Brand name plasma screen televisions are often cheaper in the long run due to their reliability. Since brand name plasma screen televisions are subject to more exacting production standards, they leave the manufacturer with fewer flaws. Due to this, they require very little outside maintenance. The screen of a brand name television will often fade more slowly, and the colors will remain brighter for a longer period of time. Additionally the workmanship of a brand name television will make it less likely to be damaged during your period of ownership.
One of the great disadvantages of the plasma screen television market is the preponderance of no-name brands that sell shoddy products. Since low quality screens can be bought from manufacturers, it is easy for these companies to produce screens of lesser quality at attractive prices. While these prices are tempting, it is best to do research beforehand to determine if the screen produces a quality picture. Make an effort to see the screen function in stores. Try to find out who actually manufactures the screen, and what their quality control standards are like.
The proof is in the pixels. Whenever a plasma screen is constructed, there will invariably be a few pixels on the screen that do not work properly. Most well known brands of plasma screen televisions have certain manufacturing standards that tolerate only one or two non-functioning pixels per screen. If a screen does not meet these standards, it is often sold to a lesser brand for a smaller price. Lesser brands have very different standards of pixel function, often allowing more than 10% of pixels to be faulty. The smaller brand then adjusts the screen's brightness and color levels to compensate for the distortion, and then sells the unit at a lower price.
A little known fact is this: almost all of the central components for plasma screen televisions are manufactured by a handful of companies. These companies happen to be the large, well-known plasma screen television manufacturers of Japan, China, Taiwan, and Korea. Regardless of brand, large or small, these are the screens major manufacturers. It is easy to tell which brands produce which screens. Each large brand has a certain number of “signature” sizes that it manufactures. For example: if a certain large brand is known for manufacturing a 45” screen, then all other 45” screens of lesser brands are probably produced by that same manufacturer.
One of the plasma screen television's greatest assets is the ability to portray colors realistically. Normally, televisions distort the brightness of certain colors in order to make their images appear more vivid. Since plasma screen televisions are already very bright, they have no need to distort their colors. Thus colors appear natural and realistic. Many no name brand plasma screen televisions lack the brightness of their brand name counterparts. They often make up for this lack of brightness by distorting their color schemes.
Check out the address information for a smaller brand of plasma screen television. Less reputable companies often list only a PO Box. Call the company to see if you can verify a street address. Ask about addresses for return, sales, and customer service purposes. If the customer service representatives are evasive with their answers, don't trust the brand.