I'm considering purchasing a new TV, just graduated and starting my new job, so I haven't had anything but an ol' crappy CRT before. I would prefer to keep my budget fairly low, around $1000-1500, but I could spend a bit more if it's worth it. Anything above 50" is going to be too big for the room, but I'd like at least 40". Somewhere between 42"-46" would probably be best. I do know that I definitely want a 1080p set.
I must admit that I do not know a ton about the differences between LCD, plasma, LED, etc. I would primarily be watching sports (basketball, football, baseball mostly) and the occasional show, as well as playing PS3 and watching DVDs/Blurays. In the future I also plan on building an HTPC that I can put all of my downloaded/ripped TV shows and movies on as well.
Again, I am open to just about anything and am primarily interested in getting the best performance for my money, although I don't by any means need the very best. But I've heard things such as the newish 120Hz LCDs being much better for sports that I'm just not totally sure on. I appreciate and help and opinions!
I bought a Panasonic TX-P50G10 earlier this year and it is just awesome. That's the UK model and it cost me around £1500 at the time. But if you go for the US equivelent at say 46" you'd get a good deal and a great TV.
I use it for HDTV, XBOX360, blu-ray, and an HTPC streaming blu-ray rips across a home network and it produces great quality every time. I aslo have a pansonic hd camcorder so i can also pop the SDHC card out and put it directly into the TV, which is a nice bonus.
If you check reviews of the 50" and others in this range, you will see great reviews. Check out avforums.com for some great advice.
I have owned Sony televisions exclusively for the past 30 years. I was in the market for a new TV to replace my older Sony 50" Grand WEGA LCD projection set. I always keep up with new technologies in consumer electronics and knew that LED backlighting was the way to go. One day, I visited Best Buy to see the new Sony models. I was particularly interested in the Sony Bravia XBR8 LED TV. It has an awesome display, but I couldn't bring myself to part with $5K for a TV. The high price was a big disappointment. I knew Samsung made LED models so I decided to check them out too. I was immediately floored. They looked far better than Sony's more expensive LED model and for $2K less. But, was I really willing to purchase something other than a Sony TV? I would have to be convinced. I did a lot of research on these Samsung sets. I demoed them in several stores and read as many reviews as possible. IMO, the Samsung LED TVs are by far the best technology currently available. Their display must be seen to be believed. Most impressive of all, is the fact that Samsung accomplished this in a set that is only 1.2" thick.
Well, I was finally convinced and decided to purchase the Samsung UN55B8000. I have owned it for almost a month now and I am in awe every time I watch it. This set is beautiful even when it's turned off. But, you won't want to turn it off because the clarity, detail, brightness, contrast and color are absolutely exceptional. For the first time I have owned a TV, I did not have to make any adjustments to the factory settings - it looked perfect right out of the box. In fact, I had purchased a calibration DVD and was surprised to find that I didn't have to make any adjustment to any controls.
Of course, the most amazing thing about this set and what intially lured me to it is its picture quality. It's difficult to explain the level of detail it produces. I have HD cable programming (1080i), which looks fantastic. Games on the Xbox 360 pops out at you. But the images produced from a Blu-ray source is absolutely breath-taking. I was also pleasantly surprised at how bright the display looks in my sunlit family room. I thought I would have to adjust the brightness to view the set in daylight and again when watching at night as I did with our old Sony TV. Although the screen on the UN55B8000 has a gloss finish, it does a great job of reducing glare and reflections.
I took advantage of the slim design of this set and purchased the ultra slim wall mount. The TV hangs like a picture frame and looks like a masterpiece, which it is. The slim case houses adequate speakers, producing fairly good sound quality for normal TV viewing. Of course, you would want to watch movies through a surround sound system.
As for the other features of this set; the internet widgets are pretty cool, but slow. I especially like the YouTube widget. The DLNA network feature is also a nice addition, but the interface is also slow and not very intuitive. I'm hoping that a future firmware upgrade would improve the functionality. The content library feature is my favorite. It allows you to display a slideshow of artwork or other pics with soft background music - great for parties. You can download additional content for free from Samsung.
I am extremely pleased with this television and would recommend it to anyone. I ended up purchasing this from Amazon for 2,199 about 1000$ cheaper than Best Buy.
Try to consider Sony KDL-37EX500. This one has good picture quality and not so expensive or 37EX505 if you need the integrated DVB-S tuner.
Internet video, WLAN ready (WLAN module sold separately) , LAN, 4 HDMI, DLNA, etc. IT has almost everything you need.
I just bought one, and I like it.