As I confessed a while back, I was infected with Flat Panel Flu from the first moment I laid eyes on a large HDTV screen, about five years ago. Back then, a big plasma cost as much as a quality used car, and a “large” LCD was about 21 inches across. Ever since, I’ve been lusting after those brilliant, enormous, oh-so-thin screens, and watching the prices creep down into something like a normal human’s range.
About a month ago, I finally took the plunge, and got a Panasonic TH-50PHD8UK plasma screen. And it rocks. I mean, you ought to see last month’s Auburn-Alabama game in HD (recorded on a DirecTV HD Tivo). You could step into the screen and sack Brodie Croyle from your living room.
I picked this one out after (literally) a couple of years of shopping around and comparing pictures. The final contenders came down to Panasonic and Pioneer plasma screens. The Pioneers have a slight edge in colors (just amazingly brilliant), but Panasonic took the trophy for the sharpest picture–and besides which, Pioneer screens are still premium-priced, and I’m cheap, even when I’m buying something really expensive.
For all you LCD and DLP folks, as Steve Den Beste would say, please, don’t send emails. This is very subjective stuff, and if you’re buying a TV, you should buy what your eyes like the best. For myself, I just don’t like projection screens (of any technology), and flat LCDs are too small and/or too expensive.
Speaking of which, and apropos of the Blogfaddah’s ongoing HDTV seminar, here’s my advice on buying a big TV. It’s similar to what I tell people who’re buying a new computer: Get the one with the features (and in this case, picture) you like the most, and buy as much power (or screen size) as you can afford. Then quit reading reviews, quit checking prices, and just enjoy the damn thing–because there’s probably going to be a better one, selling for cheaper than you just paid, next month.
Oh, and don’t get ripped off on cables. Buy them here.