LCD TVs outsold plasmas almost 3 to 1 last year but mainly because LCDs are offered in smaller screen sizes whereas the plasmas start at 37 inches and head upwards. LCD flat screen Tvs have also been more expensive than comparable sized plasma screens but that is slowly changing. LCD televisions are dropping in price for the 40 inch and larger screen sizes making them an even more enticing choice over the plasma tvs. Samsung lcd tvs are definitely the best bet for the consumer as they rate very well for picture quality, sound quality, and color accuracy. Some of the cheaper models from Vizio and Westinghouse are gaining ground on the big brand names who can't compete on price so easily.
LCD vs Plasma. That's the question these days in television sets. There are many reasons why choosing an LCD tv is a better decision than going with a plasma screen. First, LCD tvs are brighter than plasma TVs so if you have a bright room that gets a lot of light, an LCD will show better. The less reflective screens on LCDs means you can watch movies or TV in rooms that get lots of light and still see a nice quality picture (that isn't always true for plasmas). Experts also recommend LCD flat screen tvs for those that want to use the TV as a PC monitor or if you play lots of video games. If you are looking to cut down on energy use, go with the LCD, as plasmas eat up the electricity. The one major drawback to any LCD tv set is the viewing angle which can really effect the quality of the picture you see. In room where people will be watching TV from all different angles, an LCD tv may not be the best choice. Sony and Samsung make the best LCD tvs on the market but manufacturers like Sharp, Vizio, and Westinghouse all have a decent market share and are looking to grow. We hear the question - 1080p or 720p? Most people won't be able to tell the difference between the 2 resolutions on most tv sets. That being said, if you are going to get a larger screen size (50 inch or larger) go with the 1080p. Most major electronics retailers carry all the latest LCD tvs - we prefer Best Buy, but Circuit City and Frys Electronics also carry plenty. Online, you can shop at Amazon.com or BestBuy.com for the best deals. Which LCDs are really the best, we did a little research and read the latest from Consumer Reports, looked at consumer opinions online, and bought one for ourselves. The results are below with pricing, where to buy, and description. BUYING ADVICE - We say Amazon offers the best deals online, view the top selling LCD flat panel tvs here.
Best 1080P 52" LCD TV:
For the second year in a row the Samsung LCD tvs are the leaders of the field. Whether you are searching for a 32-inch model, 40-inch, or 52-inch LCD tv, Samsung has the goods. Bigger seems to better these days with flat screen tvs and our choice for the best 52-inch LCD tv is the Samsung LN52A650 52-Inch 1080p 120 Hz LCD HDTV with Red Touch of Color. The picture quality is superb for HDTV, DVD, and standard definition shows or movies. Samsung does offer a 58-inch model for $3500 but we suggest only going with that model if your room is large enough. I own a 50-inch plasma and it overwhelms the family room I put it in. You can find Samsung LCD Tvs at Circuit City, Best Buy, and online at Amazon.com.
Best Budget 46-Inch LCD Television:
Sony has always been an innovator in electronics and their Bravia series televisions are no different. We consider the Sony Bravia KDL-46S3000 ($1800) to be a real bargain and Consumer Reports recently gave it a "CR Best Buy" award. At 46 inches it's plenty big enough for most rooms and finding a flat screen TV for less than $2000 is not easy. Picture quality on the Sony LCD rates excellent and owners say the viewing angle issue on most LCDs seems less severe on Sony models. BEST - Once again Samsung wins this category with their Samsung LN46A650 46-Inch 1080p 120 Hz LCD HDTV with Red Touch of Color. With full HD 1080p resolution and 120Hz Auto Motion Plus, the picture is amazing and well worth the investment if you like watching HD programming on your cable package. Sports shows are incredible and movies crystal clear.
Top Rated 40 to 42-inch LCD TV:
Once again Samsung wins this category as well with their Samsung LN40A550 40-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV model. At 40 inches in screen size it's perfect for family rooms - if you have a theater room go with the larger model listed above. The Toshiba Regza 42HL67 sells for $1150 and gets a "best buy" rating from Consumer Reports. The good news on these smaller sized LCD flat screen tvs is that pricing is coming down pretty fast and you could be looking at a 30% savings from last years holiday season. Some of the best deals appear online at Best Buy the weekend after Thanksgiving as stores look to jump start sales. Check out the most popular 40 and 42 inch LCD tvs on Amazon.com here.