Screwed Inconvenienced By Best Buy!

Having just moved this past spring, I have been postponing replacing the giant 36" Sony (way heavy) XBR tube with a lighter, thinner flat panel display — until all the contractors and painters were done.

Panasonicth50pz77u_2Well, they are finally out of the house, so I started looking in earnest for a big HDTV.

Mrs. Big Picture won’t let me pull the trigger on the Pioneer Elite screen I desire; "Its a tee-vee, for cying out loud," she protests. Unlike me, she is far too reasonable to spend that much money on a piece of glass. I, being unreasonable, already have a standing order for the new M3. She has no idea — but now I know she doesn’t read the blog as much as she claims to.

But I digress.

So I had to narrow it down to something quote "more reasonable" unquote than the Pioneer. I’ve been leaning towards plasma (not rear projection or LCD), and preferably 1080 (not 720).

Then this weekend, an effective resolution of the price/quality balance popped up: The front page of the Best Buy (BBY) circular showed the Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U at $1799.*  Its a good name brand (Panasonic), its true HD, 1080 dpi, and it has garnered good reviews. Lets just get it over with and go and buy the damn thing, (I’ll get the Pioneer Elite as soon as someone offers me 7 figures for the blog).

An ideal compromise.

Or so I thought.

We get to the store, and — Damn! — this this sign greets us on the front door of the Best Buy:

"On the front cover of the 9/23 Best Buy ad insert, we mistakenly priced the 50" Panasonic TH-50PZ77U (8501711) at $1799, before $90 savings. We intended to advertise the 42" Panasonic TH-42PZ77U (8501757) at $1799, before $90 savings. Best Buy will not be honoring this price on the 50" Panasonic TH-50PZ77U (8501711).

Best Buy apologizes for any inconvenience and will offer a $100 Instant Rebate on all Plasma Televisions this week. This Instant Rebate will be reflected in online and in-store prices, and will be reduced from regular sale prices."

How much is the actual price of the Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U st Best Buy?  Oh, about $1,100 more than the advertised price — $2899!  THAT’S $100 OVER MFR LIST!

If a company like Best Buy is not going to honor even their own
advertised prices, why should anyone expect them to honor the so-called
price matching policies?


Gee, I don’t think I’ll be shopping in Best Buy very much in the future . . .

As to the Plasmas, any one have any specific ideas or suggestions?

I am thinking about getting the 42" TH-42PZ77U and eventually moving it into the master bedroom when the Pioneer finally shows up . . .

What say ye?



*Do not confuse the PX77 with the PZ77. Here’s where things get obnoxious in electronics land: Sets with nearly identical model numbers are very dissimilar. The TH-50PX77U is one letter off from the TH-50PZ77U — but its 720 dpi, not 1080.

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  1. bucky katt commented on Sep 24

    I say short the bastards!
    I shorted CC (Circuit City) for never having a dvd in the system at the advertised price, and have enjoyed the profit.
    (and zero traffic in visits to the stores)

  2. doug commented on Sep 24

    don’t go cheap; buy what makes you happy. if you overpay, at least you’re happy. go cheap and you’ll be miserable ’cause you didn’t get want you wanted, and that’s like tossin’ money out the car window…

  3. jg commented on Sep 24

    Save the planet, sir; get an LCD. Unless you have Superman vision, you’ll be quite happy with the blacks-being-black, and will be saving on your electric bills.

    I could not be happier with my Phillips LCD (only 36″, though).

  4. patient renter commented on Sep 24

    I think plasma is a good choice, but personally, I’m not impressed enough with 1080p versus 720p or 1080i to suck up the price difference.

  5. Brian B. commented on Sep 24


    I have both end of the spectrum. Bought a 50″ Samsung plasma 4 or 5 years ago for $8500.00. then just bought a 42″ LCD 1080 Vizio from Costco 2 months ago for $1000.00. Honestly the vizio looks a bit better. Go cheap save your money, from 4 feet or farther from the screen you cant tell the difference. besides less money in now, and you can afford an upgrade in a couple of years. P.S. dont you run a hedge fund or something? Didnt think Mrs. big picture would care about a few bucks, especially since its a write off… :) good luck B..

  6. scorpio commented on Sep 24

    agree w Costco but i went w the Phillips LCD and i am thrilled

  7. Michael commented on Sep 24

    Barry, if you move quickly, you should be able to take that ad to a BestBuy competitor (circuit city?), that has a policy of matching prices. I suspect they will figure out the mistake soon, but it’s worth a try.

  8. SubprimeGuy commented on Sep 24


    I would definitely go with Costco, or some other low cost tv retailer. The caveat to that would be to check the return policy. Costco no longer honors the non-expiring no questions return policy on tv’s but they still offer 90 days which is considerably longer than most. is a great site for tracking prices across various websites (it even calculates shipping if you use a zipcode).

    In any case stay far away from Best Buy and Circuit City…. they are complete rip off’s in my opinion.

    Also, and I noticed the tv you want has anti-glare so maybe this specific plasma doesn’t have that problem, but I wouldn’t underestimate the benefit to having no glare on an LCD player. My cousin got a 50 inch plasma screen with a great picture, but that glare from the sliding glass door across the room was almost unbearable.

  9. lux commented on Sep 24

    Under 42″ definitely go LCD.

  10. Bill commented on Sep 24

    I recently replaced our 20 year old tv with the 42 inch Panasonic 1080 for the price that you mention from BBy. It gives a fantastic picture with my Radio shack antenna. I thought that the price was fine, but I see your point expecting a bigger model based on the ads.

  11. Gustavo commented on Sep 24

    There is no margin in those products…why should they sell it to you and 1000s of others at about $400-$500 below cost? Typos happen.

  12. Ron commented on Sep 24

    Better read up on the new ‘backlight’ models coming out in a few months supposed to be a technology leap

  13. bob mcmanus commented on Sep 24

    $100 over manufacturer’s list?

    Could this have anything to do with the dollar? I am connected to electronics by job and pleasure, and am worried about import prices. Should I get the ram & harddrives now rather than in six months?

  14. brig commented on Sep 24

    Yeah and you’ll be able to pick up that M3 for 20K.

    Be a year or two before you can get a 50″ 1080p Plasma for 1800.

    I have 2 Panasonic 42″ 720P plasmas, great sets. Don’t think 1080P will be worth it for another few years. If you’re planning to get another set in a year or so, save some money and get 720P.

  15. Sandy commented on Sep 24

    Got the 60 inch Pioneer PDP-6010FD from J&R and it is verrrrrrry nice. Paid about $5K. How much TV do you watch? I have two young kids, so the husband and I don’t go out too much so it is our only real form of entertainement these days. I could think of it as about 25 “dinner and a movie”s that will last me quite a few years. I also have a 32 inch Sony LCD which is very nice too. Whatever you do, don’t go so cheap as to make you kick yourself for the next five years every time you turn it on.

  16. 42 commented on Sep 24

    how about turning off the goddam tv and reading a book? it’s all rubbish anyway.


    BR: If you peruse the blog, you will see I read quite a few books (and other sources).Oh, and I write quite a bit as well.

    In my down time (I do have down time), the big screen will primarily be for movies, sports, Entourage, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Dr. Who.

    And, of course, the Bladerunner movie, when it comes out.

  17. Winston Munn commented on Sep 24

    I’m still trying to understand the desire to own a T.V. – did someone resurrect The Honeymooners or is this just the 90’s again where the most toys wins?

  18. dimitris commented on Sep 24

    Have you considered a projector instead? It may or may not be “true” HD, but nothing else gets you the “private cinema” feeling a projector (and good surround sound) does.

    And it should be cheaper, too.

  19. vijay commented on Sep 24

    I have a 50″ Pioneer in my living room. I have a 50″ Vizio from Costco in the bonus room. The Vizio is just fine.

  20. P. Lumumba commented on Sep 24

    Not too long ago the NYT ran an article advising anyone in the market for a flat screen TV to wait ’til after Xmas to get the best deal. If you can wait that long…

  21. wunsacon commented on Sep 24

    I’ll second Brian B.’s Costco-Vizio recommendation. If I recall correctly from my visit on the weekend, the 1920x1000p 42″ model was about $1200. The 48″ wasn’t too much more expensive either.

    Winston, do you never watch any movies or TV? $1500 for an item that lasts many years doesn’t seem like a lot.

    >> did someone resurrect The Honeymooners ?

    Yes. Over and over and over again. :-)

  22. Damian commented on Sep 24

    I’m thinking I need to start a market blog – the new M3? Sweet. Screw the TV.

  23. mdcphilly commented on Sep 24

    May I suggest checking out a five-star-rated online store like this shop. If you call their sales people, they are very knowledgeable too. They have a good rating at nextag.

  24. LEE commented on Sep 24

    SCREWED? You better have a better story than that. Minor inconvenience is not being screwed.


    BR: Okay, I will change the name of the post to “Inconvenienced By” . . .

  25. bostonian commented on Sep 24

    I second the projector. Pulled the trigger a few months ago, and it beats the pants off the big, fragile, flat screens other people have. Also, a really excellent picture. You can get 720p for less than $1K, 1080p for $3K.

  26. Grodge commented on Sep 24

    Good to hear there’s no stagflation in the Ritholtz household. Keep stimulating that economy!

    (BTW, projectors are great and affordable.)

  27. Winston Munn commented on Sep 24


    I was being facetious. I am quite the believer it live and let live and to each his own.

    Personally, I watch almost zero t.v. Movies play on any old set.

    However, I have had to purchase some of these made-in-anywhere-but-the-U.S products – good luck on the many years of use. My last two microwaves have lasted less than 6 months each. :-)

  28. yoshi commented on Sep 24

    So – how were you screwed by Best Buy? A mistake in the circular? I’m sorry – if you are going to jump to emotional irrational conclusions like that how can we buy the rest of what you write about?

    Saying that – go to costco…

  29. J’adoube commented on Sep 24

    Haven’t had an idiot box in seven years. Now, I spend my time on nutty stuff like reading, exercising, talking with my family and friends, and occasionally responding to self-indulgent blog posts.

  30. Rick commented on Sep 24

    I have never understood the magazine articles talking about how great Best Buy is. The one near me is staffed with idiots.

    I have a 2-year old Panasonic plasma, it’s excellent. We just bought a Vizio LCD for our vacation home, and at half the price of the Panasonic, it also looks great. If you want to save a lot of cash, get the Vizio. If you can spend more, the Panasonics are great.

  31. rnola commented on Sep 24

    I have the 8th gen panasonic and it has been flawless. Bad news is that for 9th even the online retailer at is at 2699. Also have the last gen m3 cabrio – it is and has been almost perfection to the eye and the driver. With the new bmw’s I catch myself asking if the car looks right. My car when driven close to the limit is predictable however when at 10 10ths the dts is a must. Sticking the 8 cyl in it is some form of pagan heracy as well as cowering to the audi and mercedes gruop think. Read that article again – the thing wont stay in control. Same articles post on the 911 turbo. I have friends who cant get away from me in rs4’s with awd because of the scary oversteer. If you want to go fast in a straight line buy a mustang – if you want to drive like the cars were meant to, buy a 6 cyl used M and live to tell about it.

    03 m3 forever

  32. KT commented on Sep 24

    Listen to your wife and keep the giant 36″ Sony until it dies. By then you will probably be able to pick up a slightly used 50 inch Plasma at the neighbors forclosure garage sale.

  33. Schnauser commented on Sep 24

    whatever you get, buy it and have it shipped to you, at a great price by New York Powersellers. I don’t watch sports, so going with an LCD was a no brainer. (sony XBR3)

  34. Jeremiah commented on Sep 24


    My recommendation is not to buy plasma technology screens – go with DLP instead. It’s easier on the eyes, creates a better picture (IMHO). The big drawback to DLP’s is the bulbs can be expensive to replace, HOWEVER, your eyes will thank you for this investment.



  35. s0mebody commented on Sep 24

    If you don’t get at least a 52″ 1080p tv with an HDMI port, you will definitely be pwned by teh halo 3 n00bs. Old guys need all the help they can get.

  36. mla commented on Sep 24

    Why plasma over LCD, Barry?

    I’m leaning toward LCD due to the lower power requirements and heat dissipation, but I don’t have any firm numbers to back that up.

  37. joe commented on Sep 24

    LCD use less power than Plasma sets in the 40″ ranges where I did my shopping.

    LCD are brighter than Plasma sets so bright rooms favor LCD. LCD do not reflect light like Plasma models often do.

    LCD Motion blurring is being addressed in newest models like the toshiba models and blacks are getting deeper. ( I own a new toshiba 42″ LCD)

    Plasma have better viewing angle and large Plasma sets have the “WOW” factor in the right room.

    Consumer reports best quick Plasma picks are:
    “• Panasonic TH-50PX75U , $1700
    • Panasonic TH-50PZ700U , $2900

    The top-rated Panasonic makes the most of its 1080p resolution, reproducing the finest detail in HD content, with rich, vibrant colors and deep blacks. It’s among the best TVs of any type that we’ve ever tested. Its 720 sibling also does just about everything right, and with typical cable and satellite programming, you’d be hard-pressed to see much difference. It offers outstanding picture quality likely to please you, and for a lot less money. Neither model has separate RGB-level adjustments, which are available on many sets, but color accuracy was fine. The only case in which these sets might not be the best choice would be in a very bright setting, where the picture might not be quite as bright as an LCD set (assuming both are in the standard or normal viewing mode).”

    Recommend looking for Online discounts with retailers like circuit city with in store pickup. Can offer 100-150 discount on sale price for an on-line purchase and in store pick up.

  38. Dave commented on Sep 24

    Find a “Star Power” outlet. You’ll be glad you did.

    Not associated with afore mentioned in any way, other that they got my money.

  39. KnotRP commented on Sep 25

    Costco is the way to go…they have them side by side, running the same show, for easy comparision.
    LCD is somewhere around half the power consumption of Plasma, and lighter/easier for a person to mount on the wall.
    LCD speeds are approaching Plasma, but Plasma has slight edge for action/sports (rapid movement).
    LCD has a bright flourescent tube that’ll keep the wife up, if you move it to the bedroom…which brings up the 42″ Vizio…the one I bought has a hum-through-the-speakers problem if you turned the backlight down below the default 90 level. So if it’s going to end up in the bedroom, and it’s an LCD, make sure you can turn it down the backlight without any speaker hum. I read somewhere that a simple resistor can be soldered onto the speaker to kill the hum, but I haven’t got around to trying it.

    A good friend has the panasonic 50″…loves it.

    Happy shopping…keep the economy going, BR.

  40. BayAreaGuy commented on Sep 25

    These turkeys at Best Buy took over, the best internet provider I’d ever used — now they suck. Like you I’d already had bad experiences at Best, and after Best bought Speakeasy in the spring, I knew the service would go downhill but didn’t realize how fast. In late May I moved two blocks. Even though I’d given them 3 weeks prior notice, more than 3 more weeks after the move the idiots in customer service still couldn’t figure out how to transfer my DSL service or even how to get a ticket properly set up with the phone company to resolve it, after at least a dozen phone calls. What do you expect from idiot managers who fired most of their experienced help and hired a bunch of inexperienced airheads? As a last resort, on a hunch I called Covad who actually had the subcontract for my DSL; even though I didn’t have an account with them, they put in a half hour researching it, and figured out that the problem was an incorrectly-placed order with the Telco by Speakeasy. I cancelled my Speakeasy contract on the spot and switched to Covad, service has been great ever since.

  41. Tom S. commented on Sep 25

    I’m embarrassed that so many thoughtful guys spend so much time on a Friday night thinking about tee-vees and not a single mention of football on HD.

    Wow! What are you watching that costs $100+ a month for the fancy screen and cable/DTV?

  42. patski commented on Sep 25

    get a DLP projector and write it off as a “power point” presentation device.. a bidness expense….. ;)

  43. Red PIll commented on Sep 25

    I’m with you 42.

    By the way, what is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?

  44. Alex commented on Sep 25

    my brother-in-law and I went to J&R earlier this year to buy a new TV. we ended up driving away with this:
    Samsung LNT4665F 46″ 1080p LCD HDTV

    The guy at J&R said that plasma’s aren’t as good because if you watch a lot of tv where there is a logo or something in the bottom, the image will get burned into the display. Though I have to admit that in the store, the plasma displays seemed a little more vibrant.

    But this TV is just amazing. He said that when he finally installed the high-end cables and turned on an HD channel, the baby sitter’s first words were “motherf*cker.”

    I’ve never seen such a sharp looking image on a TV before. I absolutely recommend that you look into this one. The price tag should be lower than the one listed on amazon; I don’t remember him paying nearly that much.

    oh, and J&R is way better than Best Buy

  45. sk commented on Sep 25

    Nope. not screwed. the error was corrected at the door and on the website. Mistakes happen; do you feel it was a bait and switch ? I won’t buy plasma so I don’t know the pricing and if the cognoscenti would regard the price as too good to be true – was it a phenomenal deal or just a good bargain in your eyes ?


  46. shirt commented on Sep 25

    I bought a hitachi 1080i but am using only the low def mode… Have had it for 9 months. It works well for me. One thing that surprised me is that I bought the 42″ but nearly went for the 50″ Bad mistake. 50″ would’ve swamped out the living room.

    Make a cardboard cut-out and place it where you think you want it. Then calculate the cost of furniture around it…

  47. KirkH commented on Sep 25

    Unless you’re getting a 60+ inch tele-beast you probably won’t notice a difference between 1080i/p and 720p. In fact, the hi-def signal is probably the bottle neck in picture quality at this point (HD-DVD/BlueRay not withstanding).

    50” 720p Plasmas are probably the best bet right now. My buddy found one on NewEgg for $1400 on sale.

    You can pay $2,000 more for a 1080p but I’d personally spend it on M3 upgrades.

  48. VJ commented on Sep 25

    I, being unreasonable, already have a standing order for the new M3.

    I had a previous generation M3. I’ve soured on the new Bimmers, they’re starting to kinda look like Pontiacs to me.

    The sexiest vehicle I’ve seen in person lately is this DB9. I was so taken by it, my girl is STILL jealous.

  49. wunsacon commented on Sep 25

    Doh. Sorry for that prior offtopic plug for an underpowered, linux-based computer of little use to most of you fellow TBP readers. It’s the wine talking. (Well, that and the fact that the laptop is soo cuute!)

  50. KirkH commented on Sep 25

    Can’t speak for the DB-9 but I drove a DB-7 and a Ferrari 360 Spider. I’d take the DB-7 in a heartbeat.

    Sex on wheels:

    tekel I’m going to appeal to authority “(CNET’s) Senior Editor David Katzmaier, reports that the extra sharpness afforded by the 1080p televisions he’s seen is noticeable only when watching 1080i sources on a larger screen. Comparing a 50-inch 1080p DLP set to a 50-inch 720p DLP set, for example, he says you’ll be hard-pressed to notice more detail with 1080i sources, especially from farther than 8 feet away. Even if you can see the difference, it will be much less obvious than, say, the difference between DVD and 720p HDTV.”

    I’m not saying it isn’t a bit better looking, just maybe not worth twice the price.

  51. bullishbrontops commented on Sep 25

    You are under orders to narrow it down to something “more reasonable”? Really? As if anything less than the best picture quality is acceptable on your primary screen when you’ve got the bread to spend? You do get what you pay for…

    We have multiple 1080P Sony LCDs and the Pioneer Elite 50″ blows them all away so totally there is simply no comparison, *especially* for sports and fast action. There is no “ghosting” that you get with LCDs and the color and blacks are by far the best of any TV.

    Combine that with Blu-Ray (I recommend the Pioneer here as well for its DVD upsampling)and you’ll need to pick your jaw up off the living room floor. Spend the money dude…it’s worth it.

  52. bullishbrontops commented on Sep 25

    Oh yeah, the DB-9 over the M3 *for sure* as well.

  53. speedlet commented on Sep 25

    Barry —

    As it turns out, I’ve been considering the same purchase.

    I’ve done a lot of research, and the consensus is that Pioneer is better across the board than Panasonic. Think about other Pioneer models, such as the PDP-5080HD, before you get a Panasonic.

    A Pioneer Elite 1140HD will set you back $2500 (delivery included) if you buy it on the internet. It’s 720p, but the image quality is superior to anything else you can get at that price point. The difference between 720 and 1080 are discernable only if you’re sitting closer than five feet.

    Some online retailers even offer the top-of-the-line Elite PRO-FHD1, which is 1080p, for $2999 all in. The one catch is that the PRO-FHD1 doesn’t come with a stand or tuner, so you’ll have to shell out extra for those if you need them.

    The upside of purchasing on the internet: no sales taxes or delivery costs, which saves you about $300-400. Downside: the manufacturer’s warranty is usually void, but you can usually return a defective product to the retailer.

    You can comparison shop these models on CNET.

  54. joe commented on Sep 25

    “KirkH- I definitely notice the difference between 720p and 1080i. That’s the problem- and that’s why progressive-scan players exist, and why 1080p is mandatory.“”

    In ConsumerReports HD TV tests, the top rated Toshiba 42″ 720 and 1080p scored the same for HD (1080p) content. The sets also score the same for DVD and SD content. Even at 50″, where the added resolution can mean more, 720p do very well.

    CR tests factor in color, blacks and viewing from living room distances so the added pixels don’t translate into a better picture given other image attributes also impact picture quality.

    720p TVs continue to perform very well in CR tests with 1080p Blu-ray content.

  55. RugbyD commented on Sep 25

    get a Samsung or Sony 1080p LCD. They source from the same panel-maker and are the best screens out there right now. Screen size should be dependent on how far away from the TV the viewer will be. A 46 or 52-inch will look like crap relative to a 40 if you’re too close.

  56. bucky katt commented on Sep 25

    Seems everyone has an opinion on a television set.
    I agree with many posters, Costco is the place to buy a high end tele.

  57. bruce Banister commented on Sep 25

    Barry, I recently did a lot of research on plasma and finally bought a 50″ Panasonic, the 600 something or other. It is 720, not 1080 dpi, you can’t tell the difference. It is a great tv. Has 31 watts of power instead of 20. Check out Pricegrabber for the lowest prices, I got it from 6th ave photo in nyc for 1550, delivery included! It is even a bit cheaper now.

  58. Pool Shark commented on Sep 25

    Unless you really have to have a 50″, go with the Panny, you won’t regret it. I have an earlier incarnation of the 42″ TH-42PZ77U which I installed about three years ago in a 28′ x 18′ great room. It’s plenty big for the space. (The guys who insist on 50″ and 60″ screens are also usually the guys who drive Hummers and live in McMansions; they’re compensating for something…

    The Panny has the blackest background with the crispest picture you can find. Mine has worked flawlessly for three years; I love it.

    If you don;t believe me, and like to research things yourself; her’e the quintissential spot for doing so:

    At the AVS forums, you can learn more about A/V equipment and software than you will ever want to know; the guys who post to this site know their s***.

    btw, don’t buy a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player yet; the format war still has a long fight ahead. You don’t want to get stuck holding a Betamax when the rest of the world has gone to VHS…

  59. big john commented on Sep 25

    Like the Panasonic 50″ plasma but don’t like the price?

    Look at the HP re-badge version.
    PL5072N is the 50″ plasma. $1799 on the web site.

    Go to Panasonic and HP sites and check detail technical specs. They are EXACTLY the same. I laugh whenever Panasonic wins one comparison in Consumer Reports and HP wins the next.

    I have had the HP version for 9 months.
    Awesome picture (CBS football games are better than being there if you can put up with that jingle they play every 12 seconds/2 downs which ever comes first).
    And they pay for shipping and uncrating in your home.

    Replaced a 6 month old 32″ Phillips hdtv tube TV. No comparison.

    Add a Satillite HDTV signal and a quality 5:1 sound processor via a digital audio cable and your wife will go ga-ga. My wife thought I was crazy until she saw the picture. Then upgrade your dvd player to upconvert to 1080i.
    30 year old movies come to life.

  60. KP commented on Sep 25

    Mmmm, M3.

    What color?

    As for the oversteer…can’t that be fixed with some extra rubber and maybe some suspension tweaks? Doesn’t make the car less appealing to me!

  61. Anonymous Coward commented on Sep 25

    This is absolutely unbelievable, Barry.

    You’re actually watching the new “Dr. Who”?

  62. joe commented on Sep 25


    The Pioneer is like a rounding error on the M3, I’m sure the sport kit you surely upgraded to costs more than the tv. There’s just no reason to compromise.

  63. paul futher commented on Sep 25

    I use the following Panasonic plamsma:
    Personally I cannot recommend LCD for anything above 35″. The image is very very bright, almost hurts the eyes. Then there is the albeit slight, but noticeable drag in the picture. I think some people call it ghosting. Its slight sure, but its still there and its annoying.
    My 2 cents.

  64. L’Emmerdeur commented on Sep 25

    I’m a gadget person, and I do my research before I buy such items.

    I spoke to a lot of people and did a lot of research (best site for info is, btw). Here’s the deal:

    Pioneers are the best you can buy, and if they work perfectly, you are set. In the rare case you have issues, good luck: their customer service is molasses.

    Panasonic are excellent TVs, but where they really rock is customer service. I got the 50″ plasma last year (the 500U model, with all the bells and whistles), and I’m very happy with it, to the point where I got partners at the fund to get the same one, and equipped our new trading room with one as well. I especially like that it renders non-HD content quite well.

  65. JDG commented on Sep 25

    I also recommend LCD or DLP over plasma. Either will last longer than plasma. The DLPs are nice, not too heavy like the tubes, and a little cheaper than LCDs. Definitely get 1080 with at least a 10,000 to 1 contrast ratio. Try too. Some models they’ll give you free shipping… Best of luck! — JDG

  66. TP commented on Sep 25

    I have been pretty happy with my Sharp Aquos.

  67. Michael Donnelly commented on Sep 25

    Bought a lightweight 50 inch DLP Samsung 720p from Circuit City for $1799 in June 2006. Depth of the TV was not an issue for me as gas fireplace creates a monster space above it.

    It is on sale right now for $999.
    (BTW: there’s your -0.1% CPI)

    Anyway, 720p on a 50 inch screen is awesome, however it only works if you have a long narrow room. I’ve got it over the fireplace so functionally its a 20×50 room as it serves as the family room and kitchen TV.

    You do lose brightness on a DLP, so consider how wide your room is. Otherwise DLP is fantastic bang for buck, Verizon FIOS HDTV is unreal.

    Oh one downside, I routinely turn down requests to go over my friends houses to watch Football, once you go HD, you don’t go back.


  68. Michael Donnelly commented on Sep 25

    sorry, you lose brightness on the DLP as you move too far left and right. straight on and within a relatively narrow width the picture is awesome.

  69. darius commented on Sep 25

    Did lots of research on Plasma/LCD and from everything I can find the Samsung gets some of the best reviews. many people prefer it to the Panasonic models and it gets very favorable reviews on the videophile websites which I trust more then consumer sites. I also did personal compares at a local stores and found the Samsung screens to have excellent picture quality. I purchased a 19″ Samsung LCD LNT1953H for the bedroom to check it out and it looks incredible. Getting ready to pull the trigger on a 46″ LCD or 50″ Plasma. Some of the best prices I could are now at

    Take a quick look on at the:
    Samsung LCD 46″ LNT4661F 1080p $1984 free shipping and no tax
    Samsung Plasma 50″ HPT5054 720p $1549 free shipping and no tax
    Samsung Plasma 50″ FP-T5084 1080p $2301 free shipping and no tax

  70. Lord commented on Sep 25

    Costco is the place and Vizios are such bargains you can replace it in a year or two if you want. The picture is mesmerizing. Just wish it had two tuners for PIP.

  71. stan commented on Sep 25

    Your response should have been to take the ad to a competitor that matches prices and hammer out a deal. I did that once on a “mis-price” … it worked!

  72. John Rogers commented on Sep 25

    I enjoy your blog a lot. I bought a VIZIO at Sam’s club. Less than 1300 with a 4 year extended warrenty. Great picture at 1/2 what Best Buy wanted. I felt that I could try it for a year then buy a even better unit than if I were to spend the 3000 now.

  73. Paul commented on Sep 25

    Costco has 2 50 inch panasonic plasma’s for under $1600

    Back in April I went in to get a $1500 50″ Panasonic from Costco, but decided it was just too big for my sf apartment. I ended up getting a 42″ Vizio plasma for $999 and have loved it ever since. The most important thing for me was more then one HDMI input (cheaper models often have one) and this one had two. Plus costco extends the manufactures warranty to two years.

  74. Eclectic commented on Sep 25

    “Gee, I don’t think I’ll be shopping in Best Buy very much in the future . . .”

    Oh suurrrre… Yeah… riiighhhttt.

    They have something you want and the minute they do, you’ll be down to the store tonguing the door handles until they open.

  75. flincinc commented on Sep 26

    I just researched monitors for the first time in about 4 years last week! I am still using my 1984 NAD TV with a current NAIM audio system. I have been waiting for something that I would not have inclinations to upgrade to in a short time. (See my problem: I do not want to want). As my room has lots of windows with no shades, plasma is out because of reflections. I need max light and no glass, which leaves an LCD. When I view images from the other technologies in the stores that require bouncing light off of mirrors, it gives me headaches: the image is just not sharp enough for my brain–it tries to search for something sharper along edges when it is not there, and the stress causes headaches. The biggest LCD is the 65″ Sharp. Follow the thread here for an amusing read: And my AV guy says the following about the HD DVD situation: My recommendation about
    players is buy an inexpensive Sony Blu-Ray (c. $400.00) now. Make
    sure that it has analog audio out for connection of audio to the Naim
    preamp. If the Blu Ray only has digital connections, then you will
    have to run an HDMI to the tv and run analog out back to the preamp.
    It will work but sound quality will be compromised by the cheap
    processors in the tv. Denon is
    releasing what will probably be the best Blu-Ray players for the
    money, with serious video and sound quality: $1200 to $1999.00.
    Release dates are December.
    Hopefully after Xmas the price on the Sharp 65″ LCD will come down, and I will do it and not look back for a long time!

  76. Matilde commented on Sep 26

    Let me ‘third’ the recommendation of a projector instead of a giant plasma or LCD if ‘big picture’ is what you want (intentional pun there). They are cheaper, take up a lot less space, and there’s really nothing like that cinematic experience. I spent $900 for an Optoma DV11 for my apartment. I usually only watch Netflix, but you can also plug in your cablebox, laptop, just about everything expect the microwave. The only drawback is that they don’t work as well in ambient light so you may need a dedicated room if you watch a lot of TV during the day (I don’t).

  77. Michael commented on Sep 26

    As a member of Best Buy’s rewards program, they actually proactively mailed me a notice of the misprint. And that’s what it is, a misprint. I am glad you changed the name of the post. You were inconvenienced by best buy. Since you were shocked by them selling $100 over list, you must have known that they weren’t selling that TV for $1000 UNDER list.

  78. Barry Ritholtz commented on Sep 26

    I saw the Sony KDL-40XBR2 40″ Bravia XBR 1080p LCD HDTV at PC Richards for $1899 — really nice set — then I noticed it was $1759 at Amazon, free shipping, no tax . . .

  79. the unknown patent lawyer commented on Sep 26

    I got a Samsung 46″ 1080p LCD recently, and am very very happy. Great color, 15,000:1 contrast ratio, great off-angle viewing, and a sleek design. Bought through Amazon, free shipping and no tax as you say, and paid about $700 less than BB wanted.

  80. Phil R commented on Dec 25

    I have had the exact same thing happen to me, with different products, twice at Future Shop (owned by Best Buy in Canada).

    It could be an honest mistake, or an underhanded way of getting people into the store. They should be more careful with false advertising.

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