Help: Making the Jump to HD and Plasma

Discussion in 'Displays' started by David Theodosopoulos, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. David Theodosopoulos

    David Theodosopoulos Auditioning

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    I joined HTF many years ago in its early days and haven't been back for a long time. Hopefully, I'm in the right area for these questions. I'm interested in making the jump to HD for our family room. My wife and I visited a few of the big stores, and she is adamant against rear-projection. Flat screen LCD seems too expensive and don't think a 50" is available yet. Anyway, I'm in Costco yesterday and see a 50" plasma for $2,500. It's by some company called Vizio, which I've never heard of before. This price is significantly less than anything I've seen, and I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with this? Since all the sales people at the electronics stores said that "all plasmas are made by four companies" or something like that, does the company name on the plasma make a difference?? Unless there is some glaring deficiency in this company/product, I'm really thinking I'd like to get this as my first HD product, knowing that when prices come down even more significantly in the next two years, I can move this into another room and get a "better name" product.

    Also, I'm thinking about bailing on cable (not happy with Adelphia) and moving to DirecTV with an HD DVR. Does anyone have experience with this?

    Finally, I'm thinking about getting a new receiver (that's why I joined so many years ago, the purchase of a new receiver). Last time I got a Sony ES and have been happy with it. Does anyone have any experience with the STRDA 3100ES or 5000ES? What is the difference between the two? I'd appreciate any help. Thanks.

    p.s. If I've placed this in the wrong forum, please let me know where it should go. Thanks, again.
     
  2. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

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    David --

    Personally I've never heard of that brand. For me that's probably enough that I'd avoid it. While it is true that the panels themselves are made by only a few companies that doesn't make the TV's all equal by any means. It might be just fine but for the kind of money you're going to invest I'd stick with a brand whose reputation is known and is likely to stand behind the product if there's trouble. Don't forget that if it develops trouble there may not be anything to move to another room. That said, I'd strongly suggest you at least look at the Panasonic plasmas. Also remember that in such gear Costco and similar dicounters are getting different, not necessarily bad, but different models to avoid head-to-head price competition and protect their other dealers. I can't remember clearly but I think Costco did have at least one Panny plasma. (Full disclosure [​IMG] I've got a Panny plasma HD and a Toshiba LCD HD, the latter bought at Costco and I love 'em both).

    No direct experience with the HD DVR from them. Direct TV just switched away from TiVo as the bundled DVR -- those I know and love.

    Choosing an AVR is (still) confusing because of the huge number of choices. Personally, I have a strong bias against anything Sony when it comes to audio gear (a bias shared by many here BTW) but "your mileage may vary". Really, you need to figure out what features (new and existing the current one) you need and want, set a budget and then start scanning a few manufacturers sites to see what the pricepoint and specs tell you. Everyone has favorites for brands but if you care at all about price, then I like Denon, Onkyo, Yamaha and Pioneer. I've owned at least audio one item in those brands and had good experience with them.

    Good luck -- and have fun![​IMG]
     
  3. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    You may want to double check. Most of the plasmas at that price, are EDtv's (enhanced definition), instead of HD tv's. Especially the bigger ones. Dell has a 42" for about $2999, I think. Also, y'all realize a plasma has screen burn in possibilities?

    I'm going for the 56" JVC HD-ILA tv, when I save enough money. It's about the same price as the Dell plasma, with bigger screen, no burn in, and one of the best pictures out there, in HD especially. Only real competitor, is the Sony SXRD (IMHO).

    Good luck with whatever you get. Keep us posted?
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    David, this is where you want to post your question. The Basics area is for general discussion of home theater at the beginner's level only. The appropriate hardware-related area is where you want to seek "what-should-I-buy" information. Thanks.
     
  5. RoyGBiv

    RoyGBiv Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't know much about this TV, but there is a whole threaad devoted to it at the avsforum plasma section.

    Let's clear up two myths, though. First, all 50" plasmas are HD. Second, plasmas that are currently being sold are no more likely to suffer from burn in than a CRT TV. Yes, some other technologies can't have burn in. But a plasma which is properly cared for will not have burn in. Nor will it need replacement bulbs. Nor does it stick out 20" into the room. Nor does it suffer from problems of off-axis viewing, etc. etc. etc.

    SMK
     
  6. Jeremy.B

    Jeremy.B Auditioning

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    Haven't actually seen the Vizio televisions, but there are reviews of them over on CNET.com and avguide.com (associated with The Perfect Vision and The Absolute Sound), also TVGuide.com recomended one of their LCDs earlier this week as a Christmas gift.

    Good luck with your search.
     
  7. Peka J

    Peka J Agent

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    These Vizio sets are primarily sold through Costco, and have gotten a good amount of press. General consensus seems to be that they are not as good as Panasonics or Pioneers, but they are pretty good, and the price can't be beat. In addition to the aforementioned thread at avsforum.com, there are several editorial reviews from various magazines available at ecoustics.com. Try this link:

    http://search.ecoustics.com/Editorial/Reviews/vizio
     

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