Samsung HL-T5089 50" LED-DLP 1080p HDTV
The Samsung HL-T5089 ( http://tinyurl.com/yusznf ) is currently at the top of my must-have list, where televisions are concerned. For years, I've been looking to replace the old 30" CRT television the wife & I share at home: it's no longer able to reproduce deep black colors, the audio's a bit fuzzy, and I don't enjoy squinting to see details when I'm playing games from the couch a few feet away. And this TV looks to have it all... Originally, I had been torn between this and Sony's high-end 2nd generation LCoS TV, the 60" KDS-R60XBR2 Grand WEGA ( http://tinyurl.com/28andz ). Both are excellent televisions: Samsung made use of lower-power LEDs to quadruple the life of its lamp (to 20,000 hours), in addition to its already excellent DNIe technology; Sony held the edge in deeper black reproduction, refresh rate and viewing angle. However, when Sony announced on December 28, 2007, that it would be exiting the rear-projection TV market ( http://tinyurl.com/2fachr ), Samsung became my default choice, as the lack of ongoing support for Sony's TV became a deal-breaker for me. On to the good stuff. This widescreen (16:9) TV supports the maximum HDTV resolution, 1080p, and has a variety of inputs on the side (HDMI x 3, Composite x 2, S-Video x 2) to connect to your various appliances: DVD players, video game consoles, your PC, an audio system, etc. The bezel framing the TV is fairly minimal, and at 45.2" W x 31.8" H x 13.4" D plus a weight of 62lbs, it can fit it most spaces without requiring several pro-linebacker friends to help move it into place. As of January 28, 2008, Amazon is selling this TV for $1900, which is very reasonable for a top-of-the-line TV. The last feature I'd like to mention is the TV's LED lamp. What a lot of people don't realize is that eventually, all modern rear-projection HDTVs will need to have their lamps -- the piece of internal hardware that "makes the TV work" -- replaced, as they are only rated to work for a certain number of hours. The lion's share of HDTV lamps are rated at ~5,000 hours (208 days) of continuous use, which even a casual user could be expected to reach over the course of several years of use. In addition, lamps aren't guaranteed to reach their maximum life expectancy before burning out, and because most lamps cost $250 - $350 (professional service not included), it's an additional hidden cost most buyers might not be aware of. However, the Samsung HL-T5089 makes use of a LED lamp, which reduces the electrical requirements and heat generated by the lamp, thereby extending the lamp's life. We're not talking chump-change, either: Samsung's LED lamps are estimated to last for ~20,000 hours. That's 833 days, or 2 years + 4 months, of continuous use! So while it's entirely possible that the bulb might need to be replaced during the course of the TV's lifetime, the odds are significantly lower.