Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Long Island, NY
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if we look at last years models (and for that matter much consumer electronics stuff that is sold both by big box and specialty electronics retailers) the guts were the same between the xx78 and whatever the "high end" version number was ... i forget.
the ONLY difference was cosmetics and i personally liked the xx78 anyway.
as someone wrote, it is very unlikely that a manufacturer would design a completely different set of circuit boards, ic's, whatever - the goal of different model numbers for the same virtual set, is only marketing - so that different retail channels can charge different prices for basically the same stuff and that the manufacturer can increase their profit yield. nothing else ... the manufacturers are not obsessive hobbyists only bottom line oriented.
I predict the same will be the case with this years models and if you like what the xx87 looks like, buy it.
Also, virtually all tv's at least of these price ranges come with cablecard - the 6168 did... they are not going to leave it off in the followup model. but that being said, the cablecard, until the 2 way card is out, is imho virtually worthless vs the box because are you going to spend all this money and then not have a good way to know what you want to watch?? cable card has all these hokey/dont work (read tv guide) schemes to eliminate the need for the box. dont fuss over the card...