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Here's my situation. I live in base houseing with a small living room. between 6-8 feet between viewing area (depending on where i sit and what tv ect i get). I currently only have a 27 inch tv. Ready for something bigger. Will be moving into a bigger on base house soon and will buy a house a couple of years from now. I just bought a Onkyo 898 and some swan diva's 6.1,r3,c3. I'm looking to spend about $2000 - $4500 on tv, RPTv or FPTV. Also my family watches alot of tv. Mostly DVD's for movies, alot of sports and some regular tv. So you see its would be in use alot. So my question is what would you get for about $2000 - $4500. I appreciate any and all replies...thanks
 

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That close, you're a candidate for a B-stock 42" Plasma, or a very small (like around 60 - 80") front screen setup. Rear screen will take up an awful lot of that available space. Go audition a couple plasmas to see if you like them - their main weakness is blacks; specifically noisy, lack of detail blacks. Front screen requires ceiling mount and used as a TV, you can forget any lamp driven device (DLP, DILA, LCD) 'cause the lamp costs will kill you. That leaves CRT - be ready to pay someone dearly for an excellent setup, or the lengthy learning curve to learn how to align it yourself. Good luck...
 

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Tough choice. Most RPTVs will be too big for your room, as I'm guessing that you'll need about 35" from the wall to the front of the set to accomodate it (that's about 25" for the depth of the set, plus 10" for clearance and cables). One option in this league might be the Toshiba 40" and Mitsubishi 46" widescreen models.


However, I would steer you away from a plasma. Plasmas are still quite expensive (the new Panasonic 42" is about $5k), although they are a lot cheaper and do blacks much better than just a few years ago. Moreover, they are quite fragile - if you drop it (even in it's shipping case), you're likely to wind up with a depressing pile of broken glass.


A CRT projector would save space in your living arrangement, but only if it's ceiling mounted, and I'm not sure your base commander would be very happy with you if you put 6 holes in the ceiling for the lag bolts to hold it up.


So, as much as I like CRT projectors (Sony G70 in the theater), I would suggest a 36" 4:3 direct-view set that will do the so-called "anamorphic squeeze", and possibly do HDTV if you're interested in HDNet and/or hBO-HD. Since you're sitting so close to the tv, you won't be squinting too bad for a 2.35:1 movie, and the family will have an easy time operating it, and really can't damage it if they leave it on a video-game screen for long periods.


Once you're settled in a house, you can start to think about a more permanent, bigger solution, and you can put the first set in the bedroom. Further, you won't have blown your entire budget on this initial display device, which is bound to make the wife happy.


Such a set might be the Sony 36" XBR or even 36" KV series. The XBR450 is going to cost about $2200, and the KV series will cost about $400 less. Lower priced Toshiba 36" models might also be in the running.
 
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