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Under 32 Inches (LCD)
Toshiba 26HL47 ($750): Properly processes 1080i signals — most under-30-inch sets don’t. Panasonic TC26LX70 ($750): Wide-angle viewing, also processes 1080i signals properly.
32 Inches (LCD)Panasonic TC-32LX700 ($1,100): Smallest and lowest-priced LCD flat panel with 120-hertz refresh rate for better motion resolution.
Toshiba 32HL67 ($900): Low price … 10-bit panel with 14-bit processing eliminates image artifacts seen on 8-bit panels. (Color resolution, measured in bits, refers to the amount of data in the pixels that make up an image. The higher the number, the more accurate the picture.) … also available in a 42-inch model.
Panasonic TC-32LX70 ($900): One of the widest views with uniform brightness … properly processes 1080i signals.
40 To 42 Inches (LCD, Plasma)Samsung LN-T4081 ($3,000): Best LCD ever tested … accurate color, fastest motion response of any LCD panel tested (by 33 percent) and lowest power consumption. Uses white LED backlights. Full-resolution 1080p (1920×1080) … also available in 46- and 52-inch models.
Pioneer PDP-4280HD ($2,700): Best black levels and performance of any 42-inch, non-1080p panel … also available as a 50-inch model and in Pioneer’s higher-end Elite series.
Panasonic TH-42PZ700U ($2,000): 12-bit plasma … anti-reflective screen (shiny coating) … also available in 50- and 58-inch screen sizes.
Panasonic TH-42PZ77U ($1,800): 12-bit plasma panel … 1080p set properly processes 1080i … anti-glare screen (dull coating) … also available in a 50-inch model.
Sony KDL-40S3000 ($1,500): Full 10-bit panel eliminates image artifacts seen on 8-bit LCD panels … properly processes 1080i signals … also available in a 46-inch model.
Panasonic TH-42PX77U ($1,499): Similar to TH-42PX75U, uses anti-glare dull screen coating … also available in 50-inch model.
Panasonic TH-42PX75U ($1,400): Second-best performance for a 42-inch, non-1080p plasma. … anti-reflective screen coating … also available in 50-inch model.
46 to 50 Inches (LCD, Plasma)Pioneer PDP-5010 ($4,500): Best HDTV flat panel — LCD or plasma — available with the deepest blacks, highest contrast, very accurate color, fine signal processing. Full 1080p plasma … also available in 60-inch model.
Panasonic TH-50PZ750U ($3,499): Panasonic’s top-of-the-line plasma … full 1080p … also available in 58- and 65-inch models.
Samsung LN-T4671 ($3,400): 1080p LCD shares the same panel as Samsung’s top-of-the-line series … substitutes fluorescent lamps for LEDs and uses 120-hertz refresh rate for reducing motion blur … also available in 52-inch model.
Sony 46KDLXBR4 ($3,300): Top-of-the-line LCD, with 10-bit panel, 120-hertz refresh rate … full 1080p … also available in 40- and 52-inch models.
Toshiba 46RF350U ($2,400): 1080p LCD properly processes 1080i signal … thinnest frame in industry … 10-bit panel with 14-bit internal processing … full 1080p … also available in 40-inch model.
51 To 73 InchesPioneer Elite 60-inch PRO-150FD ($7,500): Top-of-the-line Pioneer plasma has additional control settings to custom-tweak the image and a fancier external finish than the 5010 series with the same top-quality 1080p image … also available in a 50-inch model.
Mitsubishi LT-52144 ($3,900): Thinnest 52-inch LCD frame … 10-bit panel with 12-bit processing … 120-hertz refresh rate … full 1080p … also available in 46-inch model.
Sony KDS-60A3000 ($3,400): SXRD three-chip rear-projection set, with 12-bit chip and 120-hertz refresh rate … full 1080p … also available in 50-and 55-inch models.
Mitsubishi WD-57833 ($2,500): DLP single-chip rear-projection set with 12-bit processing, six-color palette, 120-hertz refresh … 3D ready (for computer content) … fullest array of inputs, including FireWire, of any rear projection television … also available in 65- and 73-inch models.
Budget Best BetsSamsung LN-T4053H ($1,500): Lowest-priced Samsung with its best LCD panel (10 bit; also used in its 71 and 81 series).
Toshiba 42HL67 ($1,400): 10-bit LCD panel with 14-bit processing.
Season’s Hottest BuyPanasonic’s 42-inch plasma sets: The TH-42PX75U.
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