When I search for upgrades I’m known to extensively research products.  As I’ve shared the model I finally bought I’ve gotten repeated questions, comments, statements and arguments why I bought what I did or that some other model is better for usually some irrational reason…  For me I base purchase decisions on a lot of factors:

  1. Price: (or better stated as ‘Value’) is key.  Absolute lowest price usually comes at the sacrifice of quality, features or support.  I define Value as the intersection of the best price on a unit that encompasses all critical (and bonus, if possible) features at an acceptable quality level.  Continued support like OS/Software upgrades or a user forum site are definite bonuses!
  2. Features: I tend to like cutting-edge or highest current technology for a ‘Value’ price.  For example as much as I’d like the latest Uber 4K+ highest tech TV technology I’ll tend to settle on a model possibly a minor generation older that’s a great price for features & quality.
  3. Quality: I’ve seen a lot of forum comments saying ‘buy name brand’ and ‘don’t buy China crap’ as if Pioneer and Alpine units are built with only the highest precision parts in a domestic factory in Kentucky…  Truth is almost ALL electronics in this segment are built in China (or nearby countries) for a couple primary reasons… 1) THEY’RE GOOD AT IT! and 2)  Asian manufacturers are very cost-effective, even if the parent company is based in the US, Canada or Europe.  It’s common that the same factories that build US branded products also build their own ‘white label’ products sold on Alibaba and Ebay.
  4. Support: I consider a few things in this category; 1) Warranty, return policy or guarantee that if something is physically or functionally wrong with the unit that I’m not going to be out hundreds of dollars for a product I can’t use.  2) Contacts and communication ability for post-warranty support which could be posted email addresses, vendor contacts that may have assisted in pre-purchase decisions or possibly vendor forums discussing product usage, troubleshooting and general Q&A.   3) Ongoing upgrades and product expansion/evolution including BIOS and Operating System upgrades and bug fixes to keep the unit current to evolving technologies and keep it relevant.