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Recommended HDTV for $4500 or less? (1 Viewer)

Jan 7, 2003
I am planning on purchasing a HDTV sometime after June 2005 and I will be budgeting approximately $4500 or less. The choices seem a little overwhelming right now. I'd like at least a 50 inch display.

Should I go with CRT, DLP, LCD, LCoS, Front Projector, Rear Projector?

Brands and models?

Main uses for this HDTV will be:
- Watching SD and HD programming
- Watching DVDs
- Playing XBOX Games

Other features that I'd like:
- PC Connectivity

I realize that this is a HUGE question, buy any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Ryan Mahady

Jan 10, 2004
I just bought the Sony 50" LCD RP and love it. Game play is good on it as well. Even before my HD cable got here on Monday I really liked it but HD just make you love it sooooo much more.


Stunt Coordinator
Nov 15, 2003
Uuummm.. it might better if you also gave us measurements, do you need something thin? or any size? Will you be mostly in direct view of the television, or angled? It depends on a lot of factors. But just to toss a suggestion, I love the Samsung DLP projection for the price.

John S

Senior HTF Member
Nov 4, 2003
A good candidate for one of the insane Mitsu 73"'rs..

It seems you plan to watch a lot of regular TV still and games?

It would be interesting to see what others post. Good budget, but it doesn't really sound like Plasma or Front Projection is still a good fit here.
Jan 7, 2003
I can't really offer room measurements as of right now because we will most likely be moving by the time I purchase the new set. I'm also not sure about how the viewing area will be arranged.

As far as pros and cons go, here's my list of concerns that are overwhelming me at the moment:

Rear Projection (CRT): Inexpensice. Best black-level possible on a big screen television, most "film-like" image possible apart from a front projector. Poor off-axis viewing. Big and bulky, CRTs need regular maintenance.

Rear Projection DLP: Screen-door effect at closer viewing ranges. Relatively poor black-levels.

Rear Projection LCD: Comparitively softer resolution. Great for use as a computer monitor and HDTV viewing. Native resolution usually only 720p or below.


Plasma HDTV: Expensive. Picture quality continues to improve with each new generation of plasma monitors. Plasma wears out gradually over time. Too expensive.

Front Projectors: Expensive, need specific room lighting conditions, lamps need occassional replacement, logistical issues tend to extend the price of front projectors by larger than expected amounts. Undisputed screen sizes possible, irreplacable theater experience.


I guess what I'm really looking for are some brands and models to do some research on...Televisions that really represent the BEST in quality, performance, and reliability in all of the categories listed above. What are their model numbers? Where's the best places to look for them? Which brands and models should I avoid like the plague? Are there any HDTVs coming out eventually that I should wait for? Is now the right time to purchase an HDTV?
Nov 21, 2003
Im going to suggest that the market is changing so much recently that you won't find a good answer for what will be available after June 2005.

Products that do 1080p are just now breaking onto the seen right now. Wait...watch...learn.

By the way if you are interested in front projection it is not expensive when you compare to others. Quite the contrary. For an 80' inch or bigger screen you'll find front projection to be much cheaper than rear projection.

The bigger question for front projection is what type of light control you will have in the room. If none and you have lots of sunlight coming into the room then usually front projection isnt a good choice. Although that might change as well.

Philip Hamm

Senior HTF Member
Jan 23, 1999
If you can

* control light 100%
* run the wires to your ceiling
* watch in the dark all the time (dedicated room?)

don't even consider anything other than a front projector.


May 5, 2002
I agree with Philip....back when I wanted to upgrade my 36" tube tv I was looking at a 53" Pioneer RPTV. Thought it was the bomb until I started reading about these FP's like the Infocus X1, Panny 200, and Sanyo Z1 at the time. To think you could get a FP for less money than the Pioneer.
Then I demoed a Sharp 200 and the Infocus X1 and decided FP was my next new toy. Just needed to decide on which one would work best in my room.
FP's are becoming popular and alot of people are using these as there daily viewing. I don't but hey everyone uses them differently.

Oren Paul

Stunt Coordinator
Feb 2, 2004
For $4500.00 consider the suscessor to the Panasonic L500 (L700?) which will be availible online in June 05 for under $2000.00(?). $600.00 for a Carada screen that is $1900.00 left over to upgrade your electronics.

I have the L500 in a light controlled 12' X 34' HT and it has exceeded all expectations. BTW black looks black, I do not understand the constant reference of this as an issue, I can only surmise that at this level of performance a nit has to be picked somewhere for a reviewer to keep his job.

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