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Get a HDTV for the Holidays!

Published November 28, 2006 in Technology
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of respective holders.
If you do not at least have one HDTV capable television set in your house, do yourself a favor for the holidays and go buy one. Though only last year even the smallest of HD LCDs, DLPs, Plasmas, and other projections cost over the $2K mark, prices have been plummeting.

Now is the time to buy, and we have a couple places to suggest.

Holiday Guide: Buy an HDTV

Owning an HDTV is the numero uno thing to do before 2007. With cable looking more and more like shit everyday unless you own a HD component box, even Cox, Time Warner, Adelphia, Charter or whoever you use is trying to tell you something. HDTV is the way to go and, with two different players now on the market, the time has never been better to buy.

Now, I am sure you are thinking now is also a good time to wait with prices falling. Well, yes and no. Thanks to the arrival of DLP monitors showcasing 1080P -- which nobody can really use yet -- the standard DLP, Plasmas and LCDs capable of only 1080i have dropped in price significantly. What is the different between 1080P and 1080i? Well, I am assuming most have seen the difference between 480i and 480p, so the small improvement there is similar to the small improvement shown in the 1080 format. If you are buying a HDTV 55" or less, you probably won't even notice the difference between 1080i and 1080p, so you don't need it anyway.

So, where to get shopping?

Looking for an HDTV for a great price? Costco and Sam's Club both have incredible deals. On a recent visit to Sam's, I encountered a high definition plasma display (42") for $1199. To top that off, Sam's Club also has a Samsung 50" DLP (1080i) on sale for $1500 with the stand. Holy savings! But are they any good?

Just by watching the two HD sets in the showroom -- if you can call it that -- both seemed to have excellent picture quality. Fortunately for me, a close acquaintance picked up the 50" DLP and I was allowed to sample two DVDs in 480p. When it came to DVD choice, I needed something with color. Since I had both Pixar's Cars and Warner Bros' Superman Returns on hand, they became the perfect examples.

Without any exaggeration, both films looked incredible on the 50" Samsung and I can safely say that this little baby could be one of the best holiday purchases you'll ever make. The color was vibrant, the picture was sharp, and there was none of the hazing effect when the picture begins to move quickly. I had hoped to sample the Samsung in 1080i, but there was not an HD DVD player available at the time.

Why not suggest the plasma? Well, I want our readers to purchase a product that has an extended life. The second after you turn on either a plasma or LCD the color and contrast begin to fade. After a year some can already see a difference. DLP is simple, yet incredible. Running off of hundreds of thousands of tiny mirrors, the projection only needs a single bulb for its contrast and color. It just so happens that you can easily replace this bulb whenever you see fit. Unless you are scratching the hell out of the front of your DLP set, the thing should look brand new after such a replacement.

Sure, DLPs can't be hung on a wall, but they are so light that you shouldn't care.

Now head on over to your local Costco and Sam's Club and get yourself one of those HDTVs!

For more information on HDTVs, check out Yahoo's Buying Guide.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Image property of respective holders.

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