Sure, everybody wants a plasma TV, and with prices for basic models hovering around $3000, they seem almost reasonable (to those lucky enough to have a good job these days, anyways). But plasma TVs have inherent problems, such as the fact that they can experience screen burn-in pretty quickly, and the low end models don’t come with tuners and are incapable of true HDTV resolution. For the more discriminating consumer, rear-projecting sets are becoming a better choice — and they’re not your daddy’s rear-projection monster, either.
Take the new RCA Scenium HDLP50W. It’s a rear-projecting set that’s just 16 inches deep (that’s about the same as my 24″ cathode-ray TV) but it has a 50″ screen with full HD compatibility. It uses digital light processing instead of old-style CRT projection for super-sharp images and very good contrast. And there’s no burn-in like plasma TVs. It’s also got..get this… an ethernet port and an internal Windows CE operating system with browser. Now that’s cool. Sure, it’s a lot bigger and weighs 100 lbs, but for this kind of resolition and features you’d pay three times more for an LCD TV. Price is around $3500 on the street. Also available in 60″ model.