No. of Recommendations: 2
I went through this last summer and chose the Sony KDL-52W4100 because the Sonys had the best pictures I saw (side-by-side Samsung, Sharp and Panasonic) in the various stores I shopped (which included the now defunct Circuit City). I didn't want to spend $3Gs, so I didn't look at Sony's higher end models. I considered plasmas, but they burn pretty hot (and use more energy) relative to LCDs. Also, I opted for the 120Hz version (vs. the V4100) of the flat panel to reduce (eliminate?) the "motion crap". It's a fantastic picture IMO, shared by everyone who has seen it. I paid $2,399, which was 20% off the list price at the time ($2,999, which is now $2,499). I found the one I bought for slightly less on the Internet, plus the sales tax savings, but I live less than 10 miles from three (now two) major retailers and I was leery of possible shipping damage and/or return policies if I ordered it online (so my piece of mind was worth the extra $150).

As far as watching TV is concerned, I mostly watch sports (which are almost always broadcast in HD); but my DirecTV DVR up-converts SD channels like TCM to 1080i and they look just fine.

I bought a Sony Blu-ray BDP-S350 for $279 last fall and, I have to tell you, it's difficult to see much difference between an actual Blu-ray disc and the same movie in DVD format when it's being up-converted by the player. I don't know if this a testament to the unit's up-convert capability or my eyesight.

FWIW, I bought a Denon receiver (which came bundled with Boston Acoustics speakers, including a 200W subwoofer). It's VERY nice, though I never had surround sound before so I don't know if it's any better than Onkyo et al.

Obviously you should buy your HDMI etc. cables online at Monoprice (or TigerDirect, but NOT at Best Buy!); they sell wall mounts as well, but I got mine from Amazon.
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