Best Buy: Big screen microdisplay TVs

(National) Jan. 24, 2005 - While most ads for electronic products go off the air after the holiday season, commercials for TVs are still flooding the airwaves in anticipation of the Super Bowl. These days everyone wants a big screen.

Rear-projection sets are one option. They have good picture quality, but they take up plenty of room. In stores, you'll see a second option: plasma sets so thin you can hang them on the wall. But, you'll pay a lot. Plasma TVs can cost upwards of $5000.

Consumer Reports just tested a new kind of projection TV that offers a compromise on both size and price. The magazine's Jim Langehennig explains, "The microdisplay sets actually give you a third option. These are cheaper than comparably-sized plasma screens "

And, compared to regular projection sets that can be up to two-feet deep, microdisplays are thinner. That means they can take up half as much floor space.

TV makers use new technologies to trim down these microdisplay sets. Some use Digital Light Processing (DLP) screens. Others use LCD screens.

Testers found picture quality varied widely. Some sets weren't very good, but others were much better with sharper pictures and truer colors.

In the end Consumer Reports top-rated the Samsung HLP-5085-W. It costs $4000 and has very good picture quality. Another plus: it's HD-ready.

by Troubleshooter Judi Gatson

posted 6:00pm by Chris Rees

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