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Consumer Reports - Yay or Nay

Monolithic_DomeMonolithic_Dome Registered User regular
This is TV-related but seemed to have wide enough impact to go in its own thread.

Anyway, I'm shopping for an HDTV and I'm looking at picking up a subscription to Consumer Reports. I remember picking up an issue at the library when I was looking for a stereo or something in high school and it was very informative and thorough. They've got some preview-y content available for free, but to get the full reviews you need to subscribe, which is 26 bucks for a year.

Basically the hook is that they accept no advertising, so their reviews are far less biased. And, subjectively, they are way less bullshitty than say CNET.

Anyone used CR? Found the subscription worth it? I'll probably have a few more big-ish purchases within the next year (Stereo, possibly a car) so it might be worth it to me even if I don't get 26 bucks worth of information on HDTVs from it.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
Monolithic_Dome on

Posts

  • DeusfauxDeusfaux Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    yeah if you're gonna be using it for more than just the TV, I'd say give it a shot

    mom had a subscription and we used it to help during car buying back in november. Some good guides

    Deusfaux on
  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Go to the library. Free Consumer Reports > $26. 8-)

    Cauld on
  • Oz K. FodrotskiOz K. Fodrotski Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    My parents have a subscription; though not tech-oriented, they have solid, non-biased reviews from what I've read.

    Oz K. Fodrotski on
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  • walerianwalerian Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Just to throw in my two cents.

    I work for a paint company. A very large one. We make a lot of paint, and are basically considered the high-end paint company.

    Consumer reports does an interior paint report every so often. Our top of the line paint ALWAYS finishes last.

    Whats weird? They have many value brands of paint that you can buy at wal-mart or independent paint stores rated higher.

    The kicker? We make those paints. They sure as shit aren't better than our top of the line in-house brand.

    tl;dr: Take Consumer Reports with a grain of salt. They don't publish their testing criteria. Their results don't match industry standardized independent testing.

    walerian on
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. - Winston Churchill
  • That_GuyThat_Guy I don't wanna be that guy Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Cauld wrote: »
    Go to the library.

    That_Guy on
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  • RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I've had a subscription to Consumer Reports for a few months now. Bought headphones, a vacuum cleaner and a lawn mower based on their recommendations and the products have not disappointed. If you're thinking about getting a car I would definitely get a subscription. The real-world fuel economy and comprehensive reliability reports are all well worth a paltry $26, especially as information for such a big-ticket purchase.

    And maybe you think that industry tests are more thorough, but for non-tech stuff I doubt you'll find a better side-by-side comparison on all aspects of a product than Consumer Reports. Testing done by a company is always going to leave out their weak areas and product reviews from consumers are often inadequate because they don't get the experience of testing out every product side by side.

    RandomEngy on
    Profile -> Signature Settings -> Hide signatures always. Then you don't have to read this worthless text anymore.
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    walerian wrote: »
    Just to throw in my two cents.

    I work for a paint company. A very large one. We make a lot of paint, and are basically considered the high-end paint company.

    Consumer reports does an interior paint report every so often. Our top of the line paint ALWAYS finishes last.

    Whats weird? They have many value brands of paint that you can buy at wal-mart or independent paint stores rated higher.

    The kicker? We make those paints. They sure as shit aren't better than our top of the line in-house brand.

    tl;dr: Take Consumer Reports with a grain of salt. They don't publish their testing criteria. Their results don't match industry standardized independent testing.

    That's because they're not in it for the best quality-wise, but the best overall value. If your premium paint only performs 50% better, but costs 3x as much, they're going to mark it down heavily because the increased performance doesn't justify the expense.

    AngelHedgie on
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  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I would suggest, like some others, that you read it at the library.

    tsmvengy on
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  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Why pay for a magazine subscription when you can get the exact same information for free from the internet? The info in the magazine is always going to be 2 months out of date anyways

    Azio on
  • RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    The internet subscription is $26. You can't access all of Consumer Reports online for free.

    RandomEngy on
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  • walerianwalerian Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    For a tv: just go to AVS Forum. Its like the internet mecca for ALL things AV related. There's more information there than 30 years worth of Consumer Reports.

    walerian on
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. - Winston Churchill
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    That_Guy wrote: »
    Cauld wrote: »
    Go to the library.

    I had a subscription last year, and its caught what killed PCMag. Every other issue was about TVs and/or electronic gear. Yes, lots of people are buying LCD TVs, but they're still buying vacuum cleaners and coffee makers too.

    The short version is for LCDs, Sony or Samsung; for plasma, Panasonic or Samsung is the way to go.

    MichaelLC on
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  • THE TedTHE Ted Tedoculus OklahomaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I currently have an online subscription to consumerreports, which I signed up for mainly for tv research. (though I'm only paying like 6$ a month? Maybe the 26 you mentioned is a year?) I've had it since November. I ended up having to wait a long time to actually buy my tv, which I have done. Only the tv I purchased hasn't been reviewed by CR or anyone else for that matter. All of the tv reviews that are currently on CR are months old, some of their 'best buy picks' you can't even find at the major retailers anymore. This was my first time around the tv shopping house of horror, so I don't know how long it generally takes for reviews to come out after new tv's have been released.

    The new Toshiba line, from which I bought, came out in February. The new Samsung line came out in March. (I was pretty much torn between these two). I loved the thoroughness of their reviews, back when I was still planning on buying the older models, but they have no info on these new ones so I had to make my decision on my own. So unless you plan on buying last years models from an internet site, CR won't help you until they update their reviews.

    THE Ted on
    The train is a lie. The cake is a spy.
  • Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2008
    No thanks to Consumer Reports. There are enough consumer-oriented reviews sites on the internet to help guide your purchase decision, IMHO. I wouldn't shell out for a subscription. Haul yourself to your local library and enjoy, if you really need it that badly.

    Satan. on
  • variantvariant Registered User
    edited April 2008
    For TVs you should be able to get all the information you need online. AVS forums is a good place, however, they're completely obsessed with TVs and tend to nit pick at small things that you wouldn't even notice if it wasn't pointed out.

    I'm sitting on purchasing an HDTV right now, just waiting for the rebate check.
    $1500 for Samsung A550 (Came out only a month ago)
    46" 1080P
    5MS
    30,000:1 Contrast
    Amazon

    variant on
  • Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2008
    variant wrote: »
    For TVs you should be able to get all the information you need online. AVS forums is a good place, however, they're completely obsessed with TVs and tend to nit pick at small things that you wouldn't even notice if it wasn't pointed out.

    I'm sitting on purchasing an HDTV right now, just waiting for the rebate check.
    $1500 for Samsung A550 (Came out only a month ago)
    46" 1080P
    5MS
    30,000:1 Contrast
    Amazon

    Link?

    Satan. on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Improvolone on
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  • DaemonionDaemonion USARegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Or you could go to:

    www.avsforum.com

    The Audio/Video Science forums.

    Daemonion on
  • Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2008

    Appreciate it.
    Daemonion wrote: »
    Or you could go to:

    www.avsforum.com

    The Audio/Video Science forums.

    No thanks, I don't deal with that bunch of fanboys.

    Satan. on
  • walerianwalerian Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Satan. wrote: »

    Appreciate it.
    Daemonion wrote: »
    Or you could go to:

    www.avsforum.com

    The Audio/Video Science forums.

    No thanks, I don't deal with that bunch of fanboys.

    out of curiosity, fanboys about what? They've got people who are fanboys about EVERYthing. Go see some of the lcd vs. plasma arguments - Or the hd-dvd vs. Blu-Ray - or a lot of stuff. I have noticed zero fanboyism there and thats where I learned how to choose my next tv (Samsung A650 myself, after the Wedding).

    walerian on
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. - Winston Churchill
  • Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2008
    walerian wrote: »
    Satan. wrote: »

    Appreciate it.
    Daemonion wrote: »
    Or you could go to:

    www.avsforum.com

    The Audio/Video Science forums.

    No thanks, I don't deal with that bunch of fanboys.

    out of curiosity, fanboys about what? They've got people who are fanboys about EVERYthing. Go see some of the lcd vs. plasma arguments - Or the hd-dvd vs. Blu-Ray - or a lot of stuff. I have noticed zero fanboyism there and thats where I learned how to choose my next tv (Samsung A650 myself, after the Wedding).

    It... it's full of fanboy. On all of those subjects.

    Satan. on
  • variantvariant Registered User
    edited April 2008
    I would suggest only going on there to get the right calibration setting for the TV you choose to buy. Otherwise it will inadvertently force you up-market to the $4-5k TVs because the one you had in mind just isn't perfect enough.

    Walerian: Why are you going for the 6 series over the 5? The only difference is 120hz, right?

    variant on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I'e actually had alot of luck in getting and seeing advice on small budgets. Even questions that say "I can only spend $150 on my receiver" get responses with what to get.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
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