Which way should I go?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Kane, Dec 5, 2002.

  1. Chris Kane

    Chris Kane Extra

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    I have chosen this area as my first post as I would also appreciate both member and vendor feedback on my conundrum!
    But first, my current hardware to assist in informed advice:
    Display - Older Sony 32" 4:3 aspect at a viewing distance of 14ft. This could be reduced to 10ft. with some marital debate inevitable.
    Audio - Older two-channel system consisting of -
    Nelson Reed towers (8-02/B)
    NAD Integrated Amp (3140)
    Sumo Polaris Amp (100 watts)
    So...with the above in mind, here is my situation. I would eventually like to have a large (minimum 50") HDTV capable display and a surround system. However, with my taste and cash that doesn't match, I'll have to forgo either the display or the audio portion for as long as a year or two.
    I will have approximately $10,000 to spend on A/V equipment around the end of this month. Originally I was eager to acquire a 50" Plasma display but found the prices just out of my reach. Consequently, I began planning the audio portion and decided on M&K S-150s for LCR and Tripole surrounds. This left me with three possible receivers that looked like a fit. These are the Denon AVR-5803, Pioneer VSX-49TX and Sunfire Ultimate Receiver.
    Now everything changes! I just saw an ad for the Toshiba 50HP81 for $9,500. My only concern is that there is a newer version, the 50HP82 but I haven't attempted to research this yet.
    I have read that Plasma manufacturers have a price goal of $100 per inch but that could be years away - if ever! I would certainly be more comfortable paying 7 or 8 for a 50". I also know that surrounds are a must for a home theater.
    I swear this paragraph gets to my question! Which way should I go? Should I wait for prices to drop on plasma's and get the sound squared away or should I go with a beautiful image and my two-channel audio that does produce some great sound?
    Mucho thanks to those patiently bearing through this diatribe!
    Chris
     
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Chris,

    Unless you're absolutely dead set on Plasma, I'd spend $2500-3k on a 50-57" crt based rptv and the rest on the audio. It's really easy to get scared about crt based rptvs what with all the talk about burn-in and the need for professional calibration and such. In my experience if you pick a brand with a rep for good performance out of the box and calibrate it with AVIA you can get a very nice picture indeed and let the pro calibration go for a while. Burn in has been an absolute non-issue for me in over 3 years, since I don't run my set in torch mode and don't watch CNN or play video games with stationary images for hours at a time.

    If you are dead set on Plasma, get the display now and wait for the audio. You have a very nice sounding stereo setup right now. With a 14 foot viewing distance I think you'll get more bang for the buck with a big display than if you go as high end as you're contemplating with sound and stick with a 32" analog tv.
     
  3. Chris Kane

    Chris Kane Extra

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    Steve,

    The tweaking required for RPTV is not my concern. However, the picture sweet spot is. Now I have to admit that the only RPTVs that I've seen have been in bright showrooms. I guess this is the same reason (bright showrooms, not sweet spot) I have not given front projection a closer look.

    I know that RPTV is much better than it used to be but viewing height seems so critical that it concerns me a bit. I admit that I know next to nothing about the technology. Only that some use LCD technology, which only makes things more confusing. Which type of RPTV allows for the largest, for lack of a better term, viewing sweet spot?

    Thanks,

    Chris
     

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