Originally Posted by sage11x
I agree and don't agree with Mark in this recommendation. I say check out the Vizio M if you plan on getting a calibration. Otherwise I would recommend the Sony 60" W630.
The reason I say this is the Vizio M has a good reputation post-calibration but it pretty awful out of the box. The Sony, on the other hand, has a superb out of the box picture. Of course it will still greatly benefit from a calibration but it's not a necessity as much as the M.
The sony is affordable, has a very uniform picture due to it's direct backlighting and, being a sony, is likely to a bit more reliable. Echoing Fierce, I really wouldn't spend a bundle on a tv in a bright room-- you'll likely not see the advantages over a less expensive model.
imagic and fierce_gt, thank you both for your recommendations. And thank you, Sage, for yours. I'll definitely look into the Sony, along with the Vizio M. I'll do some more reading and consideration re the f8500, but I think plasma is going to be a tough sell for my father in law, especially given the high price compared to 4K, since 4K is the ultimate goal for him, at least in the long run. So a fairly pricey 1080p set is probably not in the cards.
towards recommending an inexpensive (but not cheap) 1080p LCD at this time, along the lines of the Vizio M and Sony models mentioned, with an eye towards upgrading to 4k in a year or three, when the market and features have matured a little bit. It makes the most sense to me, given the current state of flux. I don't know how easy it will be to sell, because he likes his toys (admittedly I can relate), but we'll see how it goes. The Vizio name will be an especially tough sell, but who knows, maybe my powers of persuasion will prevail, else perhaps the Sony will be what we're looking for. (he's a bit of a name snob (as am I, admittedly), but Sony has plenty of cachet)
Thank you all, for your insights! I have some more research to do... (and I remain open to other recommendations, while I read up)