Start watching the specials on what is available on plasma or with a projector. I am more of a projector fan. The unit is small and I can create an instant theater simply by pulling down the screen. You need a room that is in the very least 10' deep.
whatever you do, make it High Definition compatible. If you are luck enough to be living in an area that gets High Definition (UHF) broadcasts, you will be amazed by what you were missing. I recently put such an antenna up and I am sitting here, just wondering why I didn't pay any attention to those transmissions that have been bouncing off of my house for so long, going utterly un-noticed.
Also, such broadcasts come with digital audio signals and some of the PBS music stuff is very sweet.
Uncle Jeff, don't have the 10' Are you saying plasma instead of lcd?
If I were buying a 42" plasma, I would choose the Sony KDE-42XBR950KIT. It is the first plasma I have seen that does not look like a plasma. I first saw it a few months ago in the Sony store at the Moscone Center in San Fransico while I was attending a conference. I sat there during lunch break for over an hour watching some HDTV Discovery Channel footage. The picture quality was simply stunning. I think it is about $9,000 list, a bit too rich to my taste.
unless space were limited, i would opt for other than LCD OR PLASMA.
Neither LCD or Plasma flat panel TV's are known for having the the blackest blacks.
Front projectors are great, but you need to make sure you have alot of control over the light level in the room.
I still think that some of the newer rear-projection TVS have the sharpest image available.
The plasma's and LCD's are great for space saving, they also have that GeeWizz effect.
I would suggest the Pioneer "elite" Pro-800 (plasma) $8000.
However, I believe this model will soon be replaced but, thus far I beleive it to be the best I've seen.
Warren- If you watch a lot of sports or action, LCDs probably not the way to go. For a thin screen plasma is probably better; for a somewhat larger unit, but still compact, the Samsung DLP rear projector is pretty impressive and about $1K cheaper than plasma. for more details go to avsforum.com
As an interesting side note, I read today in the WSJ that all Sony's flat panel televisions are manufactured by Samsung. Unless Sony combines the Samsung display with superior Sony electronics (which is a possibility), why wouldn't a Samsung flat panel TV offer a better value?
Warrenh, I agreed with you that plasma TVs are very appealing. They certainly have that WOW factors. Please go to www.plasmatvbuyingguide.com (plasma tv buying guide dot com). LCD often cannot achieve high brightness intensity when the screen is as big as 42" or larger. On the other hand, plasma has no brightness problem, but it has the darkness problem. Tube is best at this. However, based on the website I recommends, Panasonic seems to be the leader in this industry, 6th generation of EDTV plasma. It makes its own glass and components. I don't know your price range, but the new Panasonic EDTV plasma has brightness ratio of 4000:1, which is exceptionally good if it can achieve its claim. The new model has 1.07 billion colors rather than millions likes its predecessor. It claims to be to be rival to some of the best CRT. It has has DVI with 4 slots for future upgrade. It is supposed to be the coolest in its class even though it consumes about 300 wattage power -- as hot as a halogen lamp. Hence, it does not use a fan to cool down like some of its competitors, thus, no fan noise. One thing I have found out is that regardless whatever brands people purchase, those owners are happy with their toys. Good luck.
Plasma, I believe is better than LCD. The plasma technology is advancing so fast that this is probably the one direction I would avoid buying used.
Don't buy anything for the time being! The new television technologies and transmission standards are changing everyday. This is a transition period. Wait for about 3 or 4 years if you can until all is settled.
If you can't wait, buy a good'ol CRT (tube) they are dirt cheap now so you can easily upgrade in a few years with minimal financial loss.
This is I am doing anyway. Every time I am at the GoodGuys, I had to fight hard my impulses to upgrade my 12-year-old SONY 32". If you venture into some of the videophile's online forums you'll know what I mean: they are debating new standards, new technologies everyday! it's a mess there. Sit and watch is the best strategy.
I respectfully disagree with sit and watch strategy.
Technology always advances. TV is just like computers, no matter when you buy; it will be obsolete in a few years. Suppose the industry did come out with a totally new standard 3 years from now, it will take at lease a couple more years for the new technology to become mature and affordable.
If I see something I really like and is within my budget, I would rather buy it now, enjoy it for the next five years, and make upgrade decision when the new standard did come. Life is too short to wait.
I'll agree with Lej1447, the Panasonic stuff is always ahead of the curve when it comes to video reproduction. Even their cheap Dvd players offer stunning progressive scan picture quality IMO.
Sidssp, you are absolutely right in saying 'life ...' that is my motto as well. But that does not apply for TV/video technology at current time. This is a _transition_ time. Buying a TV in 1985 ro in 1995 doesn't make much difference, but _today_ it does.
To elaborate this topic will be too long to post in this thread, I will just give you one example: the movie industry has been hesitatig to release movies beyond 480p (DVD) for many reasons, but the market has been pushing them to go higher so there will be 1080p fomat videos but 95% of HDTV sold until today do not have this capability. I am not sure whether it is upgradable for all HDTV sets.
I will still hold off _big_ investments in TV/video for the time being. There are many "videophile" forums that you can check out and see yourself what you have being experiencing. A loss of more than 70% of initial purchase within 1 to 1.5 years is very very common, which means a $2000 paid one year ago worth less than $600 today, ouch!
Abe; This is why I went for a front projector. My prjector operates more as a monitor and the 1080i comes with it. the unit senses what is coming and adjusts accordingly.
one example of how fast TV/video technology is advancing TODAY, this is a lastest article from New York Times:
Only Front Project will survivel longer.