Sunday, March 25, 2007

Our New Toy - HDTV!

Well, it took me 18 months of constant begging, hounding and rationalizing, but in the end my wife finally caved! We got a new 50" plasma TV! It didn't happen without giving something up, however.

The original plan was to travel to Tonga for a reunion of sorts with my Dad and family, but after comparing the cost of airfare for 2 to the South Pacific and back against the TV, the TV came out the big winner (it wasn't even close... Tonga was like 3 times more expensive). Now the TV sits majestically in my living room. Although, I have to admit that it wasn't so much my lobbying-acquired powers of persuasion that finally convinced my wife as it was the change of the return policy at Costco. We wanted to buy the TV before Costco limited their return period on TVs from "unlimited" to 90 days.

So now that all is said and done, I must say that I am thoroughly impressed with my purchase, the Panasonic TH-50PX60U (read outside review here). For starters, I spent a solid 48 hours researching the pros and cons of plasmas vs. LCDs before buying. And despite my intensive homework, I still went back and forth on my "final" decision before eventually deciding to go with plasma. I am an extremely critical technophile, and I did not want to end up with a piece of junk that I would want to trash after a few weeks. It had to be just right for the shows I watch, money I wanted to spend and size I wanted to have. And so far (it's been about 3 weeks), I am loving my decision.

The Panasonic TH-50PX60U is a high definition 720p/1080i plasma television. The picture on this model is phenomenal - and I've compared a lot of high definition TVs. We are feeding it with DirecTV's high definition service and DVR, and the HD reception looks exactly like what I was receiving over-the-air (OTA) in the weeks before the dish was installed (you can pull pure HD broadcasts for free, OTA, using a pair of $5 rabbit ears). The rumors of DirecTV degrading their signal (sometimes referred to as HDTV Lite) are unfounded (at least visually). The reception and detail of this TV is stunning.

I prefer CBS and NBC programming because they broadcast in 1080i, which is visually clearer than FOX's and ESPN's 720p resolution. But, all of the channels look fantastic! I have been glued to the TV for the past week (much to my wife's dismay) because I have been captivated by the difference in high definition. Besides the crystal clear network programming, I have been enjoying Discovery Channel's HD Theater channel, which shows some of the most jaw-dropping HD shows I've ever seen. The free HBO and Showtime have been a nice bonus, too.

If any of you would like more information on this TV, feel free to shoot me a comment or email. I have nothing but praise. Well, that's not entirely true... I do have one complaint - 50" is too small! I wish I could have justified spending more on the 60" model!!!

1 comment:

Brunch Bird said...

Oooh, I'm very happy for you. (Do we not get cigars for this new arrival?) I will definitely be emailing you for a longterm review in a few months. I'm in the market.