Panasonic TC-P50X1 50″ 720p Plasma HDTV

Today I ordered a Panasonic TC-P50X1 720p 50“ Plasma HDTV from

It is a Consumer Reports Best Buy*, which is their highest recommendation. It has great reviews on I’ve seen the 42” 720p version of this in person at CompUSA and I loved the picture. Granted, it was one of the few TVs at that store set with realistic picture settings. Most TVs there were set for very high saturation and general vividity.

I got this TV for $649.00 plus a 5% cashback rebate, which I’m actually pretty confident I’ll get.

Last week I ordered a FiOS DVR, which also provides HDTV service. (They don’t have a DVR that doesn’t provide HDTV service.)

So far, I love having the DVR, as I was confident I would. Last night I watched TT Isle of Man 2009 highlights and Charlie Rose interviewing Warrant Buffett, all recorded on schedule by my FiOS DVR. It costs me $10/mo more than the $5.99/mo my old non-HD tuner was costing me. While I hate paying for cable boxes (I prefer analog to digital cable for this reason) and I’m not a big fan of TV programming in general, I am a believer in making the best of things, so I’ll use the DVR to get the programming i want (Charlie Rose, etc.) and will hopefully enjoy watching movies more with this big screen. It replaces our perhaps 25-inch Sony Trinitron CRT TV, which is working fine.

* Do not confuse Consumer Reports’ “Best Buy” recommendation with the retail store of the same name. One is a classification with a stellar pro-consumer reputation, the other is a retail store with an anti-customer reputation.

24 November 2009 update: I went through difficulty with Dell getting that TV ordered. They canceled the order three times and they never told me why, except that after the first order was placed, they were unable to reach me by phone. Totally weird. In the end, I just went in on a double order with a friend. The TVs arrived at the office today. Boy, those boxes are big.

28 November 2009 update: Here are some customer review links: