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I am looking to purchase my first HD flat panel TV. Unfortunately I don't have much of a budget. $800 is about tops (wife is not a fan of large TV's).


I currently have a Sony 27" CRT as my main TV. I also have an HD-DVD player (love those $4 movies). I don't like watching the HD movies on the TV because of small size and lack of resolution. I do have a PJ (576P), but my wife is annoyed by the setup time (hooking up PJ putting up screeen and moving old TV).


The solution seems to be a new flat panel. I will lose some impact with the smaller size, but will gain some resolution and convenience.


Right now I have a few ways to go.


1. get a 32" Vizio for $400 at ***mart. This would obviously have much less impact than my PJ, but for widescreen material it would still be much larger than my 27" (which is really only about 24" for widescreen material, and I only watch widescreen). The advantages are that it has the greatest wife approval factor and is very inexpensive and could eventually be moved to another room if I get another TV in a few years.


2. Get an inexpensive 40" LCD 1080p. I see that Toshiba has some nice models for about $730 delivered. My major concern here is the motion blur and how some things look so unatural - I have a hard time looking at the funky grass on football games. I could more easily overlook these issues on a smaller screen as mentioned above. The 120 hz models are just too expensive, and it seems like most of the lower end lcd models do not have the picture quality I want.


3. Get an inexpensive plasma. Probably a Panasonic 42 px80 for about $700 delivered or at the very top end a 42 pz80 which is usually about $900, but seems to occasionally go for about $800 (maybe will again as they make way for the 2009 models). I am a little concerned about the px model as it is only 720p and I can see the grid from my 8' viewing distance (on text and graphics anyway - not on action).


A couple of other issues. I live in a small town and the nearest Best Buy or like store is about 180 miles away. I really don't want to have to deal with returning a unit if it is defective as it is a a long trip. This is the benefit of buying at the local walmart.


My other issues is that I want "excellent" picture quality as defined by Consumer Reports. In other words if even CR considers the picture to only be very good instead of excellent then that is probably not a TV I would consider. All of the TV's I mentioned above meet this criteria.


Right now my brain is saying go with the 32" vizio, because it is a screaming value, but my heart is not in it. The problem with the larger models is that they would all have to come from out of town and I would get a ration of it if there turned out to be a problem or if the picture - defective pixel etc.


Anyway, I welcome any opinions on other options and or reccomendations of other models.


Thanks.
 

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Resolution costs money.

Good video processing costs money

120 Hz refresh tricks, cost money.

Quality soldering and components cost money.


Going to 1080P sources?

Unhappy with looks of the "cheap sets"?

Have an ego problem (need to be associated with names?)


This forum is full of advise that will not help you in your quest. It comes down to your own cost/performance quotient.


IMHO, if you are not bothered by the performance of the cheaper set, save your money. Otherwise, it's like buying a car with sport-tuned suspension to drive to the mall and back.
 

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Look at Costco online 32"- 42", they have several 2 packs of Sharp LCDs in or close to your budget, they also have a Sony Bravia a little over your price point.
 
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