I finally went out today and purchased the rope light and installed it.
The wall behind our unit is white (painted brick
), so the rope light creates a soft, yellowish glow that surrounds the sides and top of the unit. The difference is immediate, but it took some getting used to for me.
Halfway through the movie my wife and I were watching, I turned the lights off. The difference was pretty stunning. With the ropelight on, our unit seems to have more pop and depth to the image, I'm assuming due to it "reinforcing" the blacks. The only issue I had was it seemed (and my wife didn't have this issue) to make some parts of the movie seem...off. For example, if there was a bright scene with something dark in the center, the dark center area seemed washed out. Again, my wife didn't notice this, but it happened a few times and I couldn't seem to ignore it.
The ropelight is here to stay though, the effect is nice, and it's a great way to have some soft diffused light in the room. It also gives the plasma a weird "floating in space" look, because the light creates depth behind the unit.
One question, I noticed that the ropelight was pretty warm when I turned the tv off. Part of it, due to it being rolled in the package, is resting against the vented area in the back of the plasma. I noticed this after about 2 hours of straight tv watching. Is this ok, or something I should be wary about?