So my wife and I promised each other not to go out on Black Friday. We didn’t.
But we did go out Black Saturday (errr… the day after Black Friday). Lately, I’ve been compulsive about getting a big screen TV. Actually, what I’ve been really compulsive about is getting a Wii. But since I couldn’t find a damned Wii anywhere, I opted for the big screen HDTV that I’d eventually play my Wii on.
So, on Saturday morning, we got our morning Ads (where we live, the newspaper delivers ads separate from the paper…wierd, I know). Those ads told me that I could finance my big screen TV at 0% interest for 18 months. That sounded tasty. Uh? Sounded tasty? You get the point.
Back when I first started my HDTV pursuit, I was committed to getting a 50 incher or better. This, in turn, convinced me that I would be getting a DLP. But to be honest, I just haven’t been very impressed with the DLP picture. Looks too grainy to me, even on the 1080p models. Plus, quick motion (the sort of motion I expect my Wii to have), didn’t look to hot.
Next, I got stuck on LCD because of a beautiful 40 inch Samsung 1080p I saw at BestBuy. Just absolutely shocking. Stunning. Aesthetic perfection. It was with this model in mind that we went out to compare prices around the various big box retailers. Suffice it to say, they were all sold out. December 5th the earliest delivery date.
But that didn’t work. You see, my wife and I had spent the last 3 hours carefully picking our favorite, most cost effective TV. We were ready to spend the cash. But no. We were supposed to go home empty?
Not us! My wife and I are fairly compulsive buyers. And we were determined to come home with an HDTV. So next, we decided on a 42 inch Samsung Plasma. Plasmas really do have the best picture and they are the best for video games. But they are also ultra sensitive and ultra heavy. We didn’t know that. So when we went to check out, they asked us if we wanted to pay the $85 delivery charge. Of course not. We wanted to go straight home and watch this sucker.
Well, then they told us that Plasmas can’t lay down on their sides. Too bad, because the 42 inch model wouldn’t fit into our SUV standing upright.
Blah! This really sucked. We were getting depressed and were about to call it quits, when we decided, once again, to go the LCD route. Well, we opted for a downgrade from the 40 inch 1080p Samsung to a 40 inch 720p Samsung. This time it was in stock. So we bought it.
Here are some things I learned in this crazy process:
Plasmas are ultra heavy, and very sensitive. They can be destroyed simply by laying on their side. They also have the best overal picture. However, because they have a glass front, they are also prone to glare from other light sources, so be warned. Finally, though newer technology is removing this concern, Plasmas are also prone to pixel burn in.
DLPs are the cheapest technology. They are a little more bulky than the LCD and Plasma technologies. They are actually lighter than Plasma. Samsung’s new SlimLine DLP actually makes the bulkiness much less of an issue. However, I just didn’t see a DLP picture that I was satisfied with. Even the 1080P models didn’t cut it, especially during football loops (the big box retailers run loops of football games on the TVs). Further, my understanding is that DLP is the worst for vid gaming (my passion). Finally, DLPs are prone to lamp burn out, which can require an expensive replacement bulb.
So why did I go with LCD? Well LCD is thin and light, giving it the optimal “form” among the possible models. I could pick up my 40 inch LCD with ease and move it around. Plus, I have the TV on my living room desk, so the 5 inch depth makes a huge difference. Finally, I was extremely happy with the picture quality on the LCD. Admittedly, it isn’t quite as good as plasma, but it is more than sufficient for me. The color contrast is great. The picture is viewable from radical angles (even from my kitchen which is something like 120 degrees from straight on.
To make a long story short, I think that LCD is ultimately the future of TV.