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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My budget is honestly more around $600-$800, which I understand would be more suited to a ~36" set, but I'd really prefer the extra 4 to 7 inches of space a 40-inch or 42-inch screen could give me.


Have HDTV prices finally gone down enough that, for under $1k, I could get a quality 40" or 42" flat-screen? And if so, what are your recommendations?



I am honestly fairly incompetent when it comes to display tech, so any help fitting something into my budget would be greatly appreciated.



And again, price is key here, if I can get a good 40 inch set for $700, that would be better for me than a moderately superior set for $1000. Though any good suggestions are, of course, well appreciated.
 

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well, you'll need to tell us more. What resolution do you want, 720 or 1080p? LCD or Plasma? For a 1080p lcd 42" in that price range, you're mostly looking at second tier sets, like Vizio or Sylvania, or Olivea... and many, many more. If you're looking at 720p, then you can get into Toshiba and some other name brands. You can also get into Panasonic Plasma like the 42px80u for closer to the lower number you're looking at.
 

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I would avoid the budget brands, such as Insignia. They look pretty washed-out and bad compared to the good sets. Hate to say it, but you do get what you pay for.


As quattro said, you can get a pretty good 720P plasma (Panasonic PX) for around $700 in the 42" size right now if you shop around. Good deal. There are also some good LCDs in the 37" and 40" classes (Toshiba, Samsung, and again Panasonic) that are within your budget.


1080p isn't strictly necessary, unless you sit closer than 7 feet or so to the TV (in which case you may notice a 'screen door effect', i.e. you'll be able to notice the individual pixels, which is annoying, probably moreso over time).


Going 720p will save you money, and in sets this size probably won't make a big difference in picture quality- at least I haven't noticed it. But if you can afford it, sure, get 1080p.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If there is any decent second tier set, then I'd be happy to jump up to 1080p, but I have no delusions about 1080p offering me spectacularly better picture at 42" than 720p, and if a 720p set looks better and will last longer than a second-tier 1080p, I'm happy to forego to marketing hype.


I'm not going to stick adamantly to 1080p if the only 1080p set I can afford is of awful quality. If I'm wrong about second tier sets, and there actually is some hidden diamond in the rough among them, I'd much appreciate the recommendation.


I have been looking at the Viera 42PX80U, people seem very pleased with this set. Anything cons I should know in particular about it? Will it up my energy bill by twenty bucks a month? :p



Thank you both kindly for the advice thus far.



Perhaps I should also mention I am the kind of guy who kept the same stereo receiver for 15 years. I like products with good build quality that will last me years. I'd rather not drop even $600 on a budget-brand if it is of shoddy quality.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex~ /forum/post/15449488


I have been looking at the Viera 42PX80U, people seem very pleased with this set. Anything cons I should know in particular about it? Will it up my energy bill by twenty bucks a month? :p

I've viewed that set a lot, and considered it for my own purchase because the bang-for-buck was so high. The only things I didn't like about it was that the picture, while quite good, was a tiny bit dark and a tiny bit soft. However, in a reasonably dark room, the former is not a problem, and the latter is just my personal preference (I'm a sharpness junkie, maybe to the point of detriment).


Far as power consumption goes, I doubt you'll hit twenty bucks a month. CNET has an interesting chart:

http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-6475_7-...content;rb_mtx


Far as build quality goes, you'd have to ask others. I buy good stuff, and am still very snakebit in that regard. My old Sony WEGA TV needed work, I've had two iPods go bad on me, etc. etc. The environment for electronics is so competitive and the product cycles so rushed that 100% bulletproof reliability seems to be fairly unobtainable. Warranties do seem to matter in this day and age, not just for the bargain brands but for the top brands as well. Sad to say.
 

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The only issue with second tier sets is if you DO have a problem. Most, even Vizio, make you ship the set back for any service, including warranty service. This is at your expense, and you're out the set until it returns. They just don't have a network in place for any parts for service centers to access. Most of the name brands, have in home warranty service.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by quattroG /forum/post/15457339


The only issue with second tier sets is if you DO have a problem. Most, even Vizio, make you ship the set back for any service, including warranty service. This is at your expense, and you're out the set until it returns. They just don't have a network in place for any parts for service centers to access. Most of the name brands, have in home warranty service.

You could look at the toshiba 40" 525 series or the 42" lg30 from lg. Both are usually close to your range. Some of the 42" plasmas seem like good values right now but I just dont like the reflective screens. You will get a lot of glare in rooms with windows and light.
 

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Yesterday I was looking around at TV's. While every store is stating "sales" on their tv's, I did see some pretty good prices at P.C. Richards. I was negotiating with a sales rep there and was able to get a 40" Samsung a650 down to 1200 dollars. While nothing is future proof, it is a 1080p with 120hz which honestly looked like night and day when looking at blu ray compared to a 60hz tv. I know this is above your budget but if you go to the store and start negotiating with the sales rep, you could get a pretty good name brand 1080p tv for around 1000 if not maybe slightly under (such as the Samsung 550). Of course, the price of warranties aren't any cheaper so if you calculate that into your budget maybe that 720 sounds a bit better.



Just make sure to hit the stores and do some negotiating. Best time to negotiate is at night when they are trying to hit their sales marks, worked for me last night
. Also, with CES in just a few days, it does look like stores are starting to clear out 2008 models to make way for 2009 and maybe you can get a better deal in another month or so.
 

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Insignia NS-LCD42HD-09 42" 1080p @ Best Buy for $699.99 currently.


Might be a decent set after calibration according to some posts here...
 
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