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'2nd best' Plasma HDTV in the market?! (1 Viewer)


Oct 8, 2006
Real Name
Charles Yu
I was 99.99% certain to get the new Sharp Aquos LC52D62U 1080p LCD for my updated home theater system, when my wife told me that the set, to her, is too 'bright' and tends to fatigue the eyes. As a result, I have to start my 50"+ flat screen HDTV hunting all over again! Now, it is common knowledge that the BEST 50"+ flat screen available in the market currently is the Pioneer Elite PRO-FHD1 1080p Plasma. However, at $10,000, it will make my wallet cries in pain, though the picture will definitely pleases my eyes!
Question: Which is the '2nd Best' plasma HDTV in the market? Apart from the Pioneer Elite and the new 63" Panasonic Viera, does anyone else make a 1080p plasma set around 50"? When looking for an LCD, I was told to check out the contrast ratio, response time and black level. Now, for Plasma, what special criteria/features do I need to pay special attention to??!! Many Thanks!


Stunt Coordinator
Sep 26, 2002
Currently, you're going to pay a premium for any 50"+ plasma with 1080p resolution. What is your viewing distance? FYI, at about 9', a typical person cannot resolve the difference between 1080p and 720p on a 50" display. There are some excellent 50" 720p (actually 768p) plasmas, and they cost a third of what the 1080p plasma displays cost.

IMHO, the top three plasma manufacturers are Fujitsu, Panasonic and Pioneer (no particular order). You'll pay a premium for a Fujitsu, but the 768p Pioneers and Panasonics are quite reasonable. A 50" 768p Panasonic plasma monitor can be had for less than $1800, and they are currently throwing in a free 5 year warranty (if purchased befor 12-31-06).

Because of our typical viewing environment (a darkened room), I definitely prefer plasmas to LCDs, and I'm a big fan of Panasonic plasmas because of their low black level and high contrast ratios. It also happens that currently, the prices for Panasonic plasmas are VERY competitive.


Senior HTF Member
Dec 17, 2003
The premium for 1080p plasma right now is almost absurd. For instance, the website that you can buy the Panasonic that Steve mentioned for $1748 (with the free warranty) also sells the 1080p version of the exact same set (720p = TH-50PH9UK, 1080p = TH-50PF9UK). The 1080p version sells for $4695.

For that $2900 difference you get 1080p and a DVI input. (HDMI can be added to either set for about $175).

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