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Compare TVs in New Zealand with Canstar Blue. Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sony and Veon are compared on value for money, performance, ease of use, warranty and service, other functions and overall customer satisfaction.
Canstar Blue research finalised in April 2018, published in May 2018.
See our Ratings Methodology.
Samsung a TV ratings topper
As Samsung launch their 2018 QLED TV onto the market, promising to deliver over one billion shades of colour in your favourite Netflix or Lightbox drama, it’s hard to believe that full time TV broadcasting was only introduced to New Zealand in 1960. The daily five hours of programmes has stretched into 24/7 broadcasting and the original box-like TV sets with small black and white screens have long been consigned to the history books and replaced with a catalogue of TVs with acronyms and abbreviations such as LCD, LED, OLED, HDR, 3D and 4K.
So if you’re in the market for a new TV, what is it you should be looking for? To start, there are a couple of things you need to think about before you even set foot in a store.
- Budget – If you’re looking for a cheap TV, you’re probably looking at spending a few hundred bucks. For this you can still get a decent TV, but it will be a basic model.
- Performance – If you’re a bit more serious about your TV and want a higher spec, maybe a bigger screen or sharper picture, unsurprisingly you’ll expect to pay more.
If you’re not sure what you’re after, or even if you are but would just like to find out a bit more, Canstar Blue’s TV review and ratings can give you a head start when it comes to buying a new TV.
TV Reviews NZ
To find out which TV brands are rated highest in New Zealand, we surveyed 891 consumers who have purchased a new TV in the last two years. Respondents were asked to review their new TV based on a range of factors. Five leading brands received the minimum sample size required to be included, but only Samsung received an overall five-star review. Samsung rated five stars across most categories, with the exception of value for money, where it rated four stars.
So what qualities did people rate?
- Performance was found to be the greatest driver of satisfaction for consumers who have recently bought a new TV. Samsung, Panasonic and Sony scored a maximum five star rating for performance.
- Value for money was also found to be hugely important to Kiwis when buying a new TV. In this area Panasonic and budget brand Veon scored five stars, with Samsung and Sony scoring a respectable four stars.
- Ease of use was a little further down the list and Samsung was the only brand to rate a maximum five stars here. Panasonic, Sony and Veon rated four stars, while LG rated three.
- For warranty and service, Samsung, Panasonic and Sony also rated five stars, with LG and Veon rating four stars.
- Finally Samsung was the only brand to rate five stars for other functions.
So apart from the qualities and features above, what do you need from your new TV? There are so many different acronyms flying around these days (a few were mentioned earlier), it can be hard to keep up, so here’s a quick guide to help you get up to speed.
3D (or three dimensional) TVs make it feel like you’re part of the action. The 3D glasses many of the TVs come with will enhance your experience, but unfortunately many TV channels and movies are not produced with 3D in mind, vastly limiting your choice. Luckily you can watch 2D or ‘normal’ TV on your 3D TV but obviously you’ll not get the same ‘part of the action’ experience.
LED vs LCD
While it’s a common belief that they are different types of televisions, LED and LCD technically refer to the same type of TV, but the acronyms refer to different parts.
- LED stands for ‘light emitting diode’
- LCD stands for ‘liquid crystal display’
LCD is probably the most commonly found type of display in any electronic gadget but older LCD TVs use fluorescent lights to light the display which are generally placed behind the TV screen. More recent LED TVs use diodes (a specialist electronic component) to generate light and these can be placed behind or around the edges or a screen. The end result is that LED TVs can have a slimmer profile while also delivering potentially greater energy efficiency.
4K TVs have four-times the resolution of regular HD (high definition) TVs. Basically this means that with a 4K TV there are four pixels (or dots of colour) in the same space as a single pixel on a HD TV. As you would expect this gives a better quality picture, with more rich and clear detail, great for those blockbuster movies and sports where every detail counts.
Smart TVs can connect to the internet and many have their own browser and apps for services like YouTube and Netflix, among other services. With many smart TVs you get access to PVR (personal video recorder) and digital tuners with digital TV guides. Basically, smart TVs are a good ‘one stop shop’ for the ultimate in TV entertainment, allowing you to watch regular TV, download streaming services such as Netflix and access catch-up TV such as TVNZ On Demand.
Which brand should you go with?
2018 Customer Satisfaction Award winners, Samsung is perhaps one of the most popular TV brands out there with its range of innovative and quality TVs. Its flagship technology is its ‘quantum dot’ or QLED (similar to, but obviously not the same as OLED!) display, creating richer and deeper colours.
Panasonic is one of the most recognised brands around the world and boasts a large range of TVs with 4K resolutions, and various technologies designed to make the viewing experience better. Panasonic was the winner of Canstar Blue’s 2017 customer satisfaction award.
Another household name, LG boasts a large range of TVs, incorporating everything from regular HD TVs through to high-end 4K TVs, and OLED. They also like BIG TVs, producing TVs with screens going up to an enormous 86”!
Sony is a longstanding brand in the TV world. Frequently boasting new technologies and known for its tech-forward approach, Sony earned four stars for overall satisfaction and five stars for performance. Its TVs also tend to be a little more expensive than other brands but the bonus is that smart functions come pretty much as standard.
Launched in New Zealand in 2011, Veon TVs are the budget option sold exclusively through The Warehouse. The brand keeps costs down by offering only a limited range and by using the same Chinese supply chains and manufacturers as many ‘high end’ brands. Veon achieved a five star rating for value for money in the Canstar Blue survey.
A quick internet search revealed that TVs in NZ range in price from $199 to over $15,000, so ultimately only you can decide which TV is best for your budget, but we hope our ratings provide some help along the way.
Frequently asked questions
Canstar Blue commissioned I-view to survey 2,500 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers who have purchased a new TV in the last two years– in this case, 891 New Zealanders.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.