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I have been searching for a plasma for quite a while((about 2 years). The prices are finally coming down to acceptible levels compared to other technologies. I am either going to get a 42" ed or wait untill a 50" (top name brand) get below $3,000. I just cant pay the high price for the 50" best brands, and the off brands just look so much degraded that the 42" models of good brands are a better value. My two questions are:


Is the NEC worth the couple extra hundred dollars? I have read that the NEC has a little better guts and the best SD viewing format.(I am looking for the punchy colors of the pioneer / NEC line)?


Are the top name 50"ers going to drop where the off brands are in the next 2 to 3 months?


I would love to have a 50" in Pio but currently its at least double that of a 42" ed. The only drawback is that with the 42" I could move to the bedroom and get the big daddy 55 or 60 in three years.



Any suggestions or predictions?
 

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I've been following the PIO 424MV, the NEC 42VM5 and 42VR5 for a while now and have probably read every post there is on them. Whether you're seriously considering upgrading in a couple years or not, I think the 424MV would be your wisest choice between the 424MV and the 42VM if you want to buy brand new. If you haven't already done so, do a search on '424MV' and you will see how happy those who purchased the 424MV are, both because of PQ and knowing they got it for less than a new 42VM. However, what I have gleened from forum comments is that you probably can't go wrong with either of the 424MV or the 42VM5.


If you feel you must own the NEC 42VM5, an option is to check out the site 'TECH4LESS.COM' and you may find a 42VM5 'open box' or 'refurb' for less than a new PIO. You'll just need to keep checking the site regularly until you find what you're looking for.


As for buying now or waiting, if you really enjoy spending time in front of the tube watching your favorite programs, MAKE YOUR DECISION NOW and do not wait. Otherwise you will surely become a casualty of paralysis by analysis and continually try to outguess yourself ad nauseum. IMO, it ain't worth it. On the other hand, if watching TV isn't all that big in your life and enjoy spending endless hours researching the internet, you probably won't be missing too much if you wait until new models are available or see where the 50's land. BUT you'll still need to make a decision and just beware that researching the new models and making a decision will not be any easier then than it is today. /P
 

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The price difference between a new VM5 and VR5 is pretty small these days - usually a couple hundred dollars or less. With a VR5 you get 6 custom picture settings and a 3-year in home warranty vs. the VM5's 1-year. The remote also has seperate buttons for each video input instead of having to hit Video to cycle through them all.


NEC's warranty service is supposedly excellent. As you've said, NEC's internals are reportedly very good, and NEC is the only plasma maker to claim 68.7 billion colors.


I just bought an open box VM5 from Tech4Less and will let you know how it turns out.
 

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Rumors are that Panasonic will be reducing prices about 20% (at least for the 50") at August, 28th.
Circuit City is running $300 mail in rebates on all panasonic plasmas which expires on the 27th. I think its safe to say you can expect atleast $300 off the in store price on the 28th. I really hope the price of the commercial ones come down as well.
 
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