Buy a Panasonic plasma instead.
I am in the process of looking for a 55 inch HDTV to sit over our fireplace. I have a budget of 1500 and have looked at several TV's with the following two as front runners. There are some LG's out there as well but I haven't heard enough about them as in reviews to make an honest decision.
This will be our first LED/LCD TV so I am a noob.
Seating would be about 10-15 foot back with the TV sitting about 5-6 foot up. If 55 is to big for that, other ideas are welcome. This is the first of 2 TV's that I will be buying, I have one for the bedroom and then one for our dedicated theater room.
An 80" panel is the proper size for 10 feet if you want true THX viewing angle. You would also need to drop the panel a couple of feet to stay within the 15 degree rule.
Better picture for the money, but it won't be razor thin like some LED lit LCD sets if that's what you're going for.
TV above the fireplace should be the last resort in my opinion. The viewing height is not good, no matter how you slice it.. just too high for comfortable viewing.
We bought a Samsung 55" LED for this room with a tilting mount. I still have 2 more rooms to furnish with TV's, one being a dedicated theater room, the other is the bedroom.
OMFGGBJ. (oh my friggin good-gravy baby jesus).
a. why do you need a tv in the front/living room? if you're putting one in a theater room and bedroom, then there's no need for one in the living room.
b. you didn't like the plasma picture quality? true, it may have been not set up correctly... but I'm guessing you love the over-processed look of the motion processing "feature" that makes movies (and pretty much anything) look entirely fake.
c. over the fireplace? do you plan on wallpapering your entire interior? 'Cause that's right up there on the most retarded things to do in a home. better go run to IKEA and pick up some of those wavy mirrors while you're at it.
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You might want to take a look at TCL TV's: http://www.tclusa.com/
I saw a 55" TV in Fry's electronics for around $800. They use the same screen parts that are used in the Samsung TV's. The only difference is, they do not have all the bells and whistles that a Samsung TV might have.
Currently, I have the 32" version and picture quality is pretty nice. I have not had a chance to play with the settings that much, but it seems to have all the basics. Overall, it's a nice little TV for under $300.