I Can Has HDTV?

Yes, you can has!

After years of wanting a large screen HDTV, on Friday I finally went out and bought one. And boy was it worth it!

Sitting on the sofa in our living room, this is what our old 32” CRT TV looked like:

Old TV - Front

And this is what our new 50” Plasma TV looks like:

New TV - Front

The larger screen makes a big difference, doesn’t it? :)

What Did You Get?

For those who are interested, I ended up getting the Samsung PS50C7000, which is a 50” (127cm) Series 7 (i.e. 2010) Plasma TV:

Samsung PS50C7000

I did quite a lot of research before selecting this model and reviews like this from CNET were very encouraging:

The Samsung PS50C7000 is one of the best plasmas on the market and boasts one of the most complete feature sets available. Not quite deserving of full marks, though. [CNET Australia]

As well as this one from PC World:

The Samsung Series 7 (PS50C7000) plasma is very nearly the best television we've tested. It's got an excellent design and generally great picture quality, only falling short in overall black levels. 3D is handled well but there are still a few aberrations; it is fine for occasional casual viewing. The Series 7 (PS50C7000) does a great job on Internet connectivity as well, making it an excellent all-round performer we'd happily recommend. [PC World]

My main research source was CHOICE, though, and they recommended this as one of the best 127-132cm TVs to buy (Note: Report viewable by members only):

Choice - Samsung Ps50C7000YP

CHOICE also named Samsung the ‘Best Television Brand’ in its 2011 Choice Awards. Panasonic and Sony were the other two TV brands that received the highest overall performance and CHOICE member customer satisfaction scores.

This TV also met all of my basic requirements:

  • 40-50”, Full HD (i.e. 1080p), LCD or Plasma
  • HDMI, Component, Composite, USB, and Audio In/Out connectivity
  • HD tuner built-in
  • RGA port included (i.e. it can be used as a computer monitor)
  • LAN/wireless connector
  • DLNA certified (i.e. works with streaming media players/servers on your network)

Basically, this was last year’s top end Plasma model from Samsung so it had everything I wanted and even a few things that I didn’t want (like 3D capabilities).

Timing is Everything

The best part is that, in the annual consumer electronics cycle, April is when most new TV models hit the market. So, if you’re happy to buy the previous year’s model, March and April are when you get the best discounts(assuming the TV you want is still in stock). As it happens, I got this TV for about half its market launch price :)

LCD vs Plasma

In the choice between LCD and Plasma, I’m an audiophile and videophile so the superior picture quality of Plasmas has always appealed to me.

Also, in our price range of “just over A$1,000”, I had a choice of getting:

  • a cheaper brand LCD,
  • a better brand LCD from 2-3 years ago,
  • a more recent model of a better brand LCD that had a smaller screen (e.g. 32-40”), or
  • a better brand plasma from last year.

When you look at it that way, the choice of getting the plasma was obvious (assuming your aim was to get the largest screen size appropriate to your TV/living room).

Which Store?

Retravision Colour 1I ended up getting our TV from RetraVision, which has one of the best range of Samsung TVs.

I got there at about 8pm on Friday night and, fifteen minutes later, I was done. The TV got delivered the next morning and I spent much of yesterday (Saturday) setting it up.

Yes, this has been a fun weekend :)

What Next?

Now that we have an HDTV, we need high definition content to watch.

We already get some HD stuff from our free-to-air digital channels but my next step is to upgrade our Foxtel set top box to the iQHD and our subscription package to include HD channels (21 of them).

After that, we’ll think about getting a Blu-Ray player and some Blu-Ray discs. And, once we do that, we’ll think about getting a home theatre audio system. None of this will be any time soon, though. Certainly not till next year.

Fortunately, this is only the start of our life in HD so there’s a long way to go, yet. Let the fun begin! :)