Monday, March 09, 2009

Project Plasma

Two weeks ago I bought a Plasma TV. I had been waiting a few years to do this and the prices have come down considerably since I was looking a few years ago. I have a fairly good looking rear projection Hitachi (with the Pegasus guns!) that isn't going anywhere anytime soon so I wasn't in a big rush but when my ancient tube TV that I've had since I was 20 blew the week before it became the perfect time to put Project Plasma into place.

Where to buy? I bought my last TV at Stereo plus in Orleans from Carlos, and he gave me a great deal. I popped by and saw row upon row of big TV's and thought a 50" would do the trick. I was pretty much leaning towards Plasma the whole time, what with recent improvements to image retention (if you happen to play a game on it with a stationary HUD) and the anti-glare screens. Plasmas are prone to glare with the glass top screen and mine was going in a bright room. Also viewing angle. Plasmas are viewable from 180 degrees while LCD's and RPTV's (rear projection TV's) crap off in picture when viewed from the side. The LCD's are not prone to screen burn in or retention but they don't have a true black so the movie experience is always better on a Plasma. Heck, I could pick out the Plasmas from the LCD's on the wall just by looking at the ones I thought were richer, so Plasma it was. Turns out there was a sale in a few weeks so I planned to come back then.

So Friday came, TV day! So I broke out the flyers. Turns out that almost everyone, Sears, Stereo Plus, futureshop, had them on sale this week for $1799. But Audiotronics had them on for $1788. $12 cheaper! I had bought stuff there a few years before so for $12 (and the name of an in-store contact from a Friend of mine who works in the same mall) off I went, bing bang boom Bob's yer uncle, paid for it, in and out in 10 minutes (I came back 2 hours later with my truck to bring it home). They gave me a good price on a Blue ray player and some HDMI cabling ($$$$$ ouch) as well as a wall mounting kit.

I started the install at 10:00pm and by 2:00am I was watching TV. I spent most of the time surfing YouTube watching DIY mounting videos ans sticking a huge 50 inch by 30-something inch piece of cardboard I cut from the shipping box on the wall and running back to sit on the couch pretending it was the screen. I settled on 4 feet from the ground to center as the sweet spot. No Blue Ray test though! I had neglected to buy any movies and I didn't think any stores would be open at 2:00am otherwise I would have gone out right then and there. That had to wait until Saturday (Dark Night, Iron Man and Indy4 - Woohoo!).

A few things..

1. They are heavy as shite. I was stupid to mount it alone by myself at 1:30 am but I pushed an ottoman underneath that I could rest it on in case some body part gave out while lifting (something popped in my leg but watching the Plasma afterwards made it better).
2. 1080p, Blue Ray and High definition TV are worth every cent. I swear the picture looks better than what I see with my own eyes.
3. The type of Plasma I got, the Panasonic Viera 50" 1080p Plasma HDTV TH50PZ80 can go in a bright room with no worries.
4. My HDMI-connected Xbox 360 looks GREAT! No image retention or burn-in issues. There's a game-mode on the TV that helps combat that, if it is a problem at all.
5. End of Feb, early March is a great time to buy a Plasma TV. All the new stuff comes out in April and they want to get rid of last year's models.


The week after I was reading the newspaper Saturday morning and saw a new audiotronics flyer. It showed a picture of the Plasma TV I had just bought, and it was on sale for $1688! One hundred dollars less! The Bastards! I phoned them up and they said, no problem, we have price protection for one month, no worries we'll give it to you at that adjusted price. So I went down and they paid me the $100 odd bucks. Woohoo!

And this past weekend I was reading my Saturday paper and I purposely looked at the ubiquitous Audotronics flyer and saw, AGAIN! On sale for $1588! $100 off. I drove down that afternoon with my two bills and came back with a third one stapled to them and another $100 in my pocket.

The sales guy said:
"This is the lowest I've even seen them" and I said.
"See you next week (I hope).. "

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