Yes contrast ratio is VERY important, but once you get beyond a certain point the difference becomes less noticeable. That point seams to be about 1500 or so. I know there are sets claiming much higher, but contrast range of the MPEG2 encoded steam doesn't go that high with the compression that is currently used. In theory HD-DVD/B-Ray can use less compression and give a higher contrast finial image by using other compression formats, but time will tell if this is in fact the case.
In therms of picture quality of the sets at Costco: Sharp/Sony, then Vizio followed by Westinghouse. I know there is a price difference, take you time, Go to Costco after 7PM when the crowds at low and just spent sometime( an hour or two) looking. After a while you will find the one you like best.I spent six months shopping before I bought a HDTV set. John
there was an article in cnet sometime in november 2006 that described what are the most important features when picking an hdtv in terms of picture quality. from what i remember contrast ratio was #1 and resolution (i.e. 1080p vs 1080i) was like #4. anyone have a link to this article? also i was looking at the 52 sharp aquos at costco and wanted to know the difference between contrast ratio and dynamic contrast ratio since they listed both.
also what do you think is the better buy new 47 inch 1080p vizio or the 47 inch 1080p westinghouse? and why.