Now might be the time to buy CRT, if that is what you want. It seems like it is a mature technology, capable of provinding state of the art picture. My understanding is that the manufacturers aren't putting a whole lot of investment into CRT any more. OTOH, I have read that there are enw plasma panel panel manufacturing technologies in the works that will make Plasma tvs incredibly cheap in the next few years, so I'm holding off. Suposedly a nanotech soup that when poured on a sheet of glass, assembles itself into a plasma screen. Far out stuff, but I'm waiting.
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If you can deal with the size, the CRTs are a bargain, especially if you're looking for a big screen.
CRT is a mature technology as Honest! states. LCD, DLP and Plasmas still have some quirks to figure out and I really dont want to spend big bucks to be the beta tester.
I recently purchased a 57 inch Sony CRt set and I thrilled with the picture on DVDs. With regular (non-HD) Im somewhat dissapointed but I expected that. It seems cable (not sure of satellite) has not keeped up what the new standards of resolution of the DLPs, plasmas , LCDs and CRTs have to offer. The picture quality varies from poor to very good.
If you like movies (DVD), jump on in. The waters fine
unless buying a conventional direct view or crt, or it is absolutely necessary, i wouldn't buy a new tv for at least a couple of years. all the new technologies have their problems, and i expect prices to drop substantially. in a few years you should be able to purchase a better tv for less $$$$$$.
I would'nt buy at the moment as technology is quickly moving forward and the current crop of lcd's and plasmas wont give you the resolution that blu-ray can provide ( that is if the format succeeds) but if you have to buy spend as little as possible, I would strongly suggest a bottom end 100hz digital loewe or the like, the pictures that these provide are equal IMO to far more expensive plasmas and will provide you a stunning picture until the next generation plasma becomes generally available and affordable.
I have pondered this very question and my thought is that in just a few short months it is likely that some good price drops will occur for plasma and LCD flatscreens. I am not won over by the projection TVs so I am waiting for prices to get below $2.5K-$3K for a good 50" HD plasma (maybe not in next few months). I really prefer the LCD, these seem to be best for all around including non HD which will dominate in my system. I have friends who have HD projection that seem to gravitate to HD programming not for the programming content per se, but because it is HD or maybe more accurately it is not not HD. I'm still going to wait a while. I think it will be worth it.
According to this article in yesterday's New York Times, there is now a glut of manufacturing capacity for LCD screens which could lead to a 50% drop in price in the next two years. This would probably price smaller plasma screens out of the market.