I have never owned an HDTV due to finances, but have decided this is unacceptable, and that I WILL find a way to get this done. Probably going to wait until Boxing Day and scout out the best deal I can, so I'm working on familiarizing myself with the options now. Did a whole lot of research this week, and I think I'm more confused now than I was at the start! So hopefully I can get some help here and pick a winner, or at least rule out a few of these options. I will be heading to a store over the next day or two to check them out in person.
2. Seating distance
4. Uses and sources
Technically the main usage will be regular cable TV viewing, but what I REALLY want the HDTV for is gaming (Xbox 360), sports, and movies (Netflix & DVD's). Will get a Blu-Ray player soon enough.
5. Room lighting
Well-lit room, but will do a lot of my viewing at night.
From what I've learned, there are lots of options out there that would be nice to have, but not integral. Smart TV is cool but I can use my Xbox 360 to access Netflix & the interwebs. 3D would be sweet but I understand it's probably not worth the extra cost at this point in time. One thing that I am hoping to get some info on is the various sound systems involved with these sets, and which is the best. I have my current 25" old-school TV hooked up through a stereo, which I suppose I could continue to do with the HDTV. But if I find a set with good surround sound, that would be a massive bonus and worth adding extra money for if I have to. I have read back a bunch of pages in this thread, and as far as features go picture quality is the most important by far, specifically deep blacks and vibrant colours. I'm still a little unclear at the LED vs. LCD debate, other than understanding that it's mostly hype, but that 120Hz is preferable to 60Hz.
Re: size, I buy into what Escape has been saying about going for a 42" for that "bigger" feel, so that is a strong preference here. However, I would settle for a 40" if it is by far the best option at a similar price.
Compared and contrasted the low-cost sets, and reviews are all over the map. What do you guys feel is the best model, and also the worst so that I can rule something out. I would lean Sony in a vacuum, with Panasonic a close second, but the low-end Panasonic reviews seem to be poor across the board. When I did my initial sweep of options, the Vizio E422VLE was the leading contender, but I quickly discovered that Vizio's are really hard to find in Canada. If you want a laugh, go to Vizio's U.S. website (which appears to be from 2012), then click to their Canadian version, which appears to be stuck in 1998. The only 2 models listed in this size range are the M420NV and the SV420M, both of which are currently "unavailable."
Looking at comparing these models:
I was starting to strongly consider paying a little extra for the Sony below, until I realized it is also a 60Hz set.
Sony 42EX440 (Right now it's about $50 more than the 40BX450), which is probably worth it simply for the larger size (40 to 42"). Is there a real difference in picture quality or bonus features though? Also, the Toshiba was last on my list initially but it seems to be receiving some fairly enthusiastic reviews. If it was a 42" set it may be the leading contender.
Lastly, to muddy the waters further I have long been in the LCD over Plasma camp. However, reading reviews it seems like the old problems with Plasma are no longer a major issue. So I am considering these options as well. I am wondering if someone can provide a link for a really good breakdown of LCD vs. Plasma, with reference to current models or at least the difference between the major brands.
I started to re-think plasma after hearing they are much better viewed at different angles from LCD, and a strength for gaming. However, one of the recent posters in this thread suggested that he has heard they are sub-par for gaming. Which is it?
Samsung PN43E540 or PN43D450
Sorry for the lengthy post, thanks in advance for any thoughts you guys have on these various models.