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Both are excellent choices. I would decide based price, warranty and visual quality when properly set up. The Toshiba 50HX81 may cost a little less than the Sony 51HW40.
 

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I've been comparing these two for awhile now, and they are very close competitors. Most brick and mortar retail outlets have the Toshiba for $2599 or slightly more, and most have the Sony for $2499 or slightly more. As for the Internet retailers, I have seen the Toshiba for $2189.99 and the Sony for $2114.85 .


In terms of pure picture quality, I think that they are both very even, but I would give the Toshiba a very slight edge in terms of High Def picture quality. I might give the Sony the slightest of edges in terms of built-in line doubler quality.


In terms of which one looks better sitting in a living room, I would definitely give the edge to Sony. It has a better cabinet design in terms of pure looks. The Toshiba isn't ugly by any stretch, but the Sony has a very pleasing design to it. (By the way the Toshiba 50H81 is extremely ugly, avoid at all costs).


The Toshiba does have somewhat of an advantage in terms of size. It's only 22 inches deep. The Sony is 25 inches deep. The Toshiba is just slightly over 50 inches tall, while the Sony is 51 and a half inches tall. The Toshiba is barely over 46 inches wide, while the Sony is almost 48 inches wide. Sure, these measurements don't have a huge differential, but every inch counts if the room isn't as large as you would like it to be. The Toshiba can definitely be squeezed into a small space, while the Sony takes up just a little more real estate.


One big advantage that the Sony has is the fact that I'm pretty sure that Sears carries it. The reason this is a big advantage, is because some Sears stores will actually match Internet retailers. If you can find a Sears that will match the lowest Internet price for the Sony, then you can get a damn good deal. Unfortunately Sears doesn't carry the 50HX81 Toshiba (they carry the lower end model 50H81) so you can't use them to match the price. If you are willing to pay 300 bucks for an extended warranty, you can probably find a place that will lower the price of the Toshiba a degree for you. For example you might be able to get them to go to $2275 from $2599 if you agree to them tacking on a big expensive extended warranty.


I would say that you really can't go too wrong with either of these choices. It's practically a coin flip.


One thing that I'm not quite sure of with either one, is what kind of manufacturers warranty they come with, if you were to forgo an extended warranty entirely. I think the Toshiba warrant is longer, but I'm not positive.


Any ways good luck with your decision.
 

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The h81's have some nagging issues that might deter sales. Check out ***************.com for forums with more info. In some ways they are great sets, but some problems are in the manufacturing and curcuits and there is nothing the owner can do.
 

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snowmoon,


What specific manufacturing problems are you refering to? I own the 50H81 and find the build quality exceptional. I am very much aware of the 540p upconversion complaints about this set over at the spot, but I think they are overstated and can be mitigated with a HTPC and transcoder. In spite of that perceived flaw, I find the Toshiba to be a great value. HDTV is simply stunning on this set. It is also my every day viewer for satellite TV when I am not watching movies on my CRT projector.


--Jerome
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Anthony1
One big advantage that the Sony has is the fact that I'm pretty sure that Sears carries it. The reason this is a big advantage, is because some Sears stores will actually match Internet retailers.
I bought my Toshiba 50H81 at Sears, and they price matched it to $2,199.00.


--Jerome
 
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