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Buying a New TV - Damn this economy, I wanted a 42 incher!

GuekGuek Registered User regular
edited November 2008 in Games and Technology
Yesterday, I went out to sears with my dad to buy a 42" LCD for the kids at our church (lucky little bastards). While there, I had to eventually just keep my jaw in my pocket after the number of times it dropped to the floor. Fuck, some of those tvs looked nice. That's when I decided that, in typical American fashion, I'm going to go out and buy something I can't afford!

I'm just not sure what to go for. My price limit is probably around $800 or so, though I'd rather not spend more than $600-$700. After reading up a little on LCDs, it seems like Samsung tvs are the absolute best (which seemed to be the case yesterday at Sears. Comparing Samsung with anything else was like night and day) but some sites are saying that Sony makes the best sets. I've also read that Sharp makes the best tv for gamers, but I'm not sure how accurate that is either.

I'll be using this tv primarily for playing my Wii and 360. While 1080p is preferable, I suppose 720p would be ok. Then again, I'm not sure if it'll really make a difference in the long run or not. I've been told that displays with 720p max resolution sometimes end up with a less than perfect picture. I'm looking at probably going for something around 32"

So, any advice for a tv noob?

Guek on

Posts

  • wishdawishda Registered User
    edited November 2008
    Guek wrote: »
    Yesterday, I went out to sears with my dad to buy a 42" LCD for the kids at our church (lucky little bastards). While there, I had to eventually just keep my jaw in my pocket after the number of times it dropped to the floor. Fuck, some of those tvs looked nice. That's when I decided that, in typical American fashion, I'm going to go out and buy something I can't afford!

    As someone who has a 47" and whose mom has a 32" inch, I'd strongly advise waiting and saving up for the extra space. While room size matters, those extra few inches are really worth it when it comes to games.

    As for 720p versus 1080p, it depends on the set. To me, the contrast ratio is as or more important than the resolution. A 720p with a high contrast ratio and deep blacks will look better than a 1080p set with a low contrast ratio and noisy blacks every time.

    Other things to note is the number of inputs. If you are looking to have a multiple system setup and a stand-alone upscaling or high def DVD player, you either want a set with multiple HDMI inputs or a receiver that can handle the same.

    wishda on
  • KogareruKogareru Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I've been looking at tv's for a while trying to find something within my budget and decent. I'll agree that samsung are sexy sexy tv's. Currently though the ones I would want were out of my price range. I did however just order this one:

    Panasonic 42" 1080p Plasma

    coming in at 799 it's one dollar lower than your max. :)

    Kogareru on
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  • wishdawishda Registered User
    edited November 2008
    Kogareru wrote: »
    I've been looking at tv's for a while trying to find something within my budget and decent. I'll agree that samsung are sexy sexy tv's. Currently though the ones I would want were out of my price range. I did however just order this one:

    Panasonic 42" 1080p Plasma

    coming in at 799 it's one dollar lower than your max. :)

    What's the current status of the plasma/LCD war? Back when I was shopping, there was still a lot of concern about burn-out of plasmas. Since, I've heard that was no longer an issue.

    wishda on
  • Romero ZombieRomero Zombie Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I have a 42 inch Vizio LCD 1080P. I bought it earlier in the year for about $900.00 at Costco. Don't let the brand fool you, I absolutely love my tv. I'm sure if you do enough digging you can find one within your price range. The picture quality on it is great.

    Getting a blue ray DVD player for Christmas and can't wait to enjoy it for all it's worth.

    Romero Zombie on
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  • grrarggrrarg Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Guek wrote: »
    So, any advice for a tv noob?

    Take the time to browse through the What TV should I get- The Stickying thread in Moe's Stupid Technology Tavern subforum. Pretty good advice there when it comes to gaming tvs, and the last few pages talk about the holiday hdtv deals.

    grrarg on
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  • McClyMcCly Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I love my 32" 120hz 720p Panasonic. I got it for 500 bucks including tax. :D

    McCly on
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  • Spectral SwallowSpectral Swallow Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Having worked the electronics at Sears a lot of times we'll be told to change the TV settings so that the ones that aren't a good profit margin(or good commission rate) are darker or not as good looking. Something to keep in mind. But in my experience Samsungs or Sony's are pretty equal. Though with Sony's you usally are paying about $400 more or so for the same TV size.

    Spectral Swallow on
  • GuekGuek Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    grrarg wrote: »
    Guek wrote: »
    So, any advice for a tv noob?

    Take the time to browse through the What TV should I get- The Stickying thread in Moe's Stupid Technology Tavern subforum. Pretty good advice there when it comes to gaming tvs, and the last few pages talk about the holiday hdtv deals.

    oh, my bad. totally forgot to check in moe's :P

    Guek on
  • taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    wishda wrote: »
    Kogareru wrote: »
    I've been looking at tv's for a while trying to find something within my budget and decent. I'll agree that samsung are sexy sexy tv's. Currently though the ones I would want were out of my price range. I did however just order this one:

    Panasonic 42" 1080p Plasma

    coming in at 799 it's one dollar lower than your max. :)

    What's the current status of the plasma/LCD war? Back when I was shopping, there was still a lot of concern about burn-out of plasmas. Since, I've heard that was no longer an issue.
    Plasmas are much less susceptible to burn in now then they were a few years ago, but it can still happen. I personally would never buy a plasma due to that coupled with the fact that i pretty much only use my hdtv for games, but it depends on your planned usage

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  • McClyMcCly Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    And if you go TV shopping at a store, don't use the floor model to base your opinion on. They're all on a super-bright (and shitty) "demo-mode."

    McCly on
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  • KorKor Known to detonate from time to time Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    42" LCD for 700 bucks:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16889197008

    Granted, its not samsung or anything, but with brand names, comes more price.

    I bought my 52" from newegg for 2000, an Aquos. Free shipping is really nice. Especially since I didn't have anyway to carry a TV from a store to my house.

    Kor on
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  • GuekGuek Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Kor wrote: »
    42" LCD for 700 bucks:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16889197008

    Granted, its not samsung or anything, but with brand names, comes more price.

    I bought my 52" from newegg for 2000, an Aquos. Free shipping is really nice. Especially since I didn't have anyway to carry a TV from a store to my house.

    the contrast ration is 1200:1 though...and even though I have no clue what that really means, the contrast ration on a similar samsung set is 10000:1.

    Albeit, the samsung is about $140 more expensive.

    I guess I'm not sure what specs are "good enough" or what I should really be making sure I get in the set I buy.

    Guek on
  • MrDelishMrDelish Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Kor wrote: »
    42" LCD for 700 bucks:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16889197008

    Granted, its not samsung or anything, but with brand names, comes more price.

    I bought my 52" from newegg for 2000, an Aquos. Free shipping is really nice. Especially since I didn't have anyway to carry a TV from a store to my house.

    that has an awful response time of 8ms

    not recommendable for games

    MrDelish on
  • FaffelFaffel Registered User
    edited November 2008
    I don't know how low TV's response times go, but on monitors you want 2MS or so for optimal gameplay. So, keep that in mind.

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  • MrDelishMrDelish Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    They can get to 2ms, but are expensive as they're on generally higher-quality tv's. I hear that 5ms is acceptable

    MrDelish on
  • taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Guek wrote: »
    Kor wrote: »
    42" LCD for 700 bucks:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16889197008

    Granted, its not samsung or anything, but with brand names, comes more price.

    I bought my 52" from newegg for 2000, an Aquos. Free shipping is really nice. Especially since I didn't have anyway to carry a TV from a store to my house.

    the contrast ration is 1200:1 though...and even though I have no clue what that really means, the contrast ration on a similar samsung set is 10000:1.

    Albeit, the samsung is about $140 more expensive.

    I guess I'm not sure what specs are "good enough" or what I should really be making sure I get in the set I buy.
    that 10000:1 is a dynamic contrast ratio, dynamic contrast ratios basically darken the backlight during dark scenes and brighten it during light scenes, it looks like ass and has a noticeable delay, most sets that have it actually default to having it turned off because it looks so bad and the manufacturers know it. its purely a marketing gimmick

    edit: and yeah.. 5ms is fine for LCDs, i wouldn't go over it though so yeah..that envision is not so hot.

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  • GuekGuek Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    so what about this 32" samsung? $758, so it's starting to get into that "uncomfortable but still under serious consideration" zone.

    Newegg doesn't have anything else that's 1080p, under $800, and 5ms response time

    Is sacrificing resolution for a bigger screen a good idea?

    Guek on
  • chasmchasm Ill-tempered Texan Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    McCly wrote: »
    And if you go TV shopping at a store, don't use the floor model to base your opinion on. They're all on a super-bright (and shitty) "demo-mode."

    Not necessarily...but then again, I'm probably the only guy in the Walmart system to actually calibrate the TVs on my own so they're not running that godawful Dynamic shit.

    And a 32" 1080p TV is good for bragging rights and as a computer monitor. You have to sit ungodly close to see the difference between 720p and 1080p at that screen size.

    chasm on
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  • Zoku GojiraZoku Gojira Monster IslandRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I bought a 42" LCD display model. They average over 60,000 hours lifespan, so a few months of being used 12 hours a day still hardly puts a dent in that. Inspected the screen pretty close, and it was perfect, but I still haggled the salesperson down for "wear." Six months later, I still haven't seen any better deals, even in Black Friday ads.

    Zoku Gojira on
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  • GuekGuek Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    how much did you pay for it?

    Guek on
  • Zoku GojiraZoku Gojira Monster IslandRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Toshiba 1080P 42", it was $750 after the open-box discount.

    As long as you're not going for 120hz or overhyped new trademarked 'display technologies,' you can probably find a similar deal checking out display models. Just make sure the HDMI ports work properly and test all the inputs when you get it home.

    1080P definitely makes a difference. Upscaling DVDs looks a lot better in particular.


    And I wouldn't suggest trying the display model thing with plasma TVs.

    Zoku Gojira on
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  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    First you have to ask yourself.

    Just how big of a T.V. do you need? All that BS about how you must sit 9 or so feet away from a T.V. is just that, BS. There's really no reason why you couldn't sit a bit closer to a T.V. Of course there's no point in having your nose touching the screen either. But there's really no need to have a 52 inch T.V. so you can fill up an entire room, when you're the only one in the room. Honestly if this T.V. is only for one person, then scoot your chair forward and buy a 40 inch, hell a 32 inch.

    Secondly, where is this T.V. going to go? IMO there's nothing that comes close to the PQ of a high quality CRT. Unfortunately CRT T.V.s are motherfucking heavy. My Panasonic Tau weighs nearly 200lbs, and honestly I'm willing to leave this fucker downstairs when I move out and just buy another one.

    Which brings up another thing. IMO CRT>DLP>LCD>Plasma. This is just from my personal experience and taste. The only reason why I would go for something other then a CRT is if I'm going to get something ridiculously large, which would in turn justify having 1080P. Honestly my eyesight isnt good enough to tell the difference between 1080i and 1080P unless the the T.V. is really larger then life. 1080i is just as good as 720P to me.

    Also be aware of overscan

    oc.jpg

    nothing sucks more then spending a large chunk of money on a Hidef t.v. and player, only to find out that you have 3 inches of overscan. It's a bitch and a half to calibrate out (and you run the risk of bricking a T.V.), and it sucks even more hiring a tech at $200 a hour to have him sit on a couch and push buttons. Unfortunately I havent seen a T.V. that was calibrated correctly out of the factory.

    Now finally brand names. I havent check recently, but a few years back buying a Sony basically means you paid too much on a T.V. Their quality went down, big time, and there's better deals to be had from Samsung and Panasonic.

    Casually Hardcore on
  • chasmchasm Ill-tempered Texan Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Sony still means that. Samsungs are the best LCDs for the money, IMO, and Panasonic makes the best plasmas this side of Pioneer (which cost $Texas).

    chasm on
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  • MisterGrokMisterGrok Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    If you live in the San Francisco Bay area, I would advise staying away from Samsung, their local repair shops take forever to get simple problems fixed and the techs are really unprofessional.

    MisterGrok on
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  • The_SpaniardThe_Spaniard Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    MisterGrok wrote: »
    If you live in the San Francisco Bay area, I would advise staying away from Samsung, their local repair shops take forever to get simple problems fixed and the techs are really unprofessional.

    I own 3 Samsung HDTVs and my personal TV for my bedroom is the only one that has ever given me problems... actually have had it repaired 4 times and it just died all together on me upon getting home from buying a bunch of games to play on it from Black Friday. Come Monday I'm going to call them up to get a flat out replacement. But I digress, besides that one TV that I believe was just severely damaged in transit, I'd go with Samsung all the way, that is unless you live in SanFran like this guy said and don't want to put up with idiot repair men.

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  • McClyMcCly Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    MisterGrok wrote: »
    If you live in the San Francisco Bay area, I would advise staying away from Samsung, their local repair shops take forever to get simple problems fixed and the techs are really unprofessional.

    I own 3 Samsung HDTVs and my personal TV for my bedroom is the only one that has ever given me problems... actually have had it repaired 4 times and it just died all together on me upon getting home from buying a bunch of games to play on it from Black Friday. Come Monday I'm going to call them up to get a flat out replacement. But I digress, besides that one TV that I believe was just severely damaged in transit, I'd go with Samsung all the way, that is unless you live in SanFran like this guy said and don't want to put up with idiot repair men.

    3 HDTVs? Dang. What do you do for a living, if you don't mind me asking?

    McCly on
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  • BamelinBamelin Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I bought a 42 inch Panasonic Viera Plasma 1080p set last Boxing Day (Dec. 26) and I've been really happy with it.

    In my opinion plasma's display black's far better than LCD's and also are better if you're ever going to be watching TV from an angle ... not sure if this is true or not anymore but in the past LCD's got blurry the more angled you are from the screen.

    In addition burn in is basically a thing of the past with good plasma sets. I mean, yeah if you plan on leaving a static image on the set for over 20 hours then yeah you could run the risk of burn in, but for gaming it's not really an issue. I game for hours at a time with static huds and have never had a problem ever.

    The reason I bought plasma is that I feel they are better sets for both sports games and watching movies. LCD's (again this may not be the case anymore, I'm basing this on a year old research I did when I bought my set) seem to have a bit of blur associated with something fast moving (like a hockey puck) ... I think this has something to do with refresh rates but I'm not technical genius on the matter. For movies as I mentioned above you'll get far deeper black's on a plasma than you will on a LCD.

    I feel that plasma tech is closer to how CRT sets look, which is also a part of the reason I went plasma. As other's have mentioned Panasonic's make the best affordable plasma's, and Pioneer make the best plasma's period but cost an arm and an leg.

    Bamelin on
  • The_SpaniardThe_Spaniard Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    McCly wrote: »
    MisterGrok wrote: »
    If you live in the San Francisco Bay area, I would advise staying away from Samsung, their local repair shops take forever to get simple problems fixed and the techs are really unprofessional.

    I own 3 Samsung HDTVs and my personal TV for my bedroom is the only one that has ever given me problems... actually have had it repaired 4 times and it just died all together on me upon getting home from buying a bunch of games to play on it from Black Friday. Come Monday I'm going to call them up to get a flat out replacement. But I digress, besides that one TV that I believe was just severely damaged in transit, I'd go with Samsung all the way, that is unless you live in SanFran like this guy said and don't want to put up with idiot repair men.

    3 HDTVs? Dang. What do you do for a living, if you don't mind me asking?

    Ok I could see how that is a little misleading. The first set I bought for myself and then when my little brother through a Wiimote at the screen he bought himself a TV with a cracked screen if you catch my drift. So I bought another, bigger, TV to replace it, and after that my parents wanted a TV for their room so I bought them theirs. I didn't mean to say own, that was a typo on my part, I meant to say I've purchased.

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  • ViscountalphaViscountalpha Registered User
    edited November 2008
    Bamelin wrote: »
    I bought a 42 inch Panasonic Viera Plasma 1080p set last Boxing Day (Dec. 26) and I've been really happy with it.

    In my opinion plasma's display black's far better than LCD's and also are better if you're ever going to be watching TV from an angle ... not sure if this is true or not anymore but in the past LCD's got blurry the more angled you are from the screen.

    In addition burn in is basically a thing of the past with good plasma sets. I mean, yeah if you plan on leaving a static image on the set for over 20 hours then yeah you could run the risk of burn in, but for gaming it's not really an issue. I game for hours at a time with static huds and have never had a problem ever.

    The reason I bought plasma is that I feel they are better sets for both sports games and watching movies. LCD's (again this may not be the case anymore, I'm basing this on a year old research I did when I bought my set) seem to have a bit of blur associated with something fast moving (like a hockey puck) ... I think this has something to do with refresh rates but I'm not technical genius on the matter. For movies as I mentioned above you'll get far deeper black's on a plasma than you will on a LCD.

    I feel that plasma tech is closer to how CRT sets look, which is also a part of the reason I went plasma. As other's have mentioned Panasonic's make the best affordable plasma's, and Pioneer make the best plasma's period but cost an arm and an leg.


    The problem most of us have with plasmas is lifespan. Although they might of found a way to cheat that to a degree. I do agree they look better and are on average cheaper then their LCD counterparts (well over here they are)

    Power consumption and cooling are other issues with plasma, but those can be overcome.

    I won't chastise someone for getting a plasma display though. Get what you want but know what your buying.

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  • McClyMcCly Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    McCly wrote: »
    MisterGrok wrote: »
    If you live in the San Francisco Bay area, I would advise staying away from Samsung, their local repair shops take forever to get simple problems fixed and the techs are really unprofessional.

    I own 3 Samsung HDTVs and my personal TV for my bedroom is the only one that has ever given me problems... actually have had it repaired 4 times and it just died all together on me upon getting home from buying a bunch of games to play on it from Black Friday. Come Monday I'm going to call them up to get a flat out replacement. But I digress, besides that one TV that I believe was just severely damaged in transit, I'd go with Samsung all the way, that is unless you live in SanFran like this guy said and don't want to put up with idiot repair men.

    3 HDTVs? Dang. What do you do for a living, if you don't mind me asking?

    Ok I could see how that is a little misleading. The first set I bought for myself and then when my little brother through a Wiimote at the screen he bought himself a TV with a cracked screen if you catch my drift. So I bought another, bigger, TV to replace it, and after that my parents wanted a TV for their room so I bought them theirs. I didn't mean to say own, that was a typo on my part, I meant to say I've purchased.

    Oh, haha.

    McCly on
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  • NeakyNeaky Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    My PZ80U gets slightly warm after about 2 hours of gaming. My dad's Samsung gets hot to the touch after about an hour.

    I've only ever played games on my plasma and have had no problems with burn in or image retention.

    My first TV was a LCD and now that I own a plasma I will never go back to LCD. Maybe the LED backlit LCDS will change my mind but the current ones are just to grey for my taste.

    Neaky on
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  • MacenMacen Registered User
    edited November 2008
    I have a 50 inch panasonic plasma and love it for all of the above. I was home on leave recently and was trying to hook my laptop up to it and was having resolution issues, but thats nothing to do with the TV...

    I also just bought this Panasonic Viera 42-Inch 720p Plasma HDTV for my parents for christmas. I look through the spec's and everything I read says its 1080 except the title.... so i dunno.. it was 700 two days ago, now its up to 740.. .still a great deal though.

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  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I've go the PZ80 (42") too, which seems quite popular on here. I can safely say I'm incredibly proud of it, after upgrading from a 32" Samsung (LCD). My current Plasma has deeper blacks, handles SD content better, is cheaper and has a far far greater contrast ratio.

    The only downsides I can see with Plasma are (and this isn't necessary but recommended) running a burn in DVD for 100 hours first. I did it on mine (just left it running overnight for a week) and have had absolutely no image retention problems. If I had of done without running this dvd... I don't know.

    The other main downside is (at least the model in the UK) it doesn't support 1080p over component or vga. Meaning my old 360 is stuck on 720p. Not a big deal to me though.

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  • The_SpaniardThe_Spaniard Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Mr_Grinch wrote: »
    The only downsides I can see with Plasma are (and this isn't necessary but recommended) running a burn in DVD for 100 hours first. I did it on mine (just left it running overnight for a week) and have had absolutely no image retention problems. If I had of done without running this dvd... I don't know.

    What is this burn in DVD you speak of?

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  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Mr_Grinch wrote: »
    The only downsides I can see with Plasma are (and this isn't necessary but recommended) running a burn in DVD for 100 hours first. I did it on mine (just left it running overnight for a week) and have had absolutely no image retention problems. If I had of done without running this dvd... I don't know.

    What is this burn in DVD you speak of?

    Read: http://www.plasmasaver.com/

    To see the problem and get one free. And get it free here:

    http://www.eaprogramming.com/ and go to downloads.

    Incidentally I meant break in, not burn in.

    Available as a .iso to burn to a dvd, as an svcd and as a series of pictures to store on an sd card should your tv support it. Lots of people in avforums use it apparently.

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  • ChewyWafflesChewyWaffles Registered User
    edited November 2008
    wishda wrote: »
    Kogareru wrote: »
    I've been looking at tv's for a while trying to find something within my budget and decent. I'll agree that samsung are sexy sexy tv's. Currently though the ones I would want were out of my price range. I did however just order this one:

    Panasonic 42" 1080p Plasma

    coming in at 799 it's one dollar lower than your max. :)

    What's the current status of the plasma/LCD war? Back when I was shopping, there was still a lot of concern about burn-out of plasmas. Since, I've heard that was no longer an issue.

    Get a Panasonic plasma. Panasonic plasmas are king.

    ChewyWaffles on
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  • ChewyWafflesChewyWaffles Registered User
    edited November 2008
    Having worked the electronics at Sears a lot of times we'll be told to change the TV settings so that the ones that aren't a good profit margin(or good commission rate) are darker or not as good looking. Something to keep in mind. But in my experience Samsungs or Sony's are pretty equal. Though with Sony's you usally are paying about $400 more or so for the same TV size.

    Holy shit. Now I've heard it all.

    ChewyWaffles on
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  • Casually HardcoreCasually Hardcore Once an Asshole. Trying to be better. Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I really cant overemphasis about overscan. Once you're aware of it, you will want to rip heads off.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overscan

    Especially for CRT T.V.s. When I gotten my T.V. it had (I'm not kidding either) 30% overscan on all sides. It took me hours to get it down to 6% of overscan on all sides.

    Casually Hardcore on
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