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Choice Identifies Brand Reliability With New Survey

By Matthew Lentini | Wednesday | 23/03/2011

Consumer watchdog Choice has released the results of a consumer survey that ranks brands for their reliability in the latest appliance releases.

Consumers were asked which products and brands gave the best long-term experience in categories ranging from kitchen appliances to digital entertainment devices, revealing a slant toward Japanese brands like Panasonic and Sony.

Choice found that Panasonic, Sony and Samsung topped TV reliability, while Sanyo and Sharp were the poorer choices out of the big brands. Smaller TV player Loewe received the best results in reliability over 12 months, ahead of Panasonic and Pioneer (but with only a fraction of users using Loewe TVs).

More than three quarters of respondents to the Portable Media Players survey were Apple owners. Sony and Apple are  favourites in the portable media player realm, with both companies holding strong brand loyalty and the least product problems over the last year.

Some of the biggest issues for media players include battery longevity and screen-freezing. 37 percent of survey respondents said that constant software freezing was a major issue, with a further 20 percent reporting the need to replace drained batteries.

While Blu-ray players are still picking up, DVD players and recorders have saturated the market. 80 percent of the 56 brands mentioned by consumers had too few responses to even make the cut in Choice's reliability results.

Pioneer has pulled out of the Australian market for DVD players despite being rated as the most reliable DVD player brand by Aussie consumers. Sinking lower down the list are Samsung, LG and then Tevion as the least reliable player.

Panasonic topped the list of Digital Video Records, where more than 90 percent of current Panasonic customers and Foxtel customers saying they would repurchase the brand.

Teac and Topfield scored some of the lowest user reliability scores of all the tests here, with 28 percent of Topfield customers reporting problems over the last year and 35 percent for TEAC. Topfield also rated the lowest in Set-Top Box reliability, while TEAC redeemed itself with a third-place spot in the same field.

While Panasonic also topped Set-Top Box reliability, Next Wave Digital took the crown for brand loyalty.

The Japanese company also headed up brand reliability and loyalty in Camcorders alongside JVC, with Sony and Canon closely trailing behind.

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