For Black Friday shoppers looking to get a great deal on a new TV this week, but do not have a lot to spend, there are several great deals on TVs for under $200 at several stores, including Target and Kmart.
Kmart is currently offering a 22-inch Sylvania LCD HDTV for $199. It boasts a crisp image, as well as easy connection to PCs so owners can hook up their computers to their TVs and watch videos or stream the Internet.
Not many reviews are available for this TV online, and of the few located, customers had opposite experiences. A positive reviewer on Kmart's website claimed the 22-inch Sylvania is "a great TV, especially for the price."
The reviewer added: "Great picture, sound and easy to use remote. Looks great on my kitchen wall. Stylish, it blends with any decor. Since I practically live in my kitchen, I wanted something substantial, but not overbearing."
On Amazon, a reviewer claimed that the TV only lasted a few months and that a shipping and handling fee was required in order to get a replacement. "After owning this tv for only seven months, the screen started getting brighter and brighter. Some of the colors were washed out by the brightness," he said.
"If you're watching a cartoon, it looks like just an outline of the drawings with a light shade of yellow," the reviewer explained. I tried adjusting the picture controls, but they didn't help. I also called Sylvania's customer service for assistance. The representative had me unplug the tv for five minutes and then turn it back on. Once again, as the tv heated up, the screen got brighter. Since this occurred after the 90-day warranty, but within a year of purchase, Sylvania said they would replace the tv, but I would have to pay shipping and handling, which is around $40."
Based on the opposite reviews, it is difficult to determine the value of the $199 price tag, but if the negative review is not indicative of the norm, this could be a good deal for people who need a smaller screen and do not want to pay too much.
Target is also offering a 22-inch for under $199, with the Polaroid 22-inch Class 720p 60hz LCD HDTV/DVD combo, for only $179. Polaroid is known for its cameras, so good image quality is expected. The TV also has several input/output ports, including one for PCs and headphones.
Out of five reviewers on Target's website, four had problems and one considered the unit "amazing." Out of the negative reviews, the most common complaints were with the sound quality, and one said that the TV simply stopped working soon after purchase.
One unhappy customer said: "This is the worst TV ever! Have already returned it once and am getting ready to return it again. The picture and sound fade in and out all the time. The picture scrolls and the overall sound in terrible. Not worth it at any price."
Another reviewer disagreed: "buy this item!!!!! it works great. i can play all my favorite movies on it and it was soooo simple to set up!!! its a little on the pricey side but is TOTALLY worth it!!!"
Buying TVs for under $200 come with some obvious risks, but that does not mean one cannot find a quality device. However, shoppers should be sure to read reviews and find out if components and features fit their needs before purchasing.