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Just Tell Me What To Get: 42-Inch Plasma

Panasonic TH42PX77UA reader writes: So, I'm ready to get into the HDTV world now that the TVs are somewhat affordable. I want a 42-inch plasma that will be easy to set up, look good and last a long time. I'm not really looking to set up a surround sound system just yet, but I'd like to have that option in the future. Just tell me what to get!

Hey reader: There are tons of 42-inch plasmas out there, and the prices vary widely. You're absolutely right that they're somewhat affordable now, too -- some are under $1,000 while others run around $3,500! It's a confusing market, indeed.

While it would be easy to tell you to just get the cheapest one you can find, instead we'll tell you to pick up Panasonic's TH-42PX77U TV. This shiny black beauty will run you around $1,200 to $1,500, and you'll get one of the best plasma screens available. It sports the perfect mix of value and quality. You won't be overspending, but you also won't be short-changed by weak features and substandard picture.

Don't get caught up in the "true HD" chatter. While the TH-42PX77U has 768 lines of resolution as opposed to "True HD's" 1080, at 42 inches, those 312 lines won't make much of a difference -- if at all -- unless you're sitting inches from the screen. Plus, with the Panasonic's fantastic contrast ratio (how bright vs. dark the pixels get) and color accuracy, you're going to be in HD bliss before you know it.

The Panasonic also has all the connections you'll need right out of the box, including HDMI and component video for HD feeds from your cable or satellite box. It still has all the standard connections for your current equipment (like game consoles and VCRs), too. It sports an SD memory card slot so you can watch slide shows you took with your digital camera. If you're worried about daytime-watching glare due to the shiny glass of plasmas, worry not, as the Panasonic has an anti-glare surface.

Again, while we could show you cheaper 42-inch plasmas, this is the one we would get. Enjoy the HD -- you'll never want to go back!

Also -- for those of you confused about the difference between plasma and LCD, check out this feature from Digital Lifestyle.

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Tags: just tell me what to get, JustTellMeWhatToGet

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