Even though High-Definition TVs are becoming more common in stores and homes, I still get a little nervous about buying a plasma or LCD TV.
First of all, the prices for a plasma or any LCD that is big enough for my needs (27-inch or larger) is way out of my price range. Also, I’m still not quite happy with the color quality on LCDs or Plasmas.
Both of these reasons have kept me interested in CRTs. (You know, the big bulky TVs that have been around for decades.) CRTs (even High Definition sets) have been downright cheap the last year or so and the screens reproduce much deeper and richer colors (primarily due to the deeper blacks).
So does that mean you have to be stuck with a thick and heavy display if you want High Definition on the cheap? Not really.
If you want the perfect way to get started with HDTV, you should really take a good look at the new slim CRTs. There are a small handful of manufacturers that have been pumping these out such as LG Electronics, Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, and Best Buy’s Insignia brand.
Personally, I happened to stumble across a Samsung TX-S2779H http://www.samsung.com/Products/TV/SlimFitHDTV/TXS2779HXXAA.asp SlimFit at Sams Club for only $399. The deal was so irrisistable that the price was actually $479 at the same Sams Club a couple weeks later.
I’ve had the Slimfit for about a month so far and have been very happy with it. It’s got a wide array of inputs (including HDMI) and a great picture. It also is only about 16 inches deep so it does not require much space. Other people seem to love them as well — turns out that they have a 42% of the CRT marketshare.
If you would like more opinions on Slim CRTs, here are a couple of comments from a post on HDBeat
“I have one of these in my office. I bought it for gaming purposes so I don’t need it to do everything, but for the price it’s pretty cool. It handles all the standard resolutions, and since its a CRT it does bot progressive and interlaced natively… For an $800 set, the input options are pretty good. Built in ATSC, two component, one HDMI, two S-Video/4 Composite. It also includes a Toslink output for digital audio included in ATSC broacasts.
The other upside is this thing is relatively lightweight at 125lbs. For a CRT of this size and picture it beats the heck out of the recent 32” WEGAs that were 200lbs+… All in all, for distances about 4-7 feet, it works for me. Compared to a Samsung LCD I have, the colors, contrast, and brightness are unmatched.
“I went with a CRT as my first HDTV as well. I was concerned with bulbs of the projection TV’s and the burn-in with the plasmas. There was a comfort level for me to go with a CRT. It’s a good first step, and it usually displays non-HD better than the others. These slim ones are great for a first HDTV. Mine is a 34″ widescreen bound for the bedroom eventually, when the 1080p come down in price just a little bit more. The only gripe I have with it is that it has alot of trouble with a HTPC. I’m just now getting ready to try pstrip. The price point looks great for these Samsung TV’s and they would be perfect as 2nd HDTV’s.”
Anyway, I think if you give the Slim CRTs a good look and really compare them to the LCDs and Plasmas in terms of price and quality, you may find yourself quite satisfied. If nothing else, they will help get your feet wet in HDTV and you can save most of your money for another year or two until those LCDs and Plasmas get cheaper and better.
Edit: I just went to Best Buy tonight and saw they actually had my Slimfit TV on sale for $374. They just keep getting cheaper!