I ended up buying this TV on Black Friday for under a grand and I am extremely happy with it. There aren't a lot of USER reviews online for this TV so I figured I would be one of the first to step up and write one. If your looking to get results similar to high end SONY or Samsung TVs then don't hold your breathe. Those TVs are 3 grand for a reason, but if your on a budget and looking to buy a HDTV for the first time then you can't go wrong with this one. Another suggestion would be VIZIO, they are also relatively inexpensive and are A GREAT BANG FOR THE BUCK. I would say that this TV is on the same level as Vizio TVs.
Okay, now for performance. As I said I got this on Black Friday so I haven't done all the test but so far I am pleased. I watched a couple of DVDs on it and the color was great. Played some video games and it held up nicely with colors and framerate. All the preset settings are pretty standard but and I recommend tweaking your USER SETTING to the numbers in the cnet link below. Alot of well known internet/magazine editors have reviewed this TV harshly but it is mainly was due to it's original price tag not on it's performance. They just wanted more for what they were paying for. Make no mistake this TV is a STANDARD-BASIC HDTV, no fancy options or advance-nerdy settings. It is basically ready for use out of the box. It has plenty of connection most of them conveniently located on the side of the TV. A nice optical out for premium digital sound. I haven't seen any indications of "washy" colors but I would recommend looking over the following settings and tweaking form there. This is a solid TV and I feel that it is worth every dollar I spent on it. If you can't find it cheaper than it's 1,499 price tag then I suggest going with Vizio's 42 inch TVs. They have nearly indentical specs.
Stick with a warm color temp, it is the closest to "realistic" lighting and matches white to a more daylight feel instead of standard or cool which leave white light looking a bit blueish. Sharpness needs to be turned down since this is HD and it is sharp enough. Only raise sharpness if you notice "softness" around edges or text and even then raise it slightly. Overall I hope this review helps somewhat and I would give this TV an 8/10 since you MIGHT be able to find a better TV based on the standard price tag. (if you get this for under $1000 then I would say 9.5/10)
Thank you, LZ, for your great review. Since I got inspired by LZ ;-), I thought I should put my two cents in.
I got this TV on the Black Friday sale. After reading LZ's review, I went to cNet.com and got the setting for the TV. Much better! I lowered the sharpness to 4 (default is 50) and made it brighter. NOTE: with a high sharpness, all of the signal noise from lower quality signals becomes much more obvious due to the sharpening, but with a low sharpness value, the low quality image looks much better and the true HD video still looks great since it is already very sharp to begin with. As far as HD, it is great. However, not all HD programs and channels are equal. This TV is 1080p, but my DirecTV goes up to only 1080i. (I was recently told that 1080p is better.) The TV seems to take care of the 1080i signal and treat it as 1080p so there is no flickering at all. Some better HD channels like Food Network is 1080i, but others like our local TV stations are still 720p. Some people say that 720p can look better than 1080i, but in my case that is not true. Although the local channels are broadcast at 720p, I think the reason they do not look good is because the original material is for a normal non-HD TV and is not really 720. As long as you sit far enough away from the TV, the low quality video will not be as obvious. You also need to keep in mind that VHS tapes will not look much better. DVDs will not look better either, unless you use the "component video" inputs to the TV. We originally used the normal-def "antennae" inputs for the DVD and it look okay, but when we hooked up the component signals, it look much better - the colors were much clearer and there was almost no "noise" in the picture.
So was I wrong to expect perfectly clear realistic pictures from this TV? Was I naive to belive that all HD channels would shoot out the same super realistic crytal clear pictures? Well, maybe. I might be wondering how great pictures the Samsung and Sony owners might have. But for now I'm happy with my first HD TV.
P.S.- As you might have guessed, most of tech-talk was typed by my husband.