Sony vs Samsung vs Vizio HDTVs

Sony, Samsung, and Vizio have been battling for supremacy in the world of HDTVs for several years now, and the leader seems to be ever changing. Each of the three manufacturers makes HDTV models that are advanced enough to be called "Smart TVs", and all regularly land on the "Best HDTV" lists -- but does one really stand apart from the others? When you are faced with three HDTV makers that offer televisions that can play 3D movies, surf the Web, and essentially act as an advanced movie theater within your home, it's hard to make a bad choice. However, each manufacturer has its benefits and drawbacks, and consumers may find some of these significant enough to choose one over the other two.

Sony HDTVs

Sony has consistently landed on lists for best quality TVs and HDTVs for several years, with lines like the Sony KDL-HX850 and KDL-HX929 series both being special standouts. CNet says the KDL series features a "smart-looking Smart TV with sparkling picture quality." The picture quality is generally cited as the best reason to buy a Sony HDTV thanks to the excellent clarity, minimal blooming, and superior viewing angles -- regardless of where you are sitting in the room, a Sony HDTV will allow you to enjoy the show without angle issues. A 120 hZ refresh rate allows viewers to watch fast-moving games and programs as they unfold, which eliminates the blurring problem once common on these types of televisions.

The Sony LED and LCD HDTVs have a picture on par with that of a top-notch plasma television, without the problems (altitude issues for example) that are associated with some of Sony's plasmas. Current Sony HDTVs feature virtually indestructible Gorilla Glass, making it a good choice for accident prone households. The Sony HDTVs are generally a good bit more expensive than their Samsung and Vizio counterparts of similar size, but the cachet of the Sony name -- which has long been revered among tech-savvy consumers -- is enough to prompt many people to choose this more pricey option.

Samsung HDTVs

The Samsung HDTVs, such as the UNES6100, the UNES6500 are getting a lot of attention in the HDTV market today because they have a feature set and picture quality similar to Sony's line, but at a lower cost. Picture quality is excellent and features deep blacks and good shadowing. The blooming/bleeding of color is typically quite minimal, resulting in an overall sharp photo. The Samsung LED and LCDs tend to rank higher than their plasma models, as with most of the big HDTV makers. Samsung stands apart from the other HDTV makers in that they have what they call a "Clear Motion Rate" -- however, it is essentially the same as a refresh rate. The refresh rate numbers are based on a proprietary Samsung scale, and equate to about 120hZ -- the same as Sony and Vizio's HDTV refresh rates.

The Samsung HDTVs, including the LEDs, LCDs, and plasmas, are typically lower in price than the Sony models that are comparable. However, Samsung HDTVs -- the 7500 and 8000ES series models -- really started to stand out in 2012. With their built-in high definition camera, dual microphones, and both facial and voice recognition, these models generated a lot of interest because, as NBC said, they allowed "unprecedented control over an HDTV." For those who want a HDTV that is much like a computer, these can be good choices.

Vizio HDTVs

The Vizio entries in HDTVs are often called some of the most cost-effective options today thanks to their feature-rich packages and good picture quality. When coupled with a price tag that is well below similar models, Vizio is becoming one of the most popular buys in HDTV today. The black level picture quality and backlighting don't quite compare to that of similar Samsung and Sony models. However, the clarity is nearly as good as the Sony and Samsung HDTVs and the refresh rate is a solid 120hZ, just as with the Sony and Samsung's similar models.

The Vizio HDTVs in the last several years have dramatically improved viewing angles so that full-room HDTV enjoyment is now standard in all models. The M, E, and XVT series of Vizio's 2012 lineup have good pictures for several hundred dollars less than the competitors have been able to offer. Because price is a major consideration for HDTV buyers today, this has really helped Vizio gain ground in the HDTV market. EnGadget praised Vizio for bringing quality HDTV widescreen tvs with 3D and Internet connectivity to the market for prices that are considerably less than the closest competitors.

Please comment and share your experiences with Sony, Samsung, Vizio, or any other HD manufacture or post a question in DTVUSAForum's HDTV forum.