I read that the 46" glass is made in China and distributed as Vizio or Benq or some company from Taiwan that I can't recall (CPT?). I don't know if this is still true. 46" seems like a good size and the price is excellent. Good luck.
It is the Benq, with a different Bezel. the similiarities are letter for letter down to every last detail. The manual, the menus are all identical. The PQ is amazing for a "no namer." I was so impressed with it when i walked by it @ costco and that I bought it the next day after clearence from the wife. I had been shopping around for about 3 weeks, went up to abt to look at the screens they had, all of them were in the 7~12K territory and I'd venture to say that this screen is comparable in PQ (given the right feed)
Although its native isn't very high, its video processing is amazing. If you put on a 1080i feed or a progressive feed, I would venture to say that the picture is just a good as some of the 1024x1024 screens... almost comparable to the Sony, Fujitsu, or the Pannyin PQ. Since I did not have a progressive dvd, i used the next best thing - my laptop... I forced my laptop to the 858x480 native resolution, and played a few dvd's on it and I have to say it is unbelievable. Even when you send in a 1024x768 feed it does an amazing job with the scan conversion and comes back with a very solid picture.
Unfortunately, being as it is a "no namer" I can't speak for the QC. I'm on my 2nd unit (yes in only 4 days) right now and I'm about to return this one again. The first unit developed a REALLY loud buzzing noise on the 2nd day of usage, I called tech support and they said its most likely the a faulty power supply so I exchanged it at costco, the 2nd unit which I just got on Wednesday litterally froze up -- I had left it running unattended on TV mode for a few hours, it somehow losted the capability to tune to a signal no matter which source ( I had 4 feeds going into it) had a black screen on with the "searching for signal icon" which is fine usually since it moves around, but the computer logic failed and it didn't move around and ended up burning a big fat searching for signal in the middle of the screen. Needless to say its going back again, I'm going to give them one more try before I give up on them.
I would very much like to get a good one and keep it since it is a bargain for a 46" and compared to the akai, sampo, and samsung this screen was next to at costco (even the 1024x1024 sampo). This one had superior PQ in every way.
BTW, for those of you who worry about it being a no namer.... my logic is pure and simple - its bought at costco... with their unparrellel customer service, I know should I have ANY problems with it in its lifetime I can take it back to costco and they'll take care of me... Thats why I was willing to take a chance on a no namer... Hope this help you guys out, I would recommend trying it out if you're in the market, but definately buy it from costco; its a good deal and there are no risks (except ofcourse transport and setup)
I don't understand the praise for BENQ. The one I saw at BB fed with HDTV signal looked very fuzzy compared to a Samsung next to it, not much better than a NTSC set. I guess it would look better with DVD, but considering you can get a really good 42" Panny for less why would anyone want the BENQ?
I agree that there are better plasma's out there, there are other factors. a) its cheap (by plasma standards) at 3700 dollars it is atleast 1K less than the cheapest name brand 42" EDTV and 2K less than the cheapest name brand 1024x1024. (excluding sampo, akai, etc...)
b) it is 4" larger than the 42, and does excellent upscaling on standard TV feeds. I'm in a region where I really can't get HD beyond OTA (I'm still working on trying to get OTA too)... so the bulk of my feeds (in decending order) will be Tivo, DVD (I'm going to look into the Bravo D1 for sh*ts and giggles), regular analog cable, computer HTPC, and some OTA HDTV... So for my purposes I don't need to spend 7K on a 1024x1024 when I can spend 4K to get what I need now and 3~4 years down the line when HD over Cable comes into my neighborhood I'll jump on the bandwagon... I see this as a great interrim set.
c) I've noticed that it does not do 720p very well... I had my OTA reciever set to 720p and I have to say that the picture quality was very blocky.... but take the same signal and send it at 1080i and it becomes crystal clear. If Best Buy sets up things wrong and ends up with a 720p feed I can see why you would think that the PQ is terrible. in reality, this screen is good for native, 1024x768, 1080i, 480p and standard NTSC.
John- did you ever end up getting a trouble free unit? I saw these yesterday and they seemed pretty good for the bucks. Do you have a good handle on how well the justification modes work on this unit? I read a review on this unit from the V, Inc. home page that said it did not have a good justification mode for stretching a 4:3 image across the screen. I really need this to work well and I don't mind the method that retains the integrity of the image in the middle of the screen and stretches the border. I wasn't able to play with the one I saw yesterday.
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