I also was waiting out the HD standard, but just dropped my 32" Proscan on it's face while getting the house painted, so I had to buy a new TV. I had been in the market so to speak for over five years, and theres not a TV Ive not seen nor read about
.. that said
..I think you are looking at too small a TV, go to some local shops and measure out the viewing distance you have and see what you think.
I personally sit ~11 from my TV and went with a 61 as the 50 looked small next to it. My wife doesnt say much about my stereo choices
THANK YOU GOD!!!!!! So I got to get what I wanted, youre mileage may vary! I did take Judith with me and showed her the TVs I was looking at and had her sit at the distance we would at home and surprisingly she also agreed with the larger set
you might have the same luck!
My advice to you:
1) DO buy an HD capable TV...there's enough HD broadcasts out there now, and DVD's are progressive, so the 480p alone is worth the added money, plus, like dlrepp said, do you really want to buy two TV's?? Especially knowing the 'cheaper' one now will be outdated very soon, and by many peoples standards, already is. With 75% of your TV viewing is from a digital source (Direct TV and DVD) you really should get an HD compatible monitor/TV. As for 16:9 vs 4:3
.Ill address that at the end.
2) Prices are likely about as low as plasma's will go for a while, and plasma's only have a finite life span, go to any AV store and see the older ones, they fade out and aren't fixable! Cool technology, but likely not the answer. Plasma TVs are very sensitive to burn in!!!! LCD's are cool, but don't do fast motion as well, and are smaller and more expensive, but do last longer, if youre going for the super thin TV, large LCDs are coming out this year, in the order of 42-50 sets, I dont have word on prices yet, but I expect HIGH!!!
3) RPTV......pretty broad classification these days.
A) CRT's are the old standard, huge, heavy, need to have the convergence reset regularly and don't tolerate ambient light or off angle viewing, do have burn in!!
B) LCDs aren't that expensive (more than CRT's) but don't do fast motion well, and with DVD's being a good portion of your viewing, this can be annoying I find, but if you go with a smaller (43") set it might not bother you too much. Essentially no burn in!
C) DLPs right now, IMHO have the hands down advantage, DLP RPTVs offer great off angle viewing, are brighter than CRT/LCDs, and at least as bright as plasmas (but are far cheaper than these) and can handle much faster motion (pixel refresh rates). Yes, they too have a down side, they are dependent on a very bright light bulb to reflect off the DLP chip
that bulb lasts several years depending on amount of viewing, and costs ~$300-400 to replace. No burn in!!
D) Newer technologies like LCOS (only Toshiba has one and its $9000 for a 51 I believe
not reviewed to well recently either!) will be contenders in the future, but not for another two years or more. Reportedly no burn in.
DLPs, LCDs, Plasmas all have some difficulty producing true blacks, plasmas are getting better, and the new Sony and Panny 4P (plasmas) are pretty good, but more than three times the price of an equivalent DLP RPT, as the DLP RPTV are less than 15 deep, I wonder how much that 10 is worth to you????
I personally bought the new Samsung 61 RP DLP TV, for $4600, I get a native rate of 1280x720, Faroujda DCDi, every signal it takes it upconverts to 720p
.and its cheap relative to the rest. It also has DVI w/HDCP input already, but unfortunately no firewire.
Yes, many like the Mitsubishis, and they are the only company to promise to keep their TVs up to date, but ask anyone who owns one how if they are going to spend the $595 for the FIRST upgrade!!!! I like the picture of the Mitsubishi CRTs, and when calibrated, they are better than the Pioneer Elite TVs, if you really want a CRT RPTV, thats likely the route Id go.
Now should you get 16:9 or 4:3??? Well, I think that depends. Personally, if you are buying a technology with risk of burn in (plasma, CRT), you must consider this more seriously. Running your new plasma for as little as 30 minutes of static display can leave an imprint for ever! If I where going that route, Id seriously consider what I watch and what is important to me. If you elect to go with any other format, ABSOLUTELY go with 16:9! It will be the standard soon enough
getting back to the do you want to buy two TVs thing again!
Sorry, kind of wordy, but it gets most of the big points across!
Happy shopping and I hope this helps some!