The rantings of a beautiful mind

On life, society, and computer technology.

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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I live in the Fortress of Solitude. I drive the Silver Beast. My obsession is justice. I used to be a Windows software developer. I retired in 2000 when my stock options helped me achieve financial security.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Holy Grail of Plasmas

According to CNET, the very best plasma televisions in the world are made by Pioneer. But Pioneer plasmas are way too expensive – they’re only for the very rich.

In second place is Panasonic, and the very best Panasonic plasmas, in terms of Picture Quality, are the PHD8UK series. However, these are industrial models that are not normally available to consumers. (For example, I could not order one from Panasonic.) That’s why I got the TH-42PX60U.

I just recently learned that you CAN get the industrial models (42" and 50") from TigerDirect. For example:

TigerDirect website

Here’s the CNET review:

CNET website

The drawback to buying this professional-series television is that it doesn’t come with a stand (pedestal or otherwise), speakers, or TV tuner – they’re all optional extras. Also, there are very few included inputs – if you want HDMI, for example, you must purchase an add-in card. But this is how Panasonic is able to pare down the cost of this television.

(The unit also has a rather Spartan look to it.)

If you intend to mount this sucker on the wall, and if you intend to use a cable set-top box, and if you intend to use your home theatre 5.1 audio system, then you won’t miss any of these things. (You may still want to get the HDMI add-in card, though.)

Remember, the TH-42PHD8UK is a picture-first television. In other words, Panasonic has focused on Picture Quality to the exclusion of practically everything else. But for a true videophile, he would not want this any other way.

For those who want a stand and built-in speakers and HDMI, it may be more economical simply to go with the more consumer-friendly TH-42PX60U, as I did. You do give up a little bit of Picture Quality, though...


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