American organisation Consumer Reports has discovered that LCD and plasma televisions are "generally very reliable" and rarely require fixing in the first 3 years of service.

This news should be of interest to consumers unsure whether to go for the extended warranties retailers always try and pressure customers into spending more on.

According to Consumer Reports, an necessary repairs to LCD and plasma televisions fall mainly inside manufacturer warranty periods.

Rear-projection TVs were said to be more trouble prone, but again, an extended warranty for these products are said to be a waster of money - unless they're going to see very heavy use.

Consumer Reports said that overall LCD and plasma flat-panel television sets had a 3% repair rate, while rear-projection televisions came in at 18%.

Panasonic topped the charts for good repair rates, while JVC, Toshiba, Samsung, and Sony, while Pioneer and Samsung plasma sets were also found to be reliable. Less reliable were Hitachi LCDs, and Philips plasma sets.