The Day The AV Dream Died, Cont.

So, I bought a Panasonic VIERA TC-P65GT30 65-Inch 1080p 3D Plasma HDTV to replace the defunct Mitsubishi. In Spring 2012 it sold for about mid-$1,800, but it cost a little over $3,300 just a year ago. In another few months it will probably be even less.

In 2014, this can be yours for $9.99, free shipping included

There used to be a time when cool early adopters were the ones who paid a premium to get the latest tech. Now it’s just the reckless and needy that overpay. But I can’t complain about the GT30 picture. Panasonic was smart enough to include a THX display mode with the set that locks in the colors deep and tight, with very good black levels.

But it's not a good daytime TV. When the sun blasts into the room, you have to crank the brightness way up, which defeats the whole purpose of using a proper calibration. If holding such a contradictory thought hurts your brain, switch Hi Def political allegiance, buy a super-bright LED HDTV and enjoy an afternoon Tea Party.

And what about 3D Blu-ray playback on the GT30? You really want to drop $400-$500 on a family bagful of extra cost Panasonic 3D glasses for that occasional multidimensional fantasy? Use all that play-dough to instead take out the family and maybe a few happy neighbors to a slew of good IMAX 3D movies, then use the ample left over change for some promotional tie-in Happy Meals. At least the toy you got might be worth something on eBay in thirty or forty years.

The GT30 offers a wide range of streaming services and Net applications and is quite good in that respect. Of some entertainment value is a Panasonic app that wirelessly keeps track of your weight and graphs it over time when you separately purchase the Withings Wi-Fi Body Scale ($159). Now the whole family can howl in derisive laughter as your utter lack of willpower is displayed in stunning Hi Def.

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