Originally Posted by RandyWalters
The North American VT50 is brighter than the European version. But it doesn't really matter if the VT50 doesn't achieve LCD-like brightness as nobody here runs their panel anywhere full brightness anyway. Most seem to run their Contrast at around 70%-80% (much lower than the maximum setting of 100%), and just about everybody sets the Panel Brightness setting at it's Middle setting and not the High setting.
The extra power draw is only a few extra bucks a month, not a big deal to someone who is already spending the big bucks on a top-of-the-line model. And the extra $800 that the inferior HX929 costs would take about 20 years to make up for that extra energy cost. As for the extra heat the Plasma puts out, that extra heat often comes in handy in the winter and would only be detrimental during warm weather. I don't get why so many people continually jump to the "heat is a bad thing" angle yet completely ignore how it's practically a godsend during the cold months
To me, there isn't one brightness setting that is perfect for everything and every time. Watching sports in daytime on a sunny weekend in a white living room with big windows facing south requires more brightness than watching that high quality Sci-Fi movie at night in a dark room. Don't get me wrong here, I have been a projector owner for more than 15 years, so if there is one thing I know about it's brightness, or perhaps I should say lack of. I happens from time to time that I watch sports on the projector even in a semi-bright room, just to get the big picture, even though the brightness then are most likely crushed even by a plasma TV. So I can fully understand and respect those of you who prefer plasmas over LCD:s.
Again, please note that I am not aware of how much brighter the US VT50 is compared to the European version, I'm just assuming that the difference isn't gigantic. The VT50 is a really great TV no matter what, it's not just best at everything.
Having the TV as a heater I guess is either a good or bad thing, depending on what temperature environment you have