Your guide to buying a Plasma TV for cheap

Akai PDP4290 42-inch Plasma Television Review
MSRP: $3,999

Quick Take:

One of the current champs of value, this cheap plasma TV packs a very impressive picture for DVD watching, and good HD support despite it's 852x480 resolution. With proper setup, the picture and colors of the PDP4290 are actually quite impressive. However, it will require some time to set up since contrast and brightness are significantly off out of the box. Unfortunately, the Akai PDP4290 is not the easiest Plasma to configure, nor is it's user manual overly detailed. However, for those patient enough, there is hardly a cheaper Plasma available, especially one that offers as good of a picture as the PDP4290 does.


- Excellent overall picture quality with DVD and HD signal sources
- Lifelike colors once settings have been properly tweaked

- Above average brightness, blacks and contrast ratio
- One of the best budget Plasmas, with a price that can hardly be beat


- Somewhat disappointing , grainy picture quality from standard definition, broadcast signals, as well as TiVo.
- A display in every sense of the word, the Akai PDP4290 lacks a tuner, speakers, and many of the digital converting features of more expensive Plasmas.
- Setup can be time consuming, since picture quality is less than perfect out of the box
- No DVI or HDCP input