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I'm overthinking this purchase as I do with all things in my life. A deal I had in the works fell through, now I'm left to actually shopping, which opens up my options. I've been in the stores looking and can't really decide on what I want. All I know is I want a 50" and its going to have Directv and a dvd player on it.

I was leaning towards a Samsung, but then I saw a beautiful Pioneer. Not sure if the store was downplaying the other displays. This Pioneer made a Sony next to it look like crap.

Is there a buying guide like dpreview for cameras, or anybody care to share their decision making on their purchases...
 

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Punches Dubs. True Story
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Out of curiosity ...why plasma?

And do you know which Sony you were looking at? I just got notice that we're clearancing out a lot of TVs in the next few days, but if you don't like Sony, then not even a 65% price reduction is going to change your mind. Just wondering which model you saw. (There might be a reason that it didn't stand up to a lowly Pioneer.)
 

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plasma just because its going on the wall. I have no idea what model the Sony was. I just remember being shocked. I've owned a lot of Sony products before, including 2 current TV's. 65%??? Let's talk...:D
 

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Get a Panny, they are judged as the best picture quality TVs after a conventional CRT. I have the 50" Panasonic TH-50PX50U I bought last month for $3150 and it is stunning. It even does a decent job with non-HDTV signals (although still crappy compared to an HDTV source). I think the Consumer Reports on the newstand right now has the HDTV roundup review. You can do a LOT of research here: http://www.avsforum.com/

For a DVD player, look at the Panasonic S-77. It upconverts quite well for the $200 price. It uses the Faroujda processing chip.
 

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Just make sure it handles so you can upgrade in the future. I've heard great things about Sony's Bravia line and Pioneer's Elite line looks great as well. If you were looking at a smaller size I would have pointed you to a Samsung that had caught my eye. If you can and are hardcore at shopping for stuff like this, bring your own source. Retailers split their signal so many times to have the same image on every screen that I doubt you see the true potential of any TV. It just gives you an idea. You can spot the bad ones pretty easy asa result though.
 

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The Blue Blur said:
If you can and are hardcore at shopping for stuff like this, bring your own source. Retailers split their signal so many times to have the same image on every screen that I doubt you see the true potential of any TV. It just gives you an idea. You can spot the bad ones pretty easy asa result though.
VERY true. Every place I shopped had crappy signals run through the TVs. Mine looked much better at home than in the stores. I decided to believe reviewers over what I saw in the stores. I think I bet well on that but it sure was a leap of faith.
 

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Punches Dubs. True Story
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Urlik said:
Get a Panny, they are judged as the best picture quality TVs after a conventional CRT. I have the 50" Panasonic TH-50PX50U I bought last month for $3150 and it is stunning.
How about a 42" HD-ready (no HD tuner) Sony for $1700? :D

Personally, I'm looking at our Location Free TV set ups. Basically, you hook a wireless transmitter up to your cable box and carry a 7" or 12" touchscreen with you throughout the house (and yard, etc). The screen doubles as a remote and you can watch whatever is piped into your cable box. (It's also got WiFi capabilities so that you can watch your local programming while at a Starbucks [or whatever] three states over.)

Toys? What toys?
 

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I second the Panny as first choice - picture quality and contrast are great, and the justify feature that stretches a standard picture to 16:9 is barnone better than anything out there

2nd choice Pioneer - contrast is absolutely amazing. Costco sells a good one.

And there are no third choices

This is all assuming plasma and plasma only.
 

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Since we are on this subject what about burn in? I hear that is common in plasma tv's. I have a Xbox 360 I want a nice big hd tv. My concern was with burn in. I thought i could only use a LCD TV. I need info :)
 

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Another vote for Panny and then Pioneer. Pioneer Elite would be number one if you can afford it.

Couple things to look out for, make sure you get at least 2 HDMI inputs. It'll save you headaches down the road. Also most come with it now so it's not an issue, but having it's own HD tuner is a must as well.

Philips makes a good tv too, but make sure you get the Omnimount U3T mount because it's the ONLY one that fits the tv. Don't ask how I know this..........
 

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ROC_Barett said:
Since we are on this subject what about burn in? I hear that is common in plasma tv's. I have a Xbox 360 I want a nice big hd tv. My concern was with burn in. I thought i could only use a LCD TV. I need info :)
Plasma's WILL burn in, but most games change scenes quickly enough that it won't be an issue. Also, if you look at most games that have a stationary image, like Halo, it's a transparent image that still shows the background moving. it'll take awhile to burn in but that doesn't mean leave it on pause for extended periods. Plasma's also leave a ghost behind right after the image has been displayed. scared the living crap out of me the first time I saw that.

LCD's will never burn in, but their picture quality sucks (assuminng we're talking about flat panel LCD's)

Bottom line, if you're not going to hang the plasma, don't get one. That's the only reason you should even be looking at one. Mitsu makes a bad ass LCD tv leaving DLP hanging to dry. Just picked out a 52528 for mother, and I think it looks better than the plasma at my place at times..
 

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Panasonic is the best bang for your buck plasma, but I think Samsung has a slightly better picture and handles motion better. Fujitsu is way overpriced.
 

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Another Panny vote. Olympics in HD is great. Get it from Costco; outstanding return policy:

http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11093985

Sony 40" Bravia is too small; trust me. I have a 42" Panny HD and I wished I got the 50" .

As for burn-in in plasma, as long as you don't abuse it, it is a non-issue for the newer glass. Visit avsforum.com but I warn you, you'll probably get "analysis paralysis".
 

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mistertam said:
I second the Panny as first choice - picture quality and contrast are great, and the justify feature that stretches a standard picture to 16:9 is barnone better than anything out there

2nd choice Pioneer - contrast is absolutely amazing. Costco sells a good one.

And there are no third choices

This is all assuming plasma and plasma only.
I have the 50" Pioneer from costco, and LOVE IT plus you can't go wrong with their 100% satisfaction garantee. Something I would keep in mind when it comes to getting a plasma vs. an LCD. I think it was 3999 last time I looked. My father works for costco and this is the only plasma they have not had a return on in his store.
-d
 

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ROC_Barett said:
Since we are on this subject what about burn in? I hear that is common in plasma tv's. I have a Xbox 360 I want a nice big hd tv. My concern was with burn in. I thought i could only use a LCD TV. I need info :)
The new panels are not much more susceptible to burn-in than a CRT is.
 
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