This is my take on the TV brands. It may not be as scientific as other technical reviews, but this is an educated consumer perspective/ opinion that will be perhaps hard to find. I only considered LCD TV brands for my search.
Please note that of course, in each brand, there will be some good and bad TV models, this is about in general brand review and not a specific TV model review.
Sony, Samsung, LG, and Panasonic are all class-A quality brands. They have the reasonable record of durability, product quality, service, and support. You cannot really go wrong with either one. The exact model and brand that you end up purchasing will depend on your preference, price (deal), features you need (not what you get).
For me, the deal breaker is the identifiable display characteristic and identity. Samsung is a popular brand, but it has built its identity of vivid and unnaturally colorful display characteristic- I do not like that. LG is better for me compared to the Samsung because of picture quality and appearance. Panasonic seems too dull to me and lacks any brand identity. My choice for the best TV brand is the SONY.
Most important, SONY has built its identity in the TV market as a display with most naturally looking picture and colors– A display characteristic to cheer for. It is working hard to accurately represent a picture on display by continuously innovating on technologies and improving on it. SONY has always stayed focused on color accuracy and natural display and have marvelously avoided crowd pleasing by exacerbating colors or brightness. I want my TV to be as accurate as possible and a brand that truly cares for it is the SONY. Because of natural looking colors, durability, build quality, and display innovation, SONY is the best of all. SONY has consistently produced the best quality TVs. Sure you would pay a higher price for the SONY compared to the rest but this is not a price or cost review.
There are too many brands in B category. Two of the better brand is SHARP and VIZIO. Not many are aware that SHARP is the display manufacturer for many of the big TV brands. SHARP makes good quality TVs, but it has no identifiable display characteristic and is not as competitive in the market. VIZIO, on the other hand, has built its identity based on value brand with a decent quality product. Some of the VIZIO TVs are highly rated. I have owned few and liked them while I had it.
PHILIPS, TOSHIBA, SANYO are all reasonably known brands, but they are better at making other products compared to making great TVs.
HISENSE is really a special brand in this category. It has recently started making very attractive TVs just the way LG started few years back. It will give a tough competition to VIZIO, but is no match yet to class-A brands.
Avoid. TV price has come down so significantly that you can really get a great class-A or B brand TVs for your budget. There is really a no reason to get a cheap brand TV because of the budget. These brands have no relevance today as they had when the TV prices were high.
Conclusion: Get any class-A brand TV without hesitation or SONY if you want the best. I would avoid all class-B and C brands because the price of class-A is very competitive already.