I need a new TV

I currently have a Vidikron VL – 52 LCD monitor. It has been great for the last four years but the panel is failing now. So, time for a new TV. I went to Magnolia and looked at all their TVs. Sure, 4k is better, but the entry is $5,000 and the TV they had had three ugly speakers on each side. Also, I’ve gone this route on my last set and don’t want to take the plunge again on such an expensive purchase that could very well fail just after the warranty. Anyway, I looked at both LCD and Plasma. I preferred the LCD. I do have a room with much ambient light that I cannot tame in the daytime. But really, I just preferred the LCD, which appear to be better at detail as opposed to the plasmas that appeared smoothed and kinda bland. I liked the Sony KDL55W900A the best and the Samsung UN55F8000 was fairly close (and the styling is better than the Sony). The Sony seemed more precise and crisp and has nice pop as well. Small images and text were also rendered better. CNET rates these two LCDs nearly as good as the current Panasonic Plasmas. Anyway, I may also consider the Panasonic TCP55ST60 (plasma) because I’ve read that it is very close to the two higher-end models and is only $1,349 (haven’t seen it in person yet). I have also had an offer from my dealer on a Panasonic TH-65VX300. It is a business class monitor (no TV tuner or speakers) but was stated to be the new reference, comparable to the Kuro by one reviewer on AVforums. Only problem is I will not be able to check it out before it is delivered. –OK, kinda long ramble but I’m done setting this one up now.

So, do any of you have any advice on the TVs I mentioned above or any that I should consider? I’d rather spend in the low $2Ks for a TV and not spend $4-5 grand again. I have read the “New tv” thread, but it is more general. Anyway, what advice would you share with me?
Not a recommendation, as I've never seen one, but FYI the Seiki 50" 4k monitor is available at app $1100

I got a Panasonic plasma (warehouse deal) in November for less than $950
(50 inch) ; the ST series recommended by CNET. Sure looked good watching
Avatar on Blu-Ray. Has Wi-Fi too. only drawback is you need a D/A converter
to get analog-audio output. the converters are only $25-$50 but it is one more technicality to deal with. i don't watch a lot of TV anyway so this turned out
to be a pretty sweet deal for me. of course the TV-Stand i really wanted was $1200 which brought the total to over $2K...
Panasonics output Dolby. For that you need video processor or special adapter. It is not expensive but you you need to pick one that works with Dolby. My Samsung has Dolby/PCM menu switch allowing to use it with any DAC.
I love my Samsung 7000 series plasma, especially on blu-ray or anything in hi def. Having said that, in the intervening 8 months LCDs have made some great strides.

My last visit to Best Buy afforded me the chance to see a newer Samsung LCD that had tremendous off angle viewing angles which were unheard of last year. The black levels were great too but it was in the well lighted part of the store and I have no idea how it would look in a darkened room (which is how I prefer to watch).

Newer Samsung plasma models (8500 series) have outstanding white levels and great motion artifact levels that seem to better LCDs when tested. The only drawback I have with plasma are the heat levels and a bit of image retention after watching a channel like MSNBC which puts that STUPID white bar at the top of the screen for the duration of the broadcast. It takes awhile for it to disappear and NEVER ruins the image of a movie or show.

All I can say is spend as much time as you can at sites like:
and others AND spend as much time as you can in the store critically viewing the sets. Only your eyes will tell you what you like. It's no different than with your ears and your audio components.

All the best,

I appreciate the comments. They have made some good points and given me a few ideas.

I went to a dealer today after work that I had not been to in five years and after listening to my needs, the sales person recommended the Sony KDL55W900A, same as Magnolia did. So it seems that this may be the one. I haven't really seen anything else that I liked better. Did see a number of plasma's but I was not convinced they were better. So, now I just have to decide who I'd rather go with. The local dealer or my local Magnolia. The local dealer is actually cheaper and will install the screen, do an initial calibration, take away the old panel ($5), and come back in a month and do a full ISF calibration. I need to see if Magnolia will do all of this for the same price. They are $200+ higher and if they charge to install and won't do an initial calibration, they may be much more expensive.

That's my update. All new comments will be appreciated.
That's a great deal being offered to you by the local dealer. Calibration can run as high as $300 by Magnolia, not to mention they charge $200 more for the same TV. If they can match the price, then it's a toss up. Maybe someone who knows more can contribute here.

The only other consideration you need to explore, if you haven't already, is to make sure it's warranted for a good 4-5 years and the costs it entails. I only mention this as an old Samsung of mine had the power board go south on it 3 years after I got it and thankfully it was under warranty and saved me $300.

Good luck and enjoy,
To clear up my previous post. The dealer is providing a no-cost initial setup and calibration with a DVD. Then a month later they will do an ISF calibration: cost is $300.

So, I called Magnolia and asked if they would meet the dealers deal: Sony $2,100 (vs. Magnolia price of $2,299), $300 ISF calibration, $5 disposal fee, and the initial setup and calibration with a DVD also at no charge. Magnolia salesperson is checking with his manager now.

The reason to check with Magnolia for me is because they are a large national company vs. the dealer, who runs a one store operation (27 years in business). Magnolia may be easier to deal with if I have a problem with the TV than the dealer might be; that is what I'm thinking. But what is cool about the dealer is they have a lot of cool hi-end audio/video merch. So that could lead to a possible long-term relationship. Anyway, just waiting on a response. Then I can make a decision.

Am I missing anything here?
I feel sorry for the dealer that stepped up to the plate both price wise and service wise without being pressured.
In terms of picture quality, plasmas are still better than LCD sets, even the LCD/LED sets (meaning LEDs supply the back lighting instead of flourescent bulbs). Although LCD/LED sets are much better than they use to be when it comes to motion artifacts, blurring and other motion problems, such are still more noticeable with these sets than is the case with plasmas. If you sit relatively close to the set and/or you do a lot of viewing of material with a lot of motion and panning (e.g., sports broadcast), the difference between the two might be significant.

Black levels and detail in the shadows is also still better with plasmas than LCD/LED sets. The LCD/LED sets have quite high conttrast ratings because the sets can get much brighter, but, they actually cannot get quite as black as plasmas. Plasmas also tend to have more uniformity across the whole screen and can be viewed from further off axis without severe dimming. Color, particularly flesh tones, is better with plasmas than with LCD/LED sets. But, if the set will be in a location with high ambient light levels, particularly with light shining directly on the screen, the higher light output of the LCD/LED set may swing picture quality in favor of that kind of set.

Overall, plasmas deliver a better picture. Go to Best Buys and compare the two side by side, particularly with darker scenes. The LCD/LED set will look murky and have a kind of haze compared to the clearer looking plasma. But, the differences are much smaller than they use to be. LCD/LED sets have the advantage of putting out less heat (meaning also using less electricity), probably lasting longer (though either will last longer than most people will want to keep the set anyway), and is not prone to burn-in problems (burn-in problems are much less severe with modern plasmas, though you still don't want to have the same image on the screen for great lenghts of time).
So, I went by and made a deal with my local dealer. Magnolia never got back to me. Unfortunately the dealer had to order it and it won't be here until next Tues/Wed. And probably next Thursday since Wednesday is the 4th. But now its just the wait. Thanks for the help all.