Purchased a 55" ZV650U last week as a gift (of sorts) to my sister from B&H Photo (who has dropped the price about $60 since I purchased it!
). She and her hubby just moved into their just-purchased home and had no furniture except for a 32" Vizio I bought for them three years ago (all the furniture in their old apartment belonged to the landlord). I asked what their budget for a new TV was and, combined with my tax return for the year, ended with a budget that allowed me to get the 55" Toshiba for what she was willing to spend for a much smaller and crappier HDTV. Sis actually put her furniture purchase on hold because I wouldn't tell her what size of TV I would be getting her (because I didn't know; there were five or six HDTV's of various sizes/prices up in the air that I was looking at). Drove her nuts (she wanted to buy the furniture and then have the TV fit into the entertainment center) but, when the MASSA truck arrived with the 55ZV650U last week, the size of the box blew her and my brother-in-law (who had no idea any of this was happening) away. Sis thought a 52" HDTV was obscenely big and her hubby expected they'd barely be able to get something between 42-47" for his XBox 360 gaming and just-installed Cablevision IO HD package. Now that the 55" Tosh is inside an empty house they're designing their living room and furniture purchases AROUND
the TV and not the other way. Got around the WAF by dealing with 'the wife' directly and even got to use her moneys to get her (and hubby) stuck with a quality big-screen TV for years to come... knock on wood. I'm a real son-of-a-bitch, aren't I?
Their first-born (my first nephew/niece!
) is due in late May so this is the last 'big' thing I can help them get before all the attention and resources are diverted to the baby. Except for seeing the ZV650U at the B&H showroom (blacks looked awfully milky in the darkness next to the Samsung plasmas and surrounding 52" LCD's to my spoiled AVS-trained eyesight... gulp!
) all my research for this set was done online and by reading this thread. I learned back in 2007 (when doing research for my first HDTV, an Olevia 747i 1080p LCD that is still going strong) that there is no such thing as a perfect HDTV. This 55" Toshiba LCD is the one HDTV I feel I can give to my 'civilian' non-techie relatives and feel like (a) I stretched our pooled budget to get the most bang-for-buck value while (b) feeling I used my AVS Forum knowledge to get them something I myself could live with. This Tosh isn't the latest and greatest HDTV, but it's definitely more and better HDTV than they thought they'd ever be able to afford, especially since they didn't see it coming until it pulled in their driveway five days ago.
I'll see my sister's 55ZV650U in action for the first time a week from Friday when I go visit her. I'll play around when I'm there and maybe even take a couple of pics for posterity (and to post here). Thanks to all those that posted in this thread (Cellis, Beeper, OnlookerDelay, etc.), it gave me the knowledge (and fear of God!
) that at the very least this was a decent-enough LCD to make non-AVS people like my sister & bro-in-law (and soon niece/nephew) feel they got their money's worth. Especially since their share of the expense is a lot less than what the TV's final cost ended up being (a few C-notes lower even than OnlookerDelay's excellent deal with his 55" Tosh).