Best 55 inch TV in the $2000 price range?


Just bought a new house with a nice size game room and am looking at projection TVs to enjoy those Saturday and Sunday game days.

Any strong opinions on brands and the most important features I should consider? Mitsubishi, Sony, Toshiba, etc?

It definitely sounds like I should stay away from Best Buy - what about Fry's?

RPTV rocks
for 2k, Hitachi has a 51" that is terrific, i bought the 57" model..For a review of Hitachi, see this month's stereophile guide to Home theater, the review is of the 65" model...model # 20swxv

Minton, Are you well aware of the potential problems using a RPTV for long periods of gameplay? It may be currently out of your pricerange, but you may want to consider a DLP unit. They're incapable of burn-in issues so you can play all those 720p Xbox HD games till you drop, not to mention there being no worries while viewing TV programming with static images. If you still want to go with the CRT RPTV, whatever you choose, you'll need to keep the contrast and brightness below 50% to reduce the risk. To enjoy your games at the low level setting, your gameroom will need to be dark. Leaving the lights on or curtains open will make it too hard to see. DLP on the other hand is extrememly bright and can be viewed easily in any lighting conditions.

What exactly is DLP?

I believe he's talking about those plasma or "thin" televisions.

The're much more expensive but i'd agree that they're better than rptv's. Specially for video games.

As far as a rptv is concerned, i'd go with a Mitsubishi.

Get either the WS 55511 or WS55611.

Actually, for 2,000 which is your budget, forget about a plasma. Those go for a lot more.

No. DLP is not plasma. DLP is Digital Light Processor and can be had for around $3,000 - $3500 if you're on a tight budget. Regardless of what you think of Best Buy, do yourself a favor and check out the Samsung DLP models. They are in either 43" or 50" on the floor.

And just for the record, never never never buy a plasma for gaming. In my opinion, plasma is just a fad and in the end, DLP and LCD will be the lightwieght bigscreen HDTV's of choice.

Another thing I might add is the extra $1,000 or so more for a DLP unit over a CRT unit is easily justified when you consider replacing the CRT in the event you do burn in static images such as health meters, spedometers, etc., it will cost you at least $1,000 to replace. Burn-in is not covered by your warranty. If you pay a little more now, you can rest easy for years to come.

Just a little more food for thought. FYI I do not have a DLP HDTV either. I bought a CRT RPTV a while ago before DLP was introduced.

I'm willing to spend a little more if it is definitely the way to go - I didn't really know much about DLP, so this is interesting. Thanks for all the good information.

DLP is not the same as plasma or LCD flat panels. It's a projection based system which is closer to the LCD projection TV's. It's basically got a microscopic mirror for every pixel that it can control the angle of the mirror to turn it on and off. I believe a rapidly spinning color wheel provides the colors. DLP with its micro-mirror arrays is definitely the way to go for video games. In fact, when you consider other stationary graphics during normal broadcasts (i.e. sports score boxes, Fox TV, and other corner labels); DLP is a good idea for avoiding CRT burn-in all together. If you've ever seen the words "Game Over" burned into an old video game's screen you know what I'm talking about. The Samsung 43/50/60" DLP models are a great choice because their small cabinet makes them easier to place than other DLP RPTV's by Mitsubishi and Pioneer Elite. Supposedly, Sony will follow Samsung's lead in the coming months.

I disagree however that plasma TV's will lose out to DLP's. I believe that only the front projection market will be conquered by DLP, as its far cheaper and easier than CRT FP's and seems to offer better contrast ratios than LCD FP setups. Plasma will win out in direct view and rear projection setups because it has the potential to be cheaper to manufacture. Prices are high right now because of low volume, and the need for manufacturers to regain R&D costs. Plasma screens won't follow RPTV's much past the 64" mark, but they won't need to, as those consumers will likely be considering front projection setups in the future. Plasma can't be beat in terms of tolerance to ambient light, viewing angle, and compactness. However, it's damn expensive right now. Because of that I'm going with a Samsung 50" DLP. I'm getting the one from because it's the HLN507W which offers a superior Faroudja DCDi processor than Best Buy's HLN5065. It's also got better speakers, is stocked by high-end dealer/installation stores, and can be identified by the Tantus label on it.

Steve G.
In reference to the front/rear DLP debate, I would offer that front projection will never have the mass appeal of rear projection because it requires a dark room to perform well. The nature of front projection means bouncing light off the screen so it must be reflective and will also reflect any light source within range. Rear projectors do the opposite and can have the dullest non reflective matte finish screen and can be viewed easily in a normal room unless covered with one of the shiny screen protectors that then require a dark room again. Anyway, because of size, weight, and technical complexity of CRT based systems, DLP will probably take over from CRT based units out unless something better comes along. Everytime I go visit someone with a std CRT rear proj TV, they are always way out of convergence and look terrible to me. I show them how to adjust them, but know they will forget as soon as i leave. The DLPs do away with this problem and are a much better all around unit for most households using a family room or living room as their theater.
I have a more detailed post on the Samsung DLPs in the 507w thread elsewhere on this board.

I believe that DLP will prove the cheapest option to manufacture. because it is basically a chip with 1280x720 micro mirrors (nanotech) on a silicon substrait (sound familiar) and a spining colour wheel. DLP technology is also not in a mature stage such as plasms and LCD so it expected to get about 25% cheaper each year. ( the TI chip that is )

LCD and PDP are expensive not because the technology is immature, but because there is an inherently low production yield on the panels. One bad pixel and they trash the panel. Proof: LCD panels are, after 15 years of production, still the most expensive component in a laptop.

I am interested in buying a rear projection hd tv but I watch CNBC for hours a day and I am concerned about burn in where the ticker goes by at bottom of screen. also channels such as ESPN do the same with bottom line. I have been looking at Toshiba 57 in TV's. Any commets?

I have a rear projection tv i have had for 7 years playing games and tv and widescreen movies and i never had a problem with burn in. the only way to burn in is to let a single picture sit on the screen for day's.

what about sony's? are they good?

I'm considering buying the new Sony PF-60WE601 LCD 60" projection TV. Saw it at a local shop sitting next to the reg projection sets and WOW,what a diff! The pic quality in un-believable! It looked like you were looking out the window at a nature scene nearby! Contrast was excellent,brightness was equally bright throughout the panel,no dark corners like with reg proj sets. About 3 1/2 bills will buy it. I'm sold,the thing is amazing. I saw the DLP Samsung models. VERY nice,but to get a equal sized DLP,I'd pay another tanx. I want the most set for my money....

Akai has a good 54 inch for under $2k. Akai is really a samsung in a different wrapper. I have one and it's great. Get yourself a progressive DVD player and you will be all set. I also use the playstation2 with mine and have no problems with burn-in.

Bought the Sony 60We601,60". Wow! Thing is HUGE in the house 8). It takes some tweaking to get a good picture on regular cable. We upgraded the cable box to HD,and again,WOW! What a picture! It is truly unbelievable what HD does for this set! The colors are rich,the blacks are deep black. It is truly stunning. I checked on the bulb replacement and cost. It's expected life is 6000-8000 hours,or roughly 1 1/1-2 years. Contacted Sony parts about cost and it's around $250 for a new bulb. That's not bad to pay for a set that will,should,last a long long time. There are no CRT's to go out. Cannot wait for all broadcasts to go HD,it is really a unbelievable picture and makes ya wonder what the heck TOOK so long! DVD's look fantastic on this also. I wouldn't buy a boxy,large rear proj set...I'd get either a LCD proj or go DLP. Plasma,I just wasn't impressed with the picture quality and the PRICE is ridiculous. I love the concept of it being flat,but not at the cost of picture quality and price. No tanx. Go LCD or DLP...

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