If you're considering whether to go with a flat-panel (LCD or Plasma), a rear projection TV, (DLP, LCoS) or front projector, here are some things to consider as you shop:
- Many people are drawn to flat panels (LCD or plasma) because they're 'sexy' and they're the 'in' thing right now. That's fine, many of them are great sets, just know that you're going to pay a premium for them because they're flat panels.
- Depending on the configuration of your room, you may have plenty of space for a rear projection (16-24 inches deep). If so, you'll get a lot more bang for your buck with a projection display.
- While 1080P is the resolution being touted by the marketing departments, depending on the size of the screen, and your distance away, you're eyes may not be able to pick of the difference (over 1080i or 720P) anyway. For example, if your TV is less than 50" and you're more than 10' away, your eyes won't be able to perceive the extra resolution.
- Also, there's not much 1080P content available right now anyway. Unless you're planning on going with one of the high-resolution DVD formats (HD-DVD or BluRay) you won't find any native 1080P content.
- Due to bandwidth limitations, it's unlikely that 1080P will ever be broadcast by TV stations and/or cable companies. Maybe someday, but by then you'll probably be buying a new TV anyway!
- Although the number of HDTV broadcasts is growing very quickly, much of what you watch will still be plain old SDTV. Make sure you check this out on any TV your considering. Every TV scales SDTV images to HDTV, and some do it better than others.