Consumer Reports

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by EdReed, Jun 27, 2002.

  1. EdReed

    EdReed Auditioning

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    What is the general consensus here as to the value of HT recommendations made by Consumer Reports magazine?

    Thanks,

    Eddie
     
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Ed,

    While I am personally a fan of the whole consumer reports concept- often you have to consider the target audience of a publication to understand their methodology.

    While I don't think CR does anything misleading or anything- they often stick only with mass market product (stuff you'd find in a Kmart, Walmart or Best Buy) and often approach the products which are really quite different in the same way. I always get the vibe from their writing that they don't really see (or have any desire) to cover the big picture in terms of HT technology. Rather than looking at how components will go together, they seem to have a very focused and narrow approach when dealing with electronics.

    The audience for Consumer Reports is not really the same audience as the HTF. Usually CR overlooks some issues of products that really make them non-ideal for real HT use, and sometimes they rave about products known to have technical issues in this world (the chroma bug for example).

    So, as a bottom line I would say this:
    I find forums like these to be a better source of information, simply because of the inter-activity of the medium-- you can find out what might suit your specific need a little easier.

    That said, however, once you have narrowed down your selections a little- I wouldn't hesitate to take a look in Consumer Reports as another source for information in your decision. Like anything else- CR is fine, as long as you have a second opinion...

    -Vince
     
  3. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Believe it or not, I've subscribed to Consumer Reports over 25 years. Certain things about the publication I really like, such as car reliability reports, best toothbrush, product alerts, and so on.

    I absolutely hate their electronic reviews though. Take speakers, they graph out how flat they are at what frequencies, measure bass output, etc., but that's about it (as far as a remember as I don't read their audio reviews any more). There aren't, again as I recall, comments on vital areas of sound such as sound stage, dynamics, warmth, clarity, detail, etc. that all go into making a speaker better. And Vince is right about the mass market products they review. When they reviewed receivers, the Onkyo 696 was by far the most expensive one they reviewed. As a matter of fact, if I bought every one of their recommended audio components, well let's include video too, I'd probably have a system I abhored. And, as I said, I'm a fan of the publication, but only in areas other than technology and electronics.
     
  4. RobertCharlotte

    RobertCharlotte Supporting Actor

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    Consumer Reports is what it is: a general-purpose magazine aimed at a general readership. I can't say anything bad about them because they led me to my Toshiba SD-1700 and Kenwood HTB-504, both of which have surpassed my (admittedly inexperienced) expectations. [​IMG]
     
  5. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    Although Consumer Reports' audience is different from HTF's, I still use their literature to point out product deficiences.
    Yet CR does overlook deficiences that are glaring and maddening to Joe Sixpack, too, on occasion.
    Like their #1 rated VCR one year where, when you do program review (see what shows are to be recorded) the on screen display changes by itself before you can read it.
    Like TV sets whose S-video jack overrides the only composite jack forcing you to unplug one before you can use the other.
    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  6. sam_canavo

    sam_canavo Stunt Coordinator

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    I also can't say anything bad as Paradigm and Psb were
    both rated highly when I purchased my speakers but that was the Canadian version.
     
  7. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    I have subscribed to CU for over 20 years. I agree with DanaA that their speaker reviews are nearly worthless. BUT, I've purchased VCR's and TV's based partially on their performance and reliability records. I believe the reliability information they offer is invaluable! Where else can you get this kind of information? Anyone that would buy these type of products(TV, VCR etc...)without at least consulting CR's "Frequency of Repair" history should have their head examined!
     

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