A few years ago when I needed a TV, I got an expensive Toshiba 53" rear projection crt 1080i HDTV, long before my cable provider even offered HD channels, thinking I'd be set for the HD future that was on its way. Well, it only has Colorstream Component inputs, no HDMI or DVI, so now I can't even get an upconverting DVD player let alone a real 1080p format player to work with it. I know if I had gotten the top of the line TV back then instead of the second best to save money I would have gotten the newer fancy inputs too so I'd still be able to use it today. I had that in mind when Heroes Season 1 came out last week on HD-DVD and I was ready to get a HD player and HDTV, again. I looked for the best one I could find, thinking that I could either spend a lot now and have the best tv the whole time, or I could spend half now on a cheaper TV and the other half again later when I had to rebuy it later.
I saw the Samsung 61 at BB and it stood out to me as being better than the ones around it, including the Sony XB2 that was on closeout. The 71 upped the Hz to 120 like the new Sony does to improve clarity. I liked the 71 better because the glossy surface seems to improve contrast by keeping room light from washing out the blacks in the screen. Then I saw the 81 on BB's website. It's not in any of the stores here, not even on Samsung's website yet, but it's available online.
I read a few things on here about the cost difference not being worth it because it doesn't look that much better than the 71 to those who've seen it. So, I'm going to post why I ordered it for those who are still making up their minds.
1) Being a salt-water aquarium coral reef hobbiest, you have to use various types of special lighting to produce what the corals need to grow. The compact flourescents I use to get enough bright light into a small space have to have certain brightnesses and light spectrums. One thing I learned about flourescents is that, though they do not burn out for many years, the light they put out after 1 year is not the same brightness nor the same spectrum as the day they were new. They shift as they mature and you have to replace them every year to keep the light in the correct spectrum and brightness for the corals to be happy. If you've ever replaced a regular flourescent bulb in a twin fixture it's easy to see there how much brighter and whiter the new bulb is next to an existing bulb that had been used for a while. Yes, flourescents won't actually burn out like other rear projection TVs or DLPs, but they won't look as good in just a couple years as they do on the day you buy them. LEDs have less of this type of degradation over time.
2) Being concerned about the environment, house light bulbs currently have to choose between incandescents that require more electricity, which burns more coal, which puts more mercury into the air, or, we get flourescent bulbs which contain mercury inside of them and if not disposed of properly will pollute the ground water some day. LED bulbs are efficient And contain no murcury. The model 81 LCD LED TV is the best model for the environment.
My 52" 81 is scheduled to arrive on Friday. It was expensive, but I see it as a long-term investment.
Now, one thing I'm not as sure about is the LG BH-100 multiplayer that I ordered so that I could play both HD-DVD and Blu-rays. I could use any input on whether that was a good choice or if I should exchange it. I read online that it's really just a Blu-ray player that can do some HD-DVD things but not all, like it can't do special features or HDinteractive features on HD-DVDs. Some people have posted that it only outputs 1080p in 24 Hz or 30 Hz so it doesn't work with most 1080p TVs that require 1080p in 60Hz. As far as I'm aware the Samsung 81 should be able to work with it OK.