Plasma Cool

A plasma TV has become one of the most desirable items on the planet, and owning one confers a certain amount of social status. Case in point: a friend of mine recently visited the palatial Long Island house of a certain hip-hop star, who had hung more than twenty of the things on his (presumably gold-plated) walls. And I recently installed a plasma screen in a much more modest New Jersey home - the hungry look of the owner turned to sweet satisfaction as he watched me set up, then turn on, his new prize. From left to right, Sony's KDE-42XBR950 ($8,000), LG's DU-42PZ60 ($4,500), and Panasonic's TH-42PX20U/P ($6,500).

The dark images of the horror flick Gothika provided a wealth of shadows to challenge the display capabilities of these plasma TVs.
The three plasma screens I tested here - Sony's KDE-42XBR950 ($8,000), Panasonic's TH-42PX20U/P ($6,500), and LG's DU-42PZ60 ($4,500) - are each company's current top-of-the-line 42-inch (diagonal) plasma HDTV and have enough style to cause double-takes from visitors in the Hamptons, let alone in Middlesex, New Jersey. While the list prices may seem high, you can usually buy them for less. PDF: Features Checklist