Your actually sitting at the time where all the new models start to make their way out to the stores. Each year in the late summer early fall the new yearly models come out. This years models have a variety of changes and improvements depending on what technology your looking at.
LCD sets are tuning there contrast ratio, the processor chips in the TV, and other little features to improve picture quality, nothing break through though.
DLP are coming out strong this year some companies are using the new LED lighting engine (Samsung) in one of there sets. This eliminates the ''glow'' effect and increases the life of the TV's bulb (about 20,000 hours oppose to 9,000 I beleive). Once again nothing break through, the LED is pretty exciting to DLP fans but it's only on one set this year by Samsung. Expect to see it streamlined next year.
Plasma's television are coming out with larger screens, image improvements, and probably the biggest is the lighting. Most sets are using 1 or 2 bulbs I believe to display the picture. Some high end models this year are coming out with 4 I beleive. Giving you a all around bright, rich picture on the whole screen (edegs too). Panasonic I beleive is coming out with this option I don't know about others.
This year's fad for all TV sets is 1080p. The only problem is the companies have half assed this integration in order to make more money. This year the TV's come out with 1080p (the highest pixel and resolution for HDTV's). The only problem, MOST of the sets are only taking a 1080i signal and upconverting it to 1080p. As well the connection on a lot of sets DO NOT support a 1080p/60 input. Which is really what everyone wants. This year there are sets that do come out with the 1080p/60 input. But you have to do your homework and make sure your set has it if your looking for the best future proof TV set.
To some people this 1080p is overhyped about, this is because their currently is no source that inputs a 1080p/60 into your tv (satelite, cable, HD DVD players, Gaming consoles). So they do carry a valid point on one sense, but in 2-8 years do you already want to be upgrading your HDTV for the best picture? No, these are not cheap, it's an investment. If you buy now, go for the top of the line set that has 1080p/60 inputs.
You will thank yourself down the road when HD DVD or Blu-Ray manufacture a player that outputs 1080p signals. Eventually TV broadcasts will hit 1080p but don't hold your breathe on that one for anytime soon. As for gaming consoles they will hit 1080p in the next generation I'm sure. Don't kid yourself on the Playstation 3 either, it can support 1080p but that dosn't mean the games will be 1080p. That would be a waste of the developer's money when they port the same game over three or four consoles. When everything jumps in the 1080p boat (Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo) then this could become a reality.
As for when to buy, if you want ot buy this year I would say hold off until just before christmas or late fall at least. By that time all 2006 models should be out and most of them reviewed. Giving you, the buyer a heads up on what to steer clear from and what you may want to purchase.
I am looking to purchase a new 50-60" plasma television, and while I would like to purchase the TV as soon as possible, I am wondering if there is a better time of year to make this purchase. For instance; when do the years new models of televisions come out and would it be best to wait untill such a time? Also, are the new crop TV's going to be significantly better than their previous counterparts? Finally, does anyone have any reccomendations for the best 50-60" plasma on the market (or comming to the market soon)? I know I've posed a lot of questions, but if anyone can provide answers to any of them I would be very appreciative. Thanks!