If you're looking closely at the Blu-ray player reviews on CNET, there's a frustrating trend that complicates buying decisions--Samsung Blu-ray players get solid editorial reviews from CNET, but user opinions are consistently poor. While there are always differences between CNET reviews and user opinions, the differences with Samsung Blu-ray players stand out as being consistent and large.
Ratings have been standardized to a 100-point scale to make comparisons easier.
User opinions from Amazon and Newegg are also included to give some perspective. Their ratings are consistently more positive than CNET user opinions, although we're not sure why.
There are some factors inherent in CNET's review process that can explain why editorial opinion and user opinions are different, and they're worth pointing out.
CNET relies on review samples from manufacturers. CNET gets review samples directly from manufacturers rather than buying them off the shelf like a regular buyer. It's completely possible that manufacturers handpick review samples for us; if there's a problem with a certain "batch," a company can make sure we get the good batch. As much as CNET editors might like to purchase all our review samples, we don't have the budget for it.
CNET's review periods are relatively short. To review as many products as we do, we obviously can't test every product as long as a standard buyer would. If a product has quality control issues that cause it to break down after a couple of months, that's not something we're going to catch. That's why user opinions are so important.… Read more