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Are we Brits only concerned by price point?

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs Forum' started by Faust, Mar 20, 2005.

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  1. Faust

    Faust
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    I have been in my local Makro store this afternoon, and saw no less than three LCD t.v.'s bought within minutes of each other. Which manufacturers products were purchased - two people bought the Bush whilst the third bought a Goodmans, snubbing the likes of Philips Samsung Sony etc. I actually spoke to one chap in the checkout who had purchased the Bush and asked him why he had made this choice. His reply - price, nothing more nothing less, he said "this has to be a bargain at this price", and had I seen the rip off prices of the more well known brands. This has got me thinking, are we Brits only concerned by price point, does quality, PQ, and reliability count for nothing anymore? LCD's weren't the only thing whipping of the shelves, DVD players, recorders, all manner of things whose manufacturers names in the main I have never even heard of, I thought at one point they were giving it away, and yet for the most part the well known brands remained untouched - very depressing, we really have turned into a cheap skate society.

    :(
     
  2. drphibes

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    You might have a point mate but is only recently that top brand lcd screen have started to drop.
    I think a lot of the general public are not that interested in progressive scan etc and you can see why they are tempted by the lower end offerings.

    When you think about it the likes of Bush would have gone bump years ago if the public demanded top quality products.
    Most pockets will only stretch so far and I know I had to really blow my budget when i bought my Sharp GA3E.

    Drphibes
     
  3. Dog with 3 legs

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    In a word - yes- . By and large anyway. The masses are happy with cheap crap.

    Many people can't differantiate between good and bad anyway so they may as well have the cheap stuff. These same people usually also measure quality by price. i.e. a £2K telly MUST be better than a £1700 telly.

    I've lost count of the number of people who have sat in awe of my Pioneer plasma who are mainly interested in "how much did it cost". When I tell them the sticker price at John Lewis was £6K they say "it's fantanstic". My response suprises them when I point out that the picture quality of many £1K CRTs is far better.

    Another point is that "the masses" (me included) have gone mad for flat panel displays. How long is it before flat panel displays match CRT in quality or people begin to see the difference in quality for themselves.
     
  4. ben_gb

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    It doesn't help that companies tend to charge quite a bit more for the similar or often lower spec kit in the UK, than compared to other countries (especially the US).

    I think certain companies assume a lower techincal requirement for UK users. E.G. things like HDMI and PC interfaces are only just starting appear on sets here, but in the US they've been available for some time. You can see this on other items too... there was a big gap of time between when Panasonic launched their first HDD/DVD recorder in the US and when it finally came to the UK.
     
  5. Dubbing Mixer

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    When certain manufacturers stop taking the **ss on prices for their kit and specs for the UK compared to the rest of the world this argument will have more validity. As it is, Britisih purchasers are obliged to look elsewhere for flat screens because of the greed of the big-name manufacturers. Manufacturing costs are no excuse. Eeryone manufactures in China these days too, so the massive price discrepencies cannot be explained by cheap labour. It is the corporate baggage and the marketing department that drives up the prices. The big name manufacturers should have learnt the lessons of the music industry. If you blatently overcharge, then the punter will find a way around you. Not every no-name 'budget' product that comes out of China is necessarily worse than the same product badged by a big name manufacturer.
     
  6. NicolasB

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    Well, it's not just manufacturing costs, is it? It's the preposterous VAT rate, the price of petrol, idisyncrasies like 50Hz PAL TV rather than 60Hz NTSC, the 220V mains supply, driving on the left, the strength of the pound, and the fact that things in the UK are usually sold via distributors rather than directly.

    Having said that, yes: the Great British Public wants things that are cheap rather than things that are good. Take the average British supermarket and transport it to France, and the chances are there's not even one "food" product in the entire store that anyone would buy, because French people actually care about what food tastes like as well as what it costs. The British don't care if "meat" is made from mechanically recovered tissue, 50% cartilage, and stuffed full of added salt and sugar, so long as it's cheap. (Who the hell came up with the idea of adding sugar to meat anyway?)
     
  7. Dubbing Mixer

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    Well, I'm sure the Great British Public does want things that are cheap, But a small reminder of why quality food is so expensive here might not go amiss. The common agricultural policy is the culprit. Subsidising inefficient producers to the detriment of quality here at least. The major UK beneficiaries are the big agribusiness companies who exploit the subsidies for all they are worth. Sorry, massively off topic.

    But back to the point. If the big name manufacturers want to stay in business in the UK they are going to have to offer quality AND competitive pricing. People will pay a premium for perceived value but, in general, not a silly one. If everybody is manufacturing in the lowest cost location and the difference in component cost and R&D is comparitively trivial then kick out the expensive corporate baggage and expensive marketing. Keep the quality up, pile it high, sell it cheap. It seems to work well for Tesco's.
     
  8. dingo8yobaby

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    People are just tired of being ripped off- The majority of 'cheapo brands' that have flooded the lcd market recently (especially below 30") seem to use panels from the same handful of manufacturers, for eg; CMO electronics recently overtook Sharp as worlds most prolific manufacturer of lcd panels above 20" after sony put in a massive order for screens to be sold in europe. CMO also supply the panels for dixons groups exclusive range of Logik lcd tvs. Another example is that I recently saw a 15" Toshiba lcd tv model 15vl33 for sale at £350 at dixons in oxford street, right next to it was a Beko 15" lcd tv which was exactly the same even down to the design of the remote control! I checked the socketry and even the menus on both and found them to be identicle also. The only difference was Beko's screen was selling for £199.99, thats £150 premium for Toshiba branding.

    Known brands dont necessarily provide improved results over their less well known opposition.
     
  9. mray

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    All those "no name brands" which you say were flying off the shelves in this Country, would still cost you less almost anywhere in Europe.
    I think our standards are lower through necessity, rather than choice, most of the time.
    The new Panasonic Recorder is a case in point. I understand it's going to cost about £40 more here than in the rest of Europe, and that's for the base model!
     
  10. la gran siete

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    Maybe people just dont wish to be ripped off thats all. There is no concrete evidence that well known brands are inherently better than the lesser known ones. Its all a marketting ploy dont you know
     
  11. la gran siete

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    Very good post . we need more like this :thumbsup:
     
  12. Dubbing Mixer

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    Hear, hear!
     
  13. Faust

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    The trouble is, and I think especially with electronics is how do you compare like with like? Take the Philips 9986 as an example, costs around £2000, compare that with a similar size Goodmans at approx half that price, are you saying that spec and quality wise there is no difference? Is the Goodmans going to perform to the same standard, i.e. motion blur, smearing, black blacks? Certainly if you read the posts on these forums plus the many reviews, that theory does not seem to hold water.
     
  14. Dubbing Mixer

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    Nope, that's not the point. Point is, the extra technology in the Philips just isn't worth the price premium. The extra components cost pennies and the R&D cost is almost irrelevant when divided by the number of sets sold. The extravagance is in the corporate baggage and the marketing. They're taking the p*** and the reliability is no better (if not worse) than the no-name brands. Gimmicks such as 'Ambilight' just demonstrate their desperation in the face of real competition. I'm not saying you shouldn't pay a premium for better performance, just that it should be £100 or so, not double the asking price.
     
  15. Faust

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    Well surely that's the point though, if you want the best picture then you have got to be prepared to pay for it. Turn the argument on its head for a minute, why do the likes of Goodmans, just as an example not charge £100 more and give the consumer a product the likes of a Sony Philips or Panasonic then if that's the sort of real price difference were talking about?
     
  16. Dubbing Mixer

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    Back to the original problem. The sets are flying off the shelves as they are. No need to improve them - yet.

    As the industry develops in China, competition will inveitably follow and the need to differentiate product in order to gain market share, then the picture (and hopefully sound) quality will improve.
     
  17. jimsan

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    Of course the Philips is worth it!

    This is s bit of a repeat of an earlier thread which went into Value for money in great depth. The 9986 is a technological wonder that sports the best Picture Processing currently available and many fantastic features, including Ambilight, which, unlike what 'Dubbing Mixer' says, is no 'desperate gimmick', but a feature that sets this Philips, together with its picture performance, in a completely different league from any other.

    I guarantee you, it's the other main manufacturers tech guys who will be looking a bit desperate as they wring their hands frantically trying to find a way of launching their own version of Ambilight without actually blatantly copying it.

    Of course there is a place for Chinese Cheapies, and good on them, they are driving prices down very nicely. But if I was in a position where I wanted to buy another LCD I would still go for the one with the best picture and the best overall features. It would drive me mad to sit watching a telly knowing that I was watching an inferior picture on a crummy looking TV, with few processing options and inferior sound.

    There is a difference between adequate TV's and fantastic TV's and if you choose to go for the former that's fine, but, for me and thousands of others, the best performance is worth the premium paid. No arguments.

    Jimmy
     
  18. Boring Brian

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    Jimmy. Guess where Philips manufactures its LCD panels?
     
  19. jimsan

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    The Panels may be sourced in China, but the TV's are assembled in Belgium.

    Jimmy
     
  20. Boring Brian

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    Yes Jim - But that's exactly what the "cheapies" do too. Putting the TV tuners in in the Eurozone saves them all 14% in duty.
     
  21. Dubbing Mixer

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    Jimmy,

    I didn't mean to disparage ambilight for those who appreciate it and i aentirely agree with your sentiments about it driving you mad to sit watching a telly knowing that you were watching an inferior picture, with few processing options and inferior sound. As to the looks of the thing, well beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, I'm just not prepared to pay the current asking price because I believe it is artificially inflated. Philps / LG must have realised I'm not the only one because they issued a profits warning. The gist of which was they will have to lower their prices to sell the number of sets they are making. It is my contention that it is the corporate baggage of the big name manufacturers and their ludicrous marketing spend that is the main cause of the price disparity. I wouldn't be surpised to discover they spend more on marketing per unit than manufacturing... Often the case with other big name products.
     
  22. Zigster

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    Back to the original post, I'm not sure people buying LCDs in Makro should be taken as representative. Makro is a stack-em-high, sell-em-low kind of place so people buying TVs from there are clearly going to be after cheap rather than quality.

    If you went to a top hi-fi/AV dealers and saw people buying very expensive kit, you could just as reliably claim that Brits are real connoisseurs/have more money than sense.

    Having said that, given the British obsession with cheap, nasty, unhealthy junk food (Naked Chef for President!) I have a suspicion the OP is correct after all. :(
     
  23. jimsan

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    I'm not perticularly bothered where the sets are actually manufactured, although I believe that huge numbers of TV's are assembled completely in China, it's the 'Cheapie' bit of the statement that was important.

    The next phase of Philips drive to be the very best LCD manufacturer shows us where some of our investment in them is going. They are continuing to push the technology forward with advancements like backlight scanning and 'clear LCD'.

    There has got to be a driving force present in the market place for the others to chase and, as far as I can see Philips are the only ones who are really pushing the technology hard.

    Incidentally, their new range of LCD's (PF9380) are going to be hitting the market at pretty competitive prices due, in part to the fact that they are re-using the 9986 chassis, and that they expect to be selling many more of this range than any other due to increased demand for LCD's globally. It will still be more expensive than many TV's, but considerably cheaper than others....
    but if it's the best LCD on the market it will always sell to discerning viewers...

    Jimmy
     
  24. Faust

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    Well to expand this quality issue a little further, my nephew has worked for many years for a large well know exhaust manufacturer who supplies exhausts as OE for many of the large car manufactures. These exhausts are designed to last at least three years under normal use, and usually often last for four. Now this exhaust manufacturer also makes visually identical exhausts for the fast fit replacement trade, and are sold much cheaper than the OE ones. My nephew says these exhausts are referred to as 12 months and 1 day exhausts - why? because that is how long they last. They are designed to just go beyond the twelve months warranty then bang you need a new one. I suspect the same can be said for a lot of the cheap and cheerful AV equipment, it may look like a more expensive manufacturers LCD but that is where the comparisons begin and end. Sadly, the majority of Brits are not a discriminating bunch when it comes to purchases, as experience shows we nearly always purchase on price and not quality.
     
  25. yoskiwoski

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    Joe public love a bargain, at the opening of Ikea Edmonto 7 people were seriously hurt because of fighting over a special price sofa at £40, I'm sure the 3000 people that turned up didn't all need a sofa they just wanted to get a bargain, we live in a throw away society get something cheap when it breaks get another one, its no good if u ask me.

    p.s I've got that sofa (not after fighting over special price) and its not even comfortable
     
  26. loz

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    right now, making a long term "investment" in a display doesn't seem sensible anyway. Technology and prices are changing too fast.
    Better off buying something cheap, that is "good enough", and doesn't make you cry when you think how much you paid for it, and how much it is worth when you come to replace it a year later:)
     
  27. jimsan

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    Trouble with this theory is that in a years time you are still in the same boat.....'I'll just get another cheapie for a grand, suffer a crummy picture for another 12 months and get the latest thing next year....etcetera, etcetera...or even worse, suffer the origional crummy one for another year....then another year...

    You should jump for the best thing now and keep it and enjoy it and get your moneys worth from it for a good handful of years. Then do the research and purchase the best one again! Could be cheaper in the long run and more satisfying. Live at the top, not the bottom...Cheapie LCD's are a false economy.

    Jimmy
     
  28. Faust

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    Blimey! a year and then get another one, certainly not in my generation. When I purchase something like a t.v. fridge, Hi Fi etc. I buy with at least ten years service in mind - I kid you not, and I can tell you that by paying that bit extra I am rarely out with the ten years, or the enjoyment I have had through owning it.
     
  29. hornydragon

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    I saw a brandnew warrantied 14" colour TV for £39.99 the other day....................Why buy anything else? While the masses see a price and make assumptions there are still a few people who value service and quality.........
     
  30. Faust

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    I too value service and quality, and I know that there is no such thing as a free lunch. I therefore expect to pay that bit extra to get the quality and service, by doing so I am rarely disappointed
     

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