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Sony/LG vs. Westinghouse/everyone else

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Hey everyone,
I went into my local Target today to take a gander at the different HDTVs. I noticed a HUGE price gap between TVs that, to my eye, are essentially the same.

For example, a 40" 720p Sony LCD TV was marked at $300 higher than the Westinghouse version, even though the Westinghouse TV ostensibly is the same thing (40", 720p, LCD). The Westinghouse one even came with a built-in DVD player yet was still more expensive. The images between the two TVs looked identical, to me at least.

Since this will be my first HDTV purchase, I want to make sure I'm buying the right thing but I can't help shake the feeling that the SONY brand name is the reason for the price difference.

Does anyone know if there's an actual performance difference between the two brands or is this just the same thing as Viagra vs. a generic drug? (sorry, that was the first example of generic vs brand that came to mind. not that i use viagra or anything)...
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