1. Budget : ~$1300
2. Seating distance: ~11 feet (looking for 46" to 55", prefer 50+" if budget allows)
3. Size/placement limitations: none
4. Uses and sources: movies (mostly DVD, some BR later), DirecTV SD & HD, streaming from PC/NAS
5. Room lighting: controlled lighting, usually quite low
6. Desired features:
NOT edge-lit (prefer either CCFL or direct-lit LED),
good 24p mode,
USB port and/or SD Card slot,
Firmware update process that can be done by customer
DLNA support (for NAS box streaming - not a deal-breaker though),
plenty of I/O: at least 2 (prefer 3) HDMI, component, composite, analog and digital audio outputs
... and of course I'd prefer a make and/or model that has good reputation for reliability and customer support.
7. NOT important to me:
the form-factor of the TV (I don't mind if it's thick or bulky or looks ugly when turned off),
Internet features are optional so long as I can stream from my PC via HDMI or LAN (prefer not to use an analog VGA input).
I think I MAY even prefer a 2011 or earlier model (if I can buy it new) that has a good reputation over a hot-off-the-assembly-line model that hasn't had time enough for its quirks to surface. (Which is why I am asking here at AVS, hoping to find some advice from people who speak from direct experience with specific TVs instead of going only by listed specs. I look up specs all the time, but I need to know the intangibles like audio sync issues, PQ quirks like light bleeding or cloudiness or banding, general reliability, the functionality and ease-of-use of the TV's user-interface, egregious input lag, you know, the little details that owners often discover only after they've had it a while...
Thanks for any advice! (This will be my first flat-panel.)