That magical, good luck date of 8/8/8 (August 8, 2008) is almost here. It’s still time to run out and get an HDTV set and upgrade your cable or satellite service to high definition. As we recommended in our last newsletter, it might make sense this summer to stay home, save gas, and use the money you save to buy an HDTV set that will give you years of enjoyment.
NBC has promised to make this Olympics a high def extravaganza using over 1,000 HD cameras to create thousands of hours of high def programming. Everything looks better in high def, even the commercials. All swimming finals and some of men’s and women’s gymnastics and beach volleyball will all be televised live in prime time. In addition to NBC, NBCU cable networks CNBC, USA, MSNBC, CNBC and Oxygen will also televise Olympic events.
To make the job of choosing an HDTV set we've singled out a handful of big screen HDTV sets for some exceptional quality.
|The Panasonic TH-50PZ700U VIERA Plasma TV - 40% Price Drop
Consumer Reports raved about this Plasma TV calling it the best Plasma TV they had ever tested. Users agree, giving it high marks for image quality. The price has dropped more than 40% in the last 4 months possibly due to the introduction of the Panasonic 50PZ800U which rivals Pioneer plasmas for deep black levels and color quality.
|Samsung LNT5265F - 30% Price Drop
The Samsung LNT5265F is a 52-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV. It has 3 HDMI ports and gets high marks from most reviewers with the exception of PC Magazine who found it deficient in many areas.
|Samsung LN52A650 - Very High User Ratings
The newer Samsung LN52A650 offers 120 Hz refresh with "Auto Motion Plus" to reduce blurring of fast action programming and gets very high marks from users.
|Westinghouse Digital TX-52F480S - Great Price
The Westinghouse Digital-TX-52F480S is a 52 inch 1080P HDTV with 4 HDMI ports. It gets high marks from reviewers and is available at Costco for a very low price of $1499. The only drawback is that it features HDMI 1.2, not the latest version, 1.3 which gets you "Deep Color."
Rear Projection TVs
|Mitsubishi WD-57734 TV - Very Good Value
The Mitsubishi WD-57734 TV is a 57 inch DLP rear projection TV that supports 1080p resolution and has 4 HDMI ports including one on the front of the TV. It gets good marks from users for a clear and bright picture.
|Mitsubishi WD-73734 - Big Screen for the Price
You can move up to the 73-Inch 1080p DLP HDTV for a few dollars more. Rear projection TVs offer the best value in these super sizes. This set gets very good marks from users although there is a new model which just came out, the Mitsubishi WD-73736 which promises to deliver a bright picture and natural colors. It will cost you over $2,500.
|Epson Ensemble HD Home Cinema - New
It's not cheap but for $6,999 you get a 1080p home theater projector, a 100 inch motorized screen, an upconverting DVD player (alas no Blu-ray), a 5.1 speaker system, mounts, cables, and everything else you need to hook up everything up.
|Optoma HD72 - 40% Price Drop
If you can live with a 720p projector, the Optoma HD72 DLP projector offers a highly rated home theater projector for well under $1,000.
HDTV Buying Advice
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