Help with a new TV.

Hi everbody,
The girlfriend and I close on our new and smaller condo the 15th of this month. Because it's smaller it has been decided that a wall-mountable, flat panel tv is going to be necessary to make the living room livable. Needless to say, I am all for this, and after a fair amount of research have decided on the following set, keeping in mind our budget is $2500 plus installation. The set in question is the Sharp Aquos 32" LCD HDTV. The picture quality and sound are both excellent, it is fully equipped with all the necessary ins and outs, and seems to have a very good rep for reliability. Sharp says the estimated lifespan is 60,000 hours, at a very high 5 hours per day that means it would last almost 33 years, more than sufficient. Given our budget are we making a wise choice, please keeping in mind we have space constraints that preclude and DLP set. Any alternate ideas would be very much appreciated as would support for the Sharp. Thanks.
Panasonic has a 37in plasma for about that price that looks pretty damn good. might want to check that out as well
Only question in my mind is if you watch a lot of sports or action movies, LCD may have some motion artifacts. Try over at Some of those guys make us look mainstream!!
I acquired a Sony 23" LCD recently; damn fine machine. Football looks great on it as do the bikini shows on the HD channels. The Sharp is very, very good, too; auditoned it but decided it was too large for my arrangement.
Slappy's right.

The 37 inch Panny Plasma EDTV will run you a lot less. 4000 to 1 contrast ratio, beautiful color rendition.

Check out the professional version sold at Visual Apex and other on-line dealers.
Hey Guys,
Well I'm not interested in EDTV, I think it's a half-measure and I would come to regret not getting hdtv. I've been to Costco and didn't find anything I liked, also went to Best Buy without much luck. This Sharp at $2500 really seems like the best deal. I also don't like Panasonic products, I've had too many things break on me, so they're out. Keep it comin'.
You seem to indicate that you have more restraints aesthetically speaking than with a given technology. I can understand that but IMO your making a huge compromise in performance over how it looks in the room. Again, that is not to downplay the importance of looks. If it doesn't get past your significant other neither of you will enjoy it for a long time. Just be sure you understand the limitations of LCD and the warranty that comes with it. LCD, along with DLP and DILA, are still emerging technologies when it comes to everyday video display and plasma still has it's problems as well. Most don't do black worth squat, but DLP and DILA do it better than LCD and plasma. You can't touch plasma HD at the price you mention. If you don't have room for a 12-14" deep set you probably won't consider tube sets. But for the price and size your talking the best HD displays are crt sets. IMO, IME, etc.
I have a 60" Sony GWIV and a 42" NEC ED plasma. I can honestly say HD vs ED is not very obvious unless you are sitting too close to the screen. Especially in a 42" or smaller screen, ED vs. HD is even less obvious.

If I can afford a 60" plasma, that will be my first choice. PQ on plasma is in a different league, nothing come close right now (except maybe the new Sony Qualia 005...)
I have a feeling that the first generation plasma TV's will be regarded as were the first generation CD players and discs in the near future. There are still plenty of bugs to be worked out with the plasma system.
I went through the exact decision process approx 6mos ago. I moved into a condo with an oddly-shaped family room that would not accomodate a floor-standing set of any size (while still maintaining ideal conditions for the 2-channel system, of course). Thus, I was looking only at wall-mount units, at this time, LCD vs. Plasma. I opted for a 42" Panasonic EDTV plasma for several reasons. First, the family room has a lot of ambient light, so it was important that the set look good in close to full daylight. Plasma has a BIG advantage here. Second, plasma was more forgiving from wide viewing angles - so it can be enjoyed from anywhere in the room. As to ED vs. HD, I primarily watch DVDs, which are actually slightly better on a ED set. Also, EDTV was more forgiving for standard def signals - the other primary use in my case. Currently, I only have 4 HD channels available, and it accounts for less than 5% of my total use. Besides, ED looks exceptional with a HD signal and the improvement with an HD set was slight. With the slow implementation of HD by the television industry, HD signals will comprise only a small amount of my viewing.
Thus, you really need to balance price with an honest assessment of your viewing practices. The Panny plasma that I picked up is the latest generation commercial version that can be bought for under $2k, delivered to your door. While I also have little regard for Panasonic audio gear, in the world of plasmas, they are very respected, and considered the benchmarks at their pricepoint. No problems/concerns with my set, and the picture is stellar. Good luck in your quest, hope this helps.
Given your budget, placement and aesthetic constraints, a small LCD sounds like it fits your needs. If it is your opinion that the picture is excellent, that it has the necessary ins and outs, and your significant other likes it, then all systems are go for the Sharp. I would add two caveats. First, LCD's are not as good when viewing off angle. When you look at the store's model, adjust your viewing position so that it is similar to the position you will be in at home, especially if it's off-axis. See if you still think the picture is good enough for you. That usually turns me off of most LCD's right away. Second, I would repeat Swampwalkers's point. Observe the TV with motion to see if the motion artifacts are distracting. A tennis match is a good test. If the ball looks like a comet, although novel, it gets old really fast. For little LCD's, I am rather partial to Sony. They make a 26 inch widescreen LCD which should be around the same price point as the Sharp. It's a bit smaller, and Sony tend to charge a premium for their products, but it's pretty good. I was in a store which had three small LCD's. One was a Sharp, although not the model you mention, and one was a Sony. I forget the third one. The credits at the end of a film were rolling by on all three at once. Although none had the reproduction of continuous motion that you would get from a CRT, the Sony was head and shoulders above the others. Of course it cost more, but you could see what you were getting for the extra money.
FWIW, i was at soundtrack audio checking out the 42 inch version of the EDTV plasma, and it was right next to the HDTV plasma.
Standing 8 feet back watching a high def singnal, i couldnt tell a difference.
in fact, i couldnt tell a difference unless i was 2 feet away really looking for it.
edtv looks just as good as HDTV in my view.
i heared it was very similar but i diddnt believe it untill i saw the panny HD and ED side by side. After seeing them together i cannot juistify the price of the HDTV model.

Too bad on your experience with pannys, everything ive bought from em was a good deal and lasted me damn near forever.
Just rememver, when it comes to plasma, Panasonic is on thier 7th or 8th generation models, so far they are leaps ahead of other similar priced models.
Slappy's right about the resolution issue. At a smaller screen size, there is very little difference in resolution btwn ED and HD; you need to be within about 6 or 7' to see it on most sets. And Markphd is correct on the off-axis viewing. The LCDs have nowhere near the off-axis brightness as the plasmas. Not to try and make your life more difficult.
And according to Fujitsu, plasma has less chances of burn in than LCD. Contrary to popular belief, LCD also has burn in issue. If you "tweak" your plasma using Fujitsu's trick, you can minimize burn in on plasma.

AVS Forum has tons of info, but best gauge is your own eyes (like your own ears for stereo).
You guys almost have me convinced, Circuit City is advertising a 43" Panasonic EDTV Plasma for $1799.00 that's looking more and more like a buy. We've decided against the Sharp because the "hidden costs" seemed to escalate, $400 installation, $250 for the wall mount, suddenly a $2500 tv is $3150. Which brings me to a question, CC wants $400 for the installation and $250 to purchase the actual wall-mount bracket. This seems almost exorbitant, how much of it is really necessary? How much of it could we do ourselves, keeping in mind we are neither strong nor particularly handy? Thanks.
Semi- What's the Fujitsu "trick"?
Jond- You can find a bracket for way less than $250.00, but I would be VERY cautious before trying to do an install on a fragile and heavy item like that. The problem will be how to get someone to install the set if they did't sell it to you, etc. AT $1800 plus $650, you are still under budget. If there is a Tweeter nearby, see if they can beat the installed price. And see the CityAdvantage thread re: extended warranties, esp. thru CC.
Run a white screen at max brightness for a while, I don't recall exactly how long, but if memory served right it was 30 minutes. Basically, you "pre" burn the screen a little to avoid burn in later on. Others have concurred to the trick, but I haven't done that to my NEC. I don't play video game or use the PDP for computer, so chances of burn in is less.
Pardon my ignorance here, but what does this $400 installation cost get you? For me, installation means I grab one end, my wife grabs the other end and we lift it on to a stand. I then plug it in and play with the buttons while my wife asks me how much it cost and how are we going to pay for it!

Wall mounts are incredibly expensive for what they are. The margin must be huge. I'll bet some manufacturers make more money on the stand/wall mount than they do on the TV.
New question guys, having read Paul Frumpkins story about CC and some of the responses I've decided to go with Best Buy. For $1999 they have a 30" Philips LCD Flat Panel HDTV with free delivery and a few other freebies. The question is if we get this and buy the wall mount, how hard is it to do it ourselves? The tv weighs only 39 lbs and embarrasingly though I can't even draw a straight line my girlfriend is extremely handy. Could she do it with my help? Also in keeping with the theme of this story when I ordered the tv yesterday it was of course out of stock! They said to try back in a week, so we'll see. If there are any recommendations of sellers out there I'm all ears fellas.
FWIW, the March 2005 issue of Consumer Reports has some reviews of the different types of displays.
The wall mount i bought, is a Peerless, and it is solid steel, 26 lbs. to be exact, i think its well worth the money, $122 inc. shipping. I'm sure the companies that make the mounts are making money, some alot more than others, but you can find a great mount for decent price.
Regardless of what TV you choose, be it LCD or plasma or RPTV, avoid Best-bye,CostlyCO.Find a store that has ISF certified technicians and bring a dvd you like and watch it,ask some questions and when you buy the set have it properly calibrated. This always costs a few bucks but is essential to getting the best possible picture from your set.
Happy shopping!!!!
PS Extended warranties are in general a large scale con. The dealer benifits more than you ever will.