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large Plasma shopping

I have researched to the ends of the earth and it seems the more research I do the more indecisive I am. I want a plasma 60" or larger. I've been told Pioneer is king, with Panasonic a close second in this size range. Pioneer's 50" 1080p set is too small. They have a 60" 720p set. Panasonic has a 1080p 65" but the picture in the showroom didn't match any of the Pioneers. I'll be watching from 12-15' away. I am not a big moviephile....mostly regular TV and sports in HD. Do I really need a 1080p set...will I hate myself in two years if I get 720p? Is Pioneer coming out with a 1080p set at least 60", and if so, what would expect to pay for it?

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To get 1080p or not to get 108p, that is the question

Currently there is no 1080p programming, so the only way to get this resolution is from HD DVD or Blu-Ray (or HD video games). But if you're buying for the future, you have to see that 1080p is coming. Resolutions are only going to get better and eventually I think you'll see more programming available - it just may be a while. Unless you plan on buying a new TV in a few years, you may consider the investment now.

Now, if you're considering it, you have to determine if you can even benefit from such a resolution. You're looking at large TVs, but how far are you sitting from it? If you look at my blog on TV sizing (, you will see a chart that shows how a 60" TV needs to be viewed from 10' or closer to get a potential benefit from 1080p. Many folks have found this chart to be helpful in determining appropriate screen size and resolution. The blog explains the methodology behind this.

I hope that's helpful (blog on HDTV and more)

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To get 1080p or not to get 108p, that is the question

thanks...your screen chart is very helpful. As I'll be sitting 12-15' away, sounds like 720p is enough. We've got a nice budget on this, but I don't want to buy just to say "I have 1080p" if there's really no added value given the viewing distance!

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60" Pioneer is awesome but...

If you are going for 60" or larger, 1080P will be worth getting. You will see a difference on that large of a screen. Pioneer has a 1080P 60" plasma that they are coming out with that will be AWESOME but....
for around six thousand dollars less you can get an excellent DLP or LCD rear projection in 1080P and have a fantastic picture also. The only question is how much do you have to spend.

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Nextgen Pioneer's...
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I disagree - mostly

The key statement in your question seems to be: "I'll be watching from 12-15' away. I am not a big moviephile....mostly regular TV and sports in HD."

I agree that most Reviews say the 1080p is useful on so large a set, but from that distance I think you'll be just as happy with 1080i or even -- God forbid! -- 720p. Especially if you'll not be stretching into the HD arena very much. "Not a big moviephile" tells me you don't have plans to rush out and buy Blu-Ray or HDDVD, so you lose the advantage of 1080p there. "Most likely regular TV" tells me you are possibly not even subscribed to any HD plans except for your sports channel. You lose a big advantage with 1080p there.

If it comes down to money, skip the 1080p. And beware that the hook-up in the store may be biased toward making the more-expensive set look better -- or simply a fluke. Note, too, that many reviews state that the 1080p set they are reviewing makes 420i or 420p images look WORSE (i.e., "regular" TV).

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