By Gary Merson
(11/25/2009) The HD Guru evaluated all TVs listed, comparing them to the competition in order to verify top performance. Not surprisingly, all models making the cut are name brands, in order to assure you of excellent reliability and readily available parts and service, both during and after the warranty period in the unlikely event service becomes necessary. Here are the winners, listed in no particular order. The last five are also posted on Gizmodo.com, where HD Guru appears as a guest contributor.
The S1 LCDs feature PanasonicÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Alpha IPS panel that produces a very wide viewing angle (for LCD), along with Full HD 1080p resolution and 120 Hz Motion Flo circuitry, at an affordable price. Its anti-glare (dull finish) panel diffuses reflections from windows or light fixtures, making it a perfect choice for rooms without shades or with bright lamps. Panasonic throws in an SD card viewer to turn these LCDs into big picture frames. The TC-L32S1 is available at Amazon line for $524.70.Ã‚Â The 37″ TC-L37S1 sells at Amazon for $623.52 Now $601.77.
LG LH 20 Series
Unlike other price leaders, LGÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s entry level 720p LCD LH 20 series sport high end features including 24p input (for Blu-ray disc players), LGÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s IPS (In Plane Switching) wide viewing angle LCD panel, “Picture Wizard” for easy user control adjustment and ISFccc for precise gray scale calibration (with proper test signals, meter and know how). Its anti-glare screen (dull finish) minimizes screen reflections. Available in 19″, 26″ 37″ and 42″ screen sizes. We spotted the 42″ for just $529 at our local dealer.
Samsung B650 Series
The B650 series ads 120 Hz refresh rate to its high contrast LCD panel for improved motion resolution, along with an anti-reflective (shiny finish) screen coating and Internet connectivity. These Samsungs can provide weather, stock and other information via Yahoo widgets, along with Flickr picture services. The 40″ LN40B650 sells online from $977.
Panasonic X1 LCD Series
The X1 LCD series utilize PanasonicÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s IPS 720p panel for superior LCD viewing angles and feature an anti-glare (dull finish) screen coating. The X1s are available in 32″ and 37″ screen sizes, priced (update) locally forÃ‚Â $539.10 and $583.20 $399 and $499 respectively at Amazon
Panasonic G10 Plasma Series
The G10 series takes the same high contrast, high efficiency 1080p Neo PDP panel found in the S1 plasma line and adds THX certification and Panasonic’s VieraCast Internet connectivity. The THX mode provides factory-calibrated settings that produce near-perfect adjustments of all user controls as well as accurate color temperature setting for proper movie and other content reproduction in low ambient light, negating the need to hire and pay for an ISF calibration. VieraCast puts web-based content such as videos, photos, weather and stock information on screen via an easy-to-use interface that can access YouTube, Amazon Video and Picasa. The 42″ TC-P42G10 sells at Electronics Expo for $818.88 or just 21 dollars more than the S1 listed below.
Below are remaining five HDTVs Best Deals as posted on Gizmodo.
We teamed with HD Guru Gary Merson again, this time to find the best TVs under $1000. This economy has really shocked prices. Forget the off-brands. You can now get a top-name good-looking 50″ TV for $700.
Note: Due to the unprecedented price fluctuations seen on TV pricing this week from online retailers, don’t be startled if the prices we brazenly quoted here are offÃ¢â‚¬â€by pennies or by hundreds. The model numbers are there for a reasonÃ¢â‚¬â€so you can check prices yourself when you’re ready to cash out.
Plasma HDTVs provide the best picture performance and these 720p Panasonics are the value champs. Plasma screens have a wider viewing angle than any LCD panel, excellent contrast and color fidelity. The X1s include 600Hz refresh for full motion resolution, an SD card reader for digital photos and an anti-reflective screen coating (the shiny one). Available in 42-inch and 50-inch screen sizes. If you’re going to set it up at a distance of 9 feet or more, it’s almost silly to spend extra for more resolution.
The best deal is the TC-P50X1, a 50 incher selling for $689.98 at Electronics Expo (via Amazon).
The S1s are Panasonic’s least expensive 1080p line to feature its energy saving, high contrast, deep black level Neo PDP plasma technology. In addition to the full 1080 line motion resolution and an anti-reflective screen coating (the shiny one), there’s an SD card reader. If you’re looking for a Full HD 1080p TV with the excellent performance and don’t care about features like internet connectivity or THX-certified picture and sound modes (which the step-up G10 line has), these are the HDTVs for you. Available from 42-inch to 65-inch screen sizes. Under $1,000, your best shot is the TC-P42S1, a 42-inch set now selling for $797.95 at Amazon.
LG’s LH30 is the first step-up from the baseline, maintaining a nice low price but delivering surprisingly good picture quality. This model has a wide-viewing-angle IPS LCD panel, dull-finish anti-glare screen coating (better than the shiny anti-reflective coating at cutting own natural-light reflections, but at a slight cost of contrast), pro color-calibration mode and “Picture Wizard.” They add 1080p resolution and Smart Energy Savings for low power consumption. Offered in a range from 32 inches to 47 inches.
We were impressed to find the 47-inch 47LH30 locally for $900, and on Amazon for $938.15.
The LH40 line adds 120Hz to many below $1000 screen sizes. If that’s something you value, this is your best bet. Everything else here comes in the LH30 line, too. It’s available in screen sizes ranging from 32 inches to 55 inches.
Locally, we spotted a 47-inch 47LH40 for $980, though it was over $1000 on Amazon. The 42-inch 42LH40 may be the best pick: It’s currently $823 on Amazon.
This series represents Samsung’s top 60Hz 1080p HDTVs. They provide excellent overall performance without any of the fancy features found on its higher-end models. They incorporate Samsung’s Touch of Color bezel and its 6ms response time LCD panel, and are available in 32-inch to 52-inch sizes. Currently, the 46-inch LN46B550 is priced at $999 on Amazon.
To learn more about choosing an HDTV please click this link.
Edited By Michael (Grooves) Fremer. If you’re looking for great music to play on your home theater/audio system, check out Michael’s website (link)
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