Hardware Spotlight -- Runco
Granted, the PL-50HDX probably won't be the easiest sell in the C-tailer's arsenal. At an SRP of $16,995, it's a premium product that carries a premium price. And as competing displays get better and better, the premium has to be immediately demonstrable — after all, seeing is believing. In the case of this set, the qualitative advantage is, in my opinion, highly demonstrable I can't imagine anyone not being awed by the picture quality of a properly-calibrated PL-50HDX. If your customer's budget can handle it, this is the one they'll want.
There are some caveats, of course. At 96 pounds, the unit is a real heavyweight, and extra care should be taken, whether wall-mounting or using the optional pedestal feet. At 380 watts of power consumption (1 watt in standby mode), this product's output will also show up in your customer's utility bill. But when the picture's this good, who's complaining?
In an industry where new products and technologies burst onto the market with lightning speed, and get replaced by newer products and technologies even more quickly, the concept of the "classic" is pretty foreign to the A/V world. For this reason, most of the products that earn the distinction do so by raising the bar, rather than outliving the competition. By that definition, the Runco PL-50HDX is an instant classic, and, in my view, the best-performing 50-inch plasma TV currently on the market.
AT A GLANCE:
50-inch, 16x9 plasma display
Outboard Vivix PFP processor/controller
Benchmark-level picture quality