Help with plasma TV purchase

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Michael Douglas, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. Michael Douglas

    Michael Douglas Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm looking to finally get a plasma TV, but want to get a few opinions from plasma owners before diving in. I'll probably only want to spend $2500 max, and will stay away from brand names I don't know. Right now I'm looking at the Panasonics, especially with the rave reviews they've been getting on sites like this one (price for quality). I guess the debate is HD vs. ED, newer vs. older, and whatnot. I have a home system setup, so I don't necessarily need a TV with speakers and can go the commercial route, but what's the quality of the TVs with speakers?

    Anyone got any advice? Thanks.
     
  2. Page

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    HD versus ED--depends what you are feeding the plasma and how far back you sit. I have 42 inch Panasonic ED set and DVDs look great on it. I sit about six feet back. As for the speakers, they're okay, although I only tried them out a couple of times. I have a Yamaha YSP-1 and a subwoofer hooked up to a receiver for sound.

    What size TV are looking for?
     
  3. Michael Douglas

    Michael Douglas Stunt Coordinator

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    For my price range, I guess I'm stuck between 37 and 42. There's just so many different options for these things, it's a little overwhelming when I try to figure out what's what in terms of what's best for me.

    I realize what I'm buying will be outdated by the time it arrives on my doorstep, but since it's a lot of money for a TV, it's something I'll want to last.
     
  4. Page

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    I wouldn't say the TV that you are contemplating on buying would be outdated by any means. Analog TVs are supposed to be outdated, and yet they're still being sold and used, although it's probably a good idea if you are purchasing a new TV that it be a digital one. Anything bought today will be surpassed by newer technologies as they develop, and these technologies may or may not have a long life in the electronics field. (Look at SACD and DVD-A barely out of the gate and practically dead. DVI surpassed by HDMI. Will Blu-Ray or HD-DVD be able to survive in the market place?)
     
  5. Michael Douglas

    Michael Douglas Stunt Coordinator

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    The room for the TV isn't set in stone, so it could be a living room, a bedroom or a dark basement. Six feet is about a good amount of space for how far back people would be sitting. Speakers aren't necessary since I have a surround system, but I might want speakers on the TV just in case. I guess the TV would be used for everything -- DVD, video game, TV and VCR. Still stuck on ED vs. HD.
     
  6. Page

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    I sit about six feet back from my ED set which is in my bedroom. I don't have a problem with that distance. It would be best (of course) if you went to a store that had both HD and ED sets and you stood about six feet back and gage what your reaction is to the sets at that distance. Since you're looking at a 42 inch set (or smaller), the price difference between the ED and HD sets really isn't that large if you want to spend the extra bucks. Again, only your eyes can tell you if there's much of a difference between the HD and ED sets when you're watching the set.
     
  7. Michael Douglas

    Michael Douglas Stunt Coordinator

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    Right now my eyes are lighting up for this Panasonic 50-incher (TH-50PX50U). I don't want to say it's out of my price range, because spending an extra grand doesn't affect me at all, but I don't know if I'd be fiscally responsible in spending that much on a TV.

    What features were you looking for when you bought your TV? Since I won't have a permanent setting for it, I'd want something flexible that can adapt to different circumstances.
     
  8. Page

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    I was looking for something that was thin, could easily fit in my bedroom, and had a great picture for DVDs. I spent just under $4000 for a Panasonic 42 inch ED set a couple of years ago. It continues to serve me well and I don't regret the money I spent. At the time, I thought I it was outlandish to spend so much on a TV (especially when I could buy a tube set the same size for only hundreds of dollars), but the "plasma bug" bit me. Now, I'm looking to replace my big old RPTV with a 65 inch plasma. A set that size was originally priced at $20,000 (which I wouldn't spend), then dropped to $15,000 (which I wouldn't spend), then dropped to $10,000 (which I wouldn't spend). I told myself if it got around $7,000, I'd seriously think about it (although I feel that's a lot of money for a TV set). Turns out, the set will end up costing me around $5,000 (affter all the price cuts are finished) which I don't think is an unreasonable amount of money for the technology at this point in its development.

    You could always wait because the price of the 50 inch set will go down. Just depends how badly you want the set and how soon.
     
  9. Michael Douglas

    Michael Douglas Stunt Coordinator

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    There's no timetable for me to buy, but I do want one. I've got a ton of DVDs. One of my friends suggested I buy a business model because I have a surround system already, but I want TV stations on mine. Plus I have a feeling all the extra stuff I'll need to buy to compensate for what it doesn't come with will cost a lot more. When do you expect the 50" to drop in price?
     
  10. Rich Z

    Rich Z Extra

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    Michael,

    I think I was in the same boat as you are in. At least up until today when I finally went to Circuit City and eyeballed the plasma units they had there. Actually I liked both the 42 and 50 inch Panasonics, but of course I felt that bigger was better. There was an LG unit as well as a Pioneer right close by, and I have to day that the Panasonics beat both of them hands down. Color was better then the LG unit, and I noticed a lack of detail in some images on the Pioneer unit when a side by side comparison was done.

    Circuit City has the price at $3999 and a $400 rebate as well. So the 50 inch model cost me $3599.00. Yeah, I would like cheaper, and probably could get it cheaper by waiting a bit, but sure as shootin', if I did that then some new technology would show up on the horizon and I might decide to just hold off buying completely when I got thrown into a state of confusion over the options.

    Honestly, when the salesman hooked up a DVD player to the Panasonic and I watched a cut from I, Robot, I was VERY impressed with what I saw. And I wound up buying an upconverting progressive DVD player as well, that he told me he used himself and it makes an even more dramatic difference in what I will see on the screen.

    So honestly, I just didn't want to wait any longer to watch ALL of my DVDs all over again on the new gear. This stuff is supposed to be delivered this Friday.

    If there are any insider traders out there, invest heavily in popcorn futures. The wife and I are going to be eating a LOT of that stuff in the near future. [​IMG]

    Oh, btw, I browsed through a couple of magazines earlier today and noticed several ads concerning HDTV gear. The gist of the ad was basically Why wait?. Indeed.....
     
  11. Michael Douglas

    Michael Douglas Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't know if I want to buy at a B&M. I guess they're the best option in case something goes bad with the product, but the tax in my state is high, and the tax in my part of the state is super high. Though Magnolia Hi-Fi did have their no-tax sale the one time I went in there.

    So how is your setup at home and how's the TV?
     
  12. Page

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    I'm going for a business model because I don't need any extras. Just a screen because I've got a great sound system. If you have a cable box you can route it through the TV so that you get TV stations. Price-wise, the commercial sets are supposed to cost less, but with the price cuts things look to be very close between the commercial and consumer versions. (You'll need to buy a stand, or wall mount for the commercial version along with extra video boards if you need them. The commercial version's picture can be calibrated/tweaked better than the consumer's version, also.)

    Best to do a search on the Internet between the models you are interested in and see what you're getting for the price you're willing to pay.
     
  13. Rich Z

    Rich Z Extra

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    Don't know yet. Delivery is scheduled for Friday. The local CC was sold out of them so they had to pull one from out of town for me. They are supposed to get it in on Thursday and deliver to me on Friday. I'm not disconnecting my old stuff until I know for certain it will be delivered as scheduled. Man, I HATE the idea of having to pull all those cables off of my Onkyo receiver!
     
  14. Michael Douglas

    Michael Douglas Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been doing some research. I question how good some of these brands are that I've never heard of. I'd go Sony if it wasn't so expensive. Panasonic looks to be the route I'm going, but I want to also get the most out of my money.
     
  15. Halen

    Halen Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm looking to pick-up a 42" display too sometime soon. On the plasma side I like the Panasonics, but I'm also looking at LCD's too even though they cost a thousand bucks more. The main reason being that plasma displays still suffer from Burn-in. Network icons, news tickers, and video games will all leave a burn in on plasmas. And as much as manufacturers say that burn in on plasmas is almost non-existent, I'm always reading a post here or there about someone who has a burnt in immage on their late model plasma display.

    I'm thinking the extra grand will buy me peace of mind. I just don't want to be playing a game and constantly thinking.."Maybe I should quit playing for a while so I don't get a burnt in image."
     
  16. Michael Douglas

    Michael Douglas Stunt Coordinator

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    Don't LCDs have a problem with darkening if your angle of viewing increases from straight foward?
     
  17. Michael Douglas

    Michael Douglas Stunt Coordinator

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    How big of a deal is this now?
     

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