When we last did our report on plasma tvs versus LCD's there was still a gap between the two with plasma screens being the better deal. In the last 8 months or so LCD TVs have come down in price and offer a very similar experience to that which you get with plasma televisions. We will focus this article on buying the best plasma screen on the market. Plasmas are still cheaper than LCDs so if you want a larger screen go with a plasma compared to an LCD tv. The deep black levels that plasma tvs are able to generate give the one big advantage over that which LCDs can do. Also, the wide viewing angle for plasmas is still superior when compared to the viewing area that an LCD tv offers. Consumer Reports has done extensive research on plasma vs lcd screens over the last few years and it appears that the plasma continues to win out. Panasonic is the clear choice for plasma screens having won customer service awards and expert ratings over the last 2 years.
50-inch plasma screens are becoming commonplace in households (that's what I bought this year) and 42-inch tvs are becoming too small. The newer 58-inch plasma televisions are great, but if you don't have a theater room they are hard to fit into traditional sized family or living rooms. The top brands for plasma tvs are Panasonic, Samsung, Pioneer, LG, Vizio, Hitachi, and Philips. Recently the Vizio brand has received some great reviews from independent studies but their overall repair record is not yet available since they haven't been around long enough. Vizio plasma tvs were originally sold in discount stores like Costco and Sams Club but now you see them in Best Buy competing with the big boys. Vizio sells their plasma tvs for about a 30% discount over the competitions prices which has really helped increase their market share. Another thing to consider are the pixels that your screen can display and the resolution you will get. The latest 1080p plasma screens are what every salesperson will try to push on you, but I have a 720p plasma from Panasonic and the picture is still amazing on my HD programs. HDTV is becoming what all households will be watching in the next few years so owning a TV that is capable of showing the broadcast in it's full capacity only makes sense. The average 58-inch plasma televisions is selling for roughly $2000 these days and the 42-inch models are somewhere around $1400. We expect those prices to continue to fall as the holiday season approaches. Just which brands are the best and which models perform consistently. See below for details on the best plasma tvs and where you can find them.
Best 58" Plasma TV:
When you look into which plasma tvs get the best owner ratings, Panasonic comes out on top. Amazon reviewers, Consumer Reports magazine and dozenz of other reputable sources all say the Panasonic plasmas are the best. This year the Panasonic Viera TH-58PZ800U 58-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV is a best selling 58-inch plasma screen with great picture quality, above average sound quality, and excellent deep black levels for movies. At 1080p in resolution, this tv will give you an incredible picture with vivid images. The price is very competitive amongst the other brands and the repair history of Panasonic is low with impressive reliability. You can find Panasonic TVs at stores like Best Buy, Circuit City or Sears. Buy it NOW Here.
Best Budget 50-Inch Plasma Screen:
Ok, for those looking for the ultimate bargain, look no further than the Samsung plasma TVs. Vizio and Maxent are the 2 most famous discount brands in the plasma tv world. Vizio has recently gained significant market share as they have started selling their plasma televisions in stores like Best Buy instead of only at Costco or Sam's Club. With the recent push from Vizio and Maxent companies like Samsung have become very competitive on price and now you can find 50 Inch plasmas under $1000. The Samsung PN50B450 50-Inch 720p Plasma HDTV at less than $1000 gets good ratings in the 50-inch screen size category and reviews from owners is superb on the Samsung models.
As we mentioned earlier in the article, more and more models of plasma screens are offering the 1080p resolution which is the best you can buy right now. These models are significantly more expensive than the 720p counterparts but some people want that extra bit of resolution for sports and movies. Topping the list this year is the Panasonic VIERA G10 Series TC-P50G10 50-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV that boasts a 1920x1080 resolution. Prices will probably come down on these types of plasma screens over the next year, so if you can wait, we suggest it. The 720p plasmas are still very impressive. Browse the top selling 1080p Plasma TVs online here.
Top Rated 42-inch Plasma Television:
Not everyone has room for a giant 50-inch+ tv screen in their house, so don't feel bad if 42-inches is all you can fit into your family room. The quality of plasma screen is still excellent at 42-inches and you won't be sorry. Panasonic doesn't dominate the 42-inch market like they do with the 50-inch screens and brands like Samsung, LG, and Philips all offer quality 42-inch plasma tvs for about $1200. The picture quality is still incredible, just on a smaller screen. We say the Panasonic VIERA S1 Series TC-P42S1 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV or the Samsung PN42B450 42-Inch 720p Plasma HDTV are best buys compared to the others. 42-inch plasmas will probably be down below the $900 mark by mid 2009 which will really increase sales as they become more affordable. Best Buy has the best selection of plasma screens we could find with reviews and write-ups online at their website. You can view the most popular 720p 42 inch plasma telesivions here.