Don't have one but just went tv shopping. Things I figured out along the way. The durability of the plasmas are good so don't worry about that. The LCD TV's in every comparable brand and size have a nicer picture to me than the comparable plasma and the LCD's are a bit more expensive than each plasma. The bigger advantage of the LCD is the image quality in off center viewing is much better (try it) and if the tv is in a brighter room there is no glare on the LCD. Not true on the plasma.Have fun.
I thought of a few more things. Go in with an amount that you want to spend because there are tv's in the 15k range easily. The plasma breakdown thing is largely not true (I was told by everybody)now because of changes but it did make me think about it. Resolution is an important consideration. They have 1080p now which is even better than 1080i but most dvd's etc don't even play at that resolution(have to buy new gear). You pay a big premium for 1080 and that technology is just coming onboard too early and expensive unless you have a lot of excess cash to burn). You'll find that most pictures around the 740 resolution look terrific.
bought a samsung DLP a couple of months ago. no glare issue, and when the bulb burns out it's easy to change yourself. i would definitely advise that you look at DLP before you decide. 46" was 1300.00. it's 1080i. unbeleivable picture.
Hitachi is a good Tv. Just came out with a great 55" unit. Also, take a look at the Pioneer50 Flat Panel Plasma. I believe it is model5071HD. they also have a 5070HD. It is 1365 x 768 pixel resolution. I did a lot of research and this is the best TV out there right now. You will notice the the blacks are a lot deeper black. A sales rep that knows his stuff and stay abreast of this industry will tell you the same thing. At the consumer show heard lot of peopel touting Pioneer.
Go with a Sharp AQUOS LCD. Of all the manufactures I visited at CES in January (Consumer Electronics Show)the AQUOS had the best pictue and largest selection. They also have largest LCD coming in at 105"! I think this was the one that was on the cover of USA Today.
Plasma sets are going to be extinct here in the near future. After 2007, they will no longer be manufactured. There are several reasons it seems, but I heard this from 2 different mfgs. while I was there.
The nice thing is there are great choices out there and $$$ are coming down.
I just bought a Samsung 42" Plasma. Only samsung and one other company makes their own screens. The logevity thing really isnt an issue anymore like it was when plasmas first came out. I went to buy a 26" lcd and got the 42" plasma. The picture is amazing!! My 2cents.
Check out the plasma buying guides by doing a google search. I checked out the Hitatchi Plasmas and they didn't get that great of reviews. I almost bought the 55" but not after reading the reviews. Panasonic, Pionner, and LG all have good sets. Another thing to think about is buying an LCD over a plasma. A LCD has a lot of advantages over a plasma, again do a bit of reading before you buy. Cnet is also another great source.
I've stayed away from plasma's. If you don't get directly in front you don't get a very good picture. I have seen Plasma after they were a couple of years old and they were starting to get dim. I now have two LCD's a 32 and 42. I gave less for my 42 than for my sony 32. The 42 is a off brand but it has one hellofa
pitcure. I don't bother with HD. not that much different in pitcure if you got a good LCD. Bill
Guys I have done reseach for 4 years on Lcd and Plasmas. Was going to get either Sharp 52'" Lcd' Hitatci 55" But then I found The Pioneer Plasma 50' Plasma. Its colors blew the other Tvs A Way. Also I have Bought it online From A Company called Beyond Plasma. They were the best and they beat the stores by a thousand dollars and free shipping. First time by online but I ended up talking to Drew and he was great. If you really want a big Tv get this. Pioneer 5070 50". If you have any questions call me are see me in Sparta IIl. Shooting Chris 618-443-6146
Been in custom install/home theater business 20+ years. What I have found is that plasma and lcd both have advantages and disadvantages.
Plasma tends to have better picture quality, better off-axis viewing but can suffer from burn-in. Lcd does not have burn-in problem, but suffers with artifact trailing and poor off-axis viewing. In plasma, we believe most in Pioneer/Pioneer Elite. Lcd, we use mostly Sharp. In the past, we installed a lot of Samsung, but recent warranty issues(parts not avail for sets less than 1 year old) have caused us to pull them from our line card.
I recommend you take stock of what matters most, be it price/picture quality/brand name, etc...then hit the stores.
One other note, while comparing sets, make sure you view the type of signal in store that you will use in your home. That set you looked at in the store showing HD will not look that good in your home using basic cable.