I've been slowly making my way through the posts, but haven't found the answers/guidance/information that I need. Here's some information to hopefully guide your advice.
I purchased a Fujitsu 50" plasma (720p) in 2006 and it has been the center of my home entertainment experience since (and very happy with it). (I purchased a Samsung 46" A950 in 2009 for the bedroom -- also a great TV and relevant to this post). I'm moving in a few weeks to a much bigger place and have decided to purchase a new set for the main viewing room. It is a large, open room that is adjacent to the kitchen and breakfast nook. There will be small windows behind (above) and a wall of windows on one side of the new TV. There will be a fireplace on the side opposite the wall of windows. The wall of windows is a southern exposure and is wooded, so uncontrolled light should not be an issue. It will likely be mounted to the wall.
I am looking to purchase the largest screen I can with the best picture quality. I watch primarily sports and HD content. It will be used for gaming (Xbox and PS3) and blu-ray movies. As far as size, I have been looking at screens that are 65" or larger. I have been to Best Buy repeatedly over the last 5 months to inspect and test the screens.
I've identified the following TVs from my Best Buy/Magnolia research: (1) the Elite 70"; (2) the Panasonic P65VT50 and (3) the Samsung 65" 8000 series LCD (both this year's and last year's models). I've also looked at the Samsung 64" Series 8 plasma. Having reviewed the TVs at numerous BBs in several stores in different states, the quality of picture varies with the site and source (i.e., the Elite looks best one place while the VT50 looks better at another place). At this point, it's information overload. Naturally, I'm here asking for more!
I thought that I would choose the Elite easily, given the other reviews, but I am concerned about its ability to handle contrasts in dark scenes (like other LCDs). I'm wondering if movies like LOTR, Batman or Master & Commander would become unwatchable given their dark color palette and an inability to convey details in the dark scenes. I also worry about the ability of the Elite to handle motion, particularly sports motion (unfortunately, I have been unable to see live sports on the Elite given the setup in the BB stores). I also worry if it will exhibit a "soap opera" effect (that I have been able to eliminate with my A950, although I see it often on many LCDs) and lag while gaming.
I saw Avatar on the VT50 and thought that I would go select the Panasonic, but when I went back and saw a different feed, it did not look as good. Great TV, but it looked dim, even compared to the Samsung plasma next to it. I wondered if it would hold up in an environment that is brighter than the current environment for my Fujitsu.
Please note that I have added Samsung to the process because I have been impressed with their quality over the last few years. I like/prefer the warm color saturation of Samsung TVs (which may just be a function of calibration and setup). This is from a guy who would not consider a TV if it didn't say Sony on it. But I bought my Fujitsu because it was clearly superior to what Sony was offering then and the same applied to the A950 in 2009. That said, I am not wed to any manufacturer or technology (plasma/LCD).
Hoping to pull the trigger soon. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.