Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Atlantic Canada
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The only 1080p 42" plasmas currently available are part of Panasonic's professional line and are a tad pricey for 42" screens (around 1000$ last I checked).
If you'll be feeding the tv's 1080p signals then you'll definetly want 1080p screens because you will notice the difference between screens and it may be distracting (basically you'll see what you are missing on the 42" 720p (1024 x 768) screens when you look at the 1080p screen).
Unless you can find 42" or 46" Panasonic s30's, or st30's you'll probably want to get 3 50 inch plasmas for around 1200 each rather than shelling out for professional model 42's and only saving a couple hundred.
The ut50 wouldn't work very well in a bright room as it lacks the anti reflective screen the aforementioned s30, st30 have.
The st50 is a good buy with it's anti reflective screen and top notch performance, you could buy led lcd's but you would be sacrificing alot unless you were spending alot more money.
You want good motion performance if your watching sports and very few if any led lcd's in the price range can provide it.
The benefits from an lcd in the price range are a brighter picture, less power draw, zero chance of image retention, and zero chance of phosphor lag (rainbow effect).
The benefits of a plasma in the price range are better motion performance, uniform brightness and perfect viewing angles, a higher contrast ratio deeper blacks, and overall value for dollar.
If you are worried about image retention you may want to consider Samsung plasmas like the pne6500 over Panasonic plasmas, you shouldn't have problems with either if they are properly broken in but it is something to keep in mind if you constantly watch something with static logos or scores.
The st50 and pne6500 are known to do quite well in rooms with typical ambient light and may even do better with reflections than alot of the current glossy lcd screens.
I thought about mentioning some lcd's you could look into but now that i think about it it's best to avoid them completely for a situation where you will be off angle to 2 of them no matter where you sit.
It would be best to avoid mixing models and technology as you might notice the difference in motion performance, black level,
uniformity and viewing angle (when you looking at the center screen you are at an angle to the outside screens even if your sitting dead center.