while it's still under warranty. Or you can purchase an extended warranty in case they do not.

Extended warranties are like insurance: You buy it hoping you'll never need it, then you use it realizing you did.

Extended warranties are essentially service contracts, which protect you against exorbitant after-warranty labor/repair costs (which can be upwards of $250 per hour) and pricey parts (which can be quite high, for example, if you have to replace a defective backlight).

It really is a no-brainer, but before you get an extended warranty:

  • Make sure the warranty comes from a reputable company that has demonstrated some staying power. New warranty companies seem to spring-up overnight, some of them offering too-good-to-be-true pricing plans, others just making promises they can't possibly keep (or stay in business long enough to keep). Go with a well-known warranty company, like Philips or Warrantech, both of which have been in business for more than 20 years.
  • Realize that extended warranties begin after the manufacturer's warranty has ended. You can generally buy warranties in 2-, 3-, or 5-year intervals, though these warranties only go into effect after the original warranty expires. So, if your LCD TV comes with a one-year warranty from the manufacturer, and you buy a 3-year extended warranty, your TV is still only covered for 3 years from its purchase date.

Note: If the manufacturer warranty does not apply to your LCD television (because you didn't buy it from an Authorized Dealer) or becomes voided (because of misuse or outright abuse), it will not be covered by an extended warranty, either.

  • Know that warranty companies will not cover all LCD TV makes and models. These companies will not do business with manufacturers known to do less-than-adequate jobs servicing their products, making repair parts available, etc. Moreover, some of the newer LCD displays on the market do not carry enough spare parts and lack sufficient service center coverage to ensure that timely repairs can be made to them. All of which is why it pays to go with brand-name manufacturers rather than cheaper Chinese or Taiwanese knock-offs.

(source LCDTVBuyingGuide.com)

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