The Very Best Way to Save Gas This Summer

Stay Home and Watch HDTV

By Andrew Eisner

Last month we reported on several ways to save gas this summer including buying a GPS with traffic info and gas prices. Since that report was published the price of gas has risen over a dollar a gallon along with the price of everything else. After much internal discussion we can only re-emphasize the conclusion that the best way to save gas is to not drive. Seriously, this may very well be the summer of the stay-at-home vacation and while you're staying home, why not watch HDTV? Look at it this way; a week-long road trip vacation is going to set you back at least $2,000. For that kind of money you can get a nice big LCD or Plasma TV that you'll be able to enjoy all year 'round.

Summer Olympics HDTV Extravaganza

Beijing 2008 Olympics logo   There’s no shortage of good HD programming. The summer Olympics start in a few weeks and NBC has promised that this is going to be a premiere HD event with over 1000 HD cameras recording over 3500 hours of HD Olympics coverage. And before you know it, the fall TV season will be starting up including Monday night football. If you haven't watched football in HD you have been missing out on the visual treat of viewing players' tattoos in detail and checking out all the good looking babes (and guys) in the stands that on SD just look like one big blurry mass of people.

1080p vs. 1080i

TV Collage   We've been known to recommend 1080i/720p sets for good value. In fact, they're still good values and if you're looking at something smaller than 32 inches most people can't tell the difference between 1080i and 1080p at those screen sizes. Furthermore, all programming comes in over the air on cable or satellite at 1080i or 720p so a 1080p is really unnecessary. On the other hand, with less expensive (maybe) Blu-ray players on the horizon, upconverting DVD players and game consoles all driving 1080P on HDMI outputs, we say it's a good idea to future-proof your HDTV set purchase with a set that supports 1080P.

HDTV Suggestions

Here are some suggestions of HDTV sets that will cost lest than a week long vacation and still leave you with enough cash for maybe one fill up.

The Olevia 747i is at the top of Retrevo's LCD value list. For around $1,500 you get a 47" LCD TV that does 1080p and gets high marks from experts and users for image quality. Second on the value list is Sony's BRAVIA KDL 46V3000 which also does 1080p and costs around $1,600. It gets generally favorable reviews with some mention of blurring on fast action scenes. For a real bargain you should consider a 720p Vizio LCD TV. The 37" VX37LHDTV goes for well under $1,000 while the better rated, 32" VX32LHDTV which gets very good reviews costs around $600.

Olevia 747i
Sony BRAVIA KDL 46V3000
Olevia 747i Sony BRAVIA KDL 46V3000 Vizio VX37LHDTV Vizio VX32LHDTV

If Plasma is your choice then consider the Hitachi P50T501, 50" Plasma HDTV that does 1080p for a very affordable $1,300. Samsung offers the Samsung FP-T5884 a 58" 1080p Plasma TV for around $2,300 and LG has a 60" Plasma for about the same price called the LG 60PC1D while the top-rated Panasonic TH-50PZ77U, 50 inch plasma will cost you around $1600.

Hitachi P50T501
Samsung FP-T5884
Panasonic TH-50PZ77U
Hitachi P50T501 Samsung FP-T5884 LG 60PC1D Panasonic TH-50PZ77U

Projection TVs are probably going to disappear eventually as big LCD TVs become better and cheaper but you can still get a lot of HDTV for your money. Unfortunately part of that bigness comes in size for example, you can get the Samsung HL-S5687W, a big 56 inch rear projection TV that runs 1080p for less than $1000. Mitsubishi has a 65" DLP Projection TV for around $1,800 and you can get the Sony BRAVIA KDF-46E3000 a nice LCD-based projection TV for around $900. You can also buy a 60 inch Sony KDS-60A2020 rear projection TV for a little over $2000.


Samsung HL-S5687W
Sony KDF-46E3000
Sony KDS-60A2020
Samsung HL-S5687W Sony BRAVIA KDF-46E3000 Sony KDS-60A2020

Retrevo Has Reviews and Manuals

You can check out all the best values in HDTV sets on Retrevo's HDTV Product Advisor. You can also find the latest reviews and manuals for all the latest gear and gadgets like GPS, Digital Cameras, Camcorders, and more.


HDTV Product Advisor


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