I like my Pio Elite--I've got the 1410HD. No dead pixels. Great picture quality and depth--best I've seen other than the Fujitsu. The only shortcomings--this isn't necessarily Pio specific--are:
1. A lack of inputs. I resorted to buying a switch, since I've got 1 HDMI source, two DVI sources, and one component source. That lead me into the gates of hell--it turns out you can't just buy a DVI switch, and the existence of HDMI/DVI cables is not an indication the two specs are fungible--even just for video. If you go that route, get an HDMI switch...
2. No easy setting to turn off overscan. Net result is that my mac mini desktop is "bigger" than my screen, and I can't see the menu bars...
3. Its bloody heavy. Not as heavy as my Sony 36" XBR tube was, but the consequences of dropping it are commensurately more severe.
Zenith 42". No problem at all. Love it.
Most manufacturers have an "acceptable" number of pixels that can be dead straight out of the box. I think that Sony, for instance, will allow up to three dead pixels before they will even consider doing something about it. End-of-model close-out on a store demo can be affordable with the added benefit of the ability to inspect before purchase.
I've been very happy with my Marantz, and I had the same concerns you did when buying it. No problems at all. Only "problem" is that HD material looks so good, when you switch to a plain digital source it suffers in comparison, and analog stations look comparitively blurred. Hopefully there will be more and more HD programming.
I am happy with my Philips plasma. Only issue is the HDMI signal sometimes has trouble syncing with the TV and you have to turn off/on the sat box to get it locked up. After that, no issues.
Love my Fujitsu HD. Problems so far:
1. Possible burn in along edges when watching 4:3 material. Most commericials are still 4:3 even on HD channels.
2. Lots of heat, not a major factor in New England, but would be in Florida.
3. Fragile- Make sure you know what you are doing if you install yourself.
4. You will find yourself watching some pretty pathetic content, just to gawk at the HD PQ.
No problems with my Fujitsu although it was a replacement for one with a few stuck pixels. As another said, heat in NE is no problem.
Zero problems with my Panasonic 42" ED Plasma.
Thanks for the input. All positive to boot. I guess I had better take the plunge. Waiting till T Day when they usually have the best sales.
No problems with an NEC 42" HD. Be sure to "break-in" the set for the first 200 hrs. properly. (NEC manual details this)
Zero problems with my Panasonic 42" ED Plasma. I have it for 1.5 years now.
My friend's first generation JVC plasma broke down recently, one strip of bad pixels developed over time and has grown considerably larger since. Just imagine someone put a 2" tape on the screen, but lucky it's outside the 4:3 screen and only visible when watching HD materials.
My mom's Samsung plasma went dead due to bad power supply. A quick fix and it's back online.
My NEC plasma is trouble free after 2 years of service, but then I only watch 2 hours of TV a week top.
On the other hand, my Sony LCD rear projection GWIV has 3 stuck pixels since day one and lots of people have issue with the LCD panels especially on GWIII.
Plasma is wonderful. There are some issues regarding inputs that are still getting worked out. You can even get some software that is full of famous paintings like Van Gogh, etc. so that even when you are not watching it you have a revolving museum of paintings all filling in your 'painting'.
Does anybody have input in regards to some of these 'new name' plasmas? I am more and more coming across plasma sets that retail for half of the big guys, but the name brands are completely unfamiliar. Off hand I do not have any company names, but, this past weekend, a flyer arrived advertising 42" plasma for $1,800.00 Cdn. Again -the company name was completely unfamiliar.
The "classic paintings" software is a neat idea, however, Plasma TVs do have a finite life based on hours of usage. If you plan to use a Plamsa TV for many years, I would recommend turning it off when not actively watching it.
There are some nice "picture frame"enclosures for Plasma TVs that look like a picture frame arount the TV and have retractable prints that cover the screen when not in use. I've seen a few of these at hig-end home shows and they look pretty cool, especially for Plasmas that are mounted above fireplaces.
42 inch Panasonics start at 1500 US online authorized reseller so there isnt really a need to consider Maxent, Voire, LG, Benq etc. Unless you really want to try out an other name brand.
I am not saying Panasonic is the best, second best whatever, but their QA is pretty high.
AFAIK, there are only a few display manufacturers. Different brands take an established display and add their own electronics, or sometimes just re-badge them.
Actually you are referring to the glass, not the electronics. The only glass manufacturers for Plasma are Panasonic Pioneer, and Hitachi, as well as Samsung and perhaps LG. Pioneer is shutting down production lines for plasmas in 2006. The electronics and specs are largely proprietary; this is why a Dell Plasma with Panny glass and a Panny are two different animals.
I see that Hitachi is offering a plasma and calling it "1080p II" but the resolution is only 1024 x 1024. I would think that that is just 1080i. I haven't gotten a chance to compare it yet but the real claim to fame for this unit is reduced screen door effect. The dealer states that Hitachi just built a factory just to make the glass for these. Any thoughts on this vs. the Pioneer Elite?