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Help deciding on a 50" plasma


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#1 of 12 OFFLINE   Steven Larson

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Posted December 03 2008 - 04:41 PM

I would like to get a 50" tv, and have decided that plasma is the better choice as far as picture quality, though I have seen some very nice LCD's out there!

I have thought seriously of the Panasonic TH-50PZ800U, but don't like the idea of spending almost $2000 for a TV. I bought a 34" Sony CRT a few years ago for close to $1500, and now I doubt I could get $300 for it (no digital tuner, and it weighs a ton!)

I then saw that Sears had the TH-50PX80U (720P) for only $899, which seems like a great price.

Then of course there are the other Panasonics with 1080p that are in the "middle" between the two.

I sit about 9 feet from my TV, so 720p should be fine, but I am concerned that it doesn't have the better black levels and picture quality of the more expensive sets. I just know in a year or two there will be something better, so have a hard time justifying spending $2000.

This would be for my living room, and would be my main TV. I also have a picture window right behind my couch, directly opposite of my TV. The way the room is setup, it is really my only option. I would likely have the shades pulled to watch TV.

I have a PS3 for Blu-ray and DVD and games, as well as an Xbox 360.

The main reason I am dissatisfied with my 34" widescreen Sony is that it just doesn't have the WOW factor, nor do I have the movie-watching experience I would like to have.

I know this type of question is asked a lot around here....I am just having a tough time making a decision. I would really like to have a large enough TV for the movie watching, with a great picture, without spending more than $1500.

Thanks!

#2 of 12 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted December 04 2008 - 01:13 AM

If you think you'll be lusting after another TV in 1-2 years, then buy the $899 plasma set now.
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#3 of 12 OFFLINE   Pete Gia

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Posted December 04 2008 - 05:39 AM

If you can get the 720P 50" Panny Plasma for $899. , I would buy it without hesitation!
Paid $1900. for mine a couple of years bcak.
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#4 of 12 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted December 04 2008 - 08:01 PM

Since your upper range is ~$1500, maybe you should consider the Samsung 61A750 DLP RPTV (61" 1080p w/ LED light) instead, if you're not hung up on getting a flat panel. Posted Image Posted Image

But yeah, if you think you'll want to upgrade again soon (for something more long term *and* bigger or better than the Samsung DLP), then that 50" 720p Panny plasma is certainly very attractive. And it'd certainly be a very nice size upgrade for you coming from a 34".

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#5 of 12 OFFLINE   Steven Larson

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Posted December 05 2008 - 04:01 AM

Thanks for the advice everyone! The DLP certainly has good reviews, and I have not checked out RP since last year when I was looking at the Sony SXRD sets.

I am really torn here, as Sears has the extra 10% you can take off the price, so that would bring the 720p down to almost $800. Then I think for just a bit more money I can have 1080p and better contrast ratios, but then for a bit more I could have the 800u ($1799 currently online).

I think I will do some more looking at the stores today. The trouble is that none of my local stores have very good viewing conditions for any of the TV's, so it is difficult to judge the pictures.

Steve

Ooops, my mistake, the additional 10% at Sears apparently only applies to home theater over $999...

#6 of 12 OFFLINE   Jeff_HR

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Posted December 06 2008 - 09:52 AM

There will always be something better around the corner. Posted Image

Go with a Pioneer Plasma at this point.
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#7 of 12 OFFLINE   Gregg Loewen

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Posted December 09 2008 - 01:01 AM

Quote:
Go with a Pioneer Plasma at this point.

lol

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#8 of 12 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted December 09 2008 - 02:24 AM

Greg,
What's the joke? Just laughing at the recommendation for a $4000 plasma to someone with a $1500 budget? Or something about Pioneer plasmas, specifically.

(I'm really curious, since I'm researching my next TV upgrade, hopefully Spring '09. And it seems everyone raves about the Kuro.)

#9 of 12 OFFLINE   Gregg Loewen

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Posted December 09 2008 - 03:05 AM

Dave's comment relating to the Elite plasma, which is quite nice, however totally out of the poster's price range.

At the $900 price point (some stores had this plasma for $800 on black friday), the panny is unbeatable.

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#10 of 12 OFFLINE   Brian D H

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Posted December 09 2008 - 05:05 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Larson
...Ooops, my mistake, the additional 10% at Sears apparently only applies to home theater over $999...

You may want to dig around for the 10%. You can usually get 10% off at Sears (and many stores) by getting a store credit card. Just cancel the card ASAP. I purchased my 50" set at Circuit City last year and found a 10% off coupon by Googling for one - I found a coupon for 10% off on ebay that a guy was selling for $1 and it worked fine.
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#11 of 12 OFFLINE   Clinton McClure

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Posted December 09 2008 - 09:43 AM

I have the TH-50PX80U and it's a fantastic display!

#12 of 12 OFFLINE   Chris PC

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Posted December 09 2008 - 02:41 PM

I would say get either the PX80 or the Z85U. I don't think there is enough benefit from buying the Z800. I myself am trying to decide between the PX80 and the Z85. Th Z80 is not a big enough savings vs the Z85 and the 85 has better contrast.
Going from projector to flatscreen for a while.... :P





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