A wall of flat-screen TVs at a big box store may be a bit intimidating. Which ones are truly good deals for you? Here's a roundup of top sets in each price point.
What should you look for when buying a Flat Screen HDTV? Read our HDTV buying guide.
Flat screen HDTVs are so prevalent these days that when you see an old CRT-based television you have to think for a moment about what it is. Maybe some old sports bar somewhere is still using them in volume, but the rest of the world has moved on. Flat screen HDTVs come in such an amazing array of screen sizes, features and capabilities that it is increasingly hard to just list them in any one way without missing an important category. But we will try.
Adorama's Flat Panel Television Department offers a comprehensive selection of all major brand models. Here's a sample of some top models that we sell
At one time it looked like this was the wave of the future, and they are still popular in some market segments, particularly for small rooms and college dorms.
The $187.39 Adorama-priced RCA 15.6 inch AC/DC LED Backlit Active Matrix LCD TV/DVD Player Combo is a good example of this category of products. Small enough to take to a football tailgater and big enough to be seen by a crowd it features a 1368 x 768 resolution and includes a built in ATSC tuner for cable, satellite, or over the air broadcasts, perfect for any environment.
We are placing the systems in order of screen size rather than any other capability, so when it says entry –level, what it means is that it is a smaller screen, not that it is feature deficient; many of the small screens give their bigger cousins a run for the money. It should be noted that cost is usually a function of size as well so that the larger the screen, the more it will cost.
A case in point is this Adorama-priced $259.00 LG 26LS3500 high definition LED TV, a 60Hz, 26-inch system that comes with 1280 x 720 resolution that has eight different picture modes so that fans of everything from cinema quality to sports broadcasts can find one that meets their needs.
Another in the small screen size, with a small price to match is the Coby 23" Class LED High-Definition TV (Adorama price: $149.99). The HDTV delivers 720p-quality images and has a PC VGA connection so that it can double as a PC monitor if needed.
Mid-level can be anywhere you want it these days, at least it seems so but we will peg it in the 40-inch to 50-inch range. Some might go a bit bigger or smaller but you have to start somewhere!
The Samsung 46" Class 1080p LED HDTV is an Adorama-priced $797.99 46-inch screen size beauty. The HDTV features 1080p HDTV resolution and has a pair of HDMUI ports that will enable you to connect HD peripherals as well. The system comes with Samsung’s ConnectShare Movie that enables a user to watch videos, play music or view photos from a USB drive.
The $698.00 Panasonic Smart Viera 42" Class E50 Series is a great example of a feature-rich HDTV that does not have a giant display. The 42-inch screen supports 1920 x 1080 resolution and has a technology called Contrast Automatic Tracking System (CATS) that will adjust the screen's brightness in relation to the ambient light conditions. The HDTV has the ability to serve as a media or entertainment hub with four HDMI ports, two USB 2.0 pots and an SD media card slot.
The Big Boys
When you have a lot of space and want to provide a top-level entertainment experience to big groups of friends, big is the way to go. With prices dropping and options growing looking at a 50-inch to 60-inch or greater display is no longer an effort in avoiding sticker shock.
The Samsung Plasma 450 Series TV 51" Class (50.72" Diag.) at the Adorama price of $547.99 is designed to meet the needs of a large viewing audience. The plasma HDTV provides 720p HD resolution and with its 600Hz subfield motion technology even the fastest in sports or action scenes look smooth and natural.
If you are looking for something a bit larger you might want to consider the $1,298 Adorama-priced Sony Bravia KDL-55EX640, a 55-inch full-featured HDTV that has Full HD 1080p picture quality. Designed to be connected to the Internet it enables viewing of everything from picture portfolios to stream video from any of a variety of online services. It also includes Sony’s Motionflow XR 240 technology takes enhances motion clarity beyond.