Editorial Reviews

Editor's Choice Best HDTV

We’ve Pulled Together the Best HDTVs for Your Dollar.

Why read five different reviews at eight different sites?
What we’ve done is scavenged the web of editors top picks, from CNET to ZDNet and given you a one stop web review experience.

Quick Top Pick:


Editor’s Choice Best Blu-ray Player


Editor’s Choice Best HTiB under $1000

How to Choose an HDTV:

Direct-View (tube) HDTV
Flat-Panel HDTV (Plasma & LCD)
Pros – Best black level on market, look great from any angle, cheaper
Cons – Heavy, geometry error due to curve screen, no high-resolution sources like PC sources, image isn’t as crisp as other HDTV
Pros – Crisp image, light weight, thin, accept high-resolution PC sources.
Cons – Black level can vary widely, color distortion spots, expensive, limited viewing angle.
Rear-Projection HDTV (CRT & MicroDisplays)
Front-Projection HDTV (Projector, DLP, LCD, LCoS)
Pros – CRT – most are inexpensive, best bang for buck for big screens. Mirco – Great black-level, screen uniformity, smaller than CRT
Cons – Softer screen image, video-noise,
Pros – Largest “screen” available, black-level can be good on DLP, LCoS models have great black-level. Price can very
Cons – Color effect from rainbow to inaccurate color.

How to pick a HDTV?

Resolution: 720p 1080i 1080p? Where to start and what does it mean? Lets face it, all these resolutions look great, but where it really starts to make a difference is when the size of the screen gets above 40″. Still the difference is negligible most of the time. 720p and 1080p are progressive scan formats. The picture should look smoother during action and you’ll probably not notice any jagged edges in shots of the sky. 1080i is not progressive but it does have more lines than 720p which should make up for jagged edges or blurry action shots. 1080p has the same amount of lines and pixels as 1080i put gets the bonus of progressive format. For large HDTVs, over 40″, 1080p is the ideal resolution.

Black-level: Black level is the measurement of how deep a “black” a screen can produce. The deeper the black, or the blacker the black, typically means higher contrast, which helps a screen look more alive. It is almost more important than resolution. Some jagged edges is nothing compared to a screen that looks lifeless.

Once you know your source resolution, match a HDTV to that and decide if the black level of the set you want is to your liking and you are set. HDTVs, nothing to’em.

Experts may all agree on the advantages or shortcomings of any product they review but, at AudioReview.com, we believe that the average consumer can best summarize all the details a product has to offer… So read what users have to says!


Pioneer PDP-428XD – ‘Kuro’ Plasma - $2500


Specs:

Dimensions/Weight
Product Type – Plasma
Diagonal size – 42 in.
Image aspect ratio – 16:9
Dimensions (WxHxD) – 1040x679x115 mm
Weight – 30 kg
Video
Resolution – 1024 x 768 pixels
HD formats – 720p, 1080i, 1080p
Image contrast ratio – 16,000:1
Audio
Output mode – Stereo
Speakers included – 2
Total output power – 17 W
Surround sound effects – SRS; SRS Focus; TruBass

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Techradar.com says: With the PDP-428XD’s excellently clear and dynamic speakers proving that Pioneer takes sound as seriously as vision, really the only downpoint about the TV is its premium price. But then if you want the best, you usually have to pay for it.

CNET.uk Says: On the promise of deep blacks this TV delivers completely. We did think at times that definition of the picture wasn’t as good as some other TVs we’ve seen recently. Some of the new 1080p LCDs, for example, and Samsung’s 1080p 50-inch plasma do add more detail to the picture.

Turstedreviews.com Says: With really nothing bad to say about the 428XD’s pictures, perhaps we can find fault with the TV’s speakers? Um, no, ‘fraid not. In fact the speakers are terrifically powerful by TV standards, pushing out power galore together with near hi-fi levels of clarity and detailing.

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Read more details and find out prices here.


Sony KDL-40W4000 – LCD – $1700

Specs:

16:9 Full HD 1080p Resolution (1920x1080p) LCD Panel
Motionflow™ 120Hz – clear, smooth motion for DVDs, TV
DMex ™ compatible; allows seamless feature upgrades
Enhanced XMB™ with 3D graphics incl. TV Guide
HDMI™ x4, HD Component x2, PC Input
Display Technology: TFT active matrix
Display Size: 40 inches
Speakers: 2
Height: 25.4 inches
Width: 38.8 inches
Depth: 4.3 inches
Weight: 44.1 pounds

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HDTVTest.co.uk says: In addition to the inherited virtues of excellent blacks, accurate primary colours, exquisite fine detail portrayal and solid connectivity, the Sony KDL40W400 does show some areas of improvement over the outgoing W3000 series: calibrated black level is slightly deeper; standard-def scaling is better; and there’s no longer any black/ near-black auto-dimming.

ZDNet Says: Somewhat surprisingly, Best Buy’s own Insignia brand of MP3 players has gained quite a bit of popularity among consumers lately. That’s not to say that the devices aren’t good (quite the opposite, actually), but in this image-conscious market, “cheap” electronics under generic brands usually don’t turn heads. Yet that’s exactly what the Insignia Pilot is doing,

Anythingbutipod Says: First off the Pilot is more of the PMP of the two, sporting a 2.4” screen with playback of WMA and MPEG4 at 30 frames per second. On the audio side it will support MP3, WMA, WMA Lossless, WMA DRM, WMA Pro, OGG, WAV, and Audible. Additionally it will support JPEG Photos. But that’s not all. The player also features, RDS (radio titles), SD slot, Bluetooth, and PC and Mac compatibility.

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Read more details and find out prices here.


Samsung PN50A550 – Plasma - $1600


Specs:

50 in Plasma TV
TV Tuner 1x digital, 1x analog
Video Interface HDMI, Component, S-Video, Composite
PC Interface VGA (HD-15)
USB Port Yes
HDCP Compatible Yes
Dimensions With stand
Width 48.4 in
Depth 12.6 in
Height 32.7 in
Weight 91 lbs

Display

Resolution 1920 x 1080
Display Format 1080p (FullHD)
Image Aspect Ratio 16:9
Color Depth 18-bit color
Image Contrast Ratio 30000:1
Dynamic Contrast Ratio 1000000:1

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CNET.com says: Highly accurate primary colors and color temperature; above-average video processing with effective noise reduction; oodles of picture controls and settings; friendly, intuitive menu design; handsome look. Subpar antireflective screen; black levels not quite as deep as those of the best plasmas; confusing picture mode arrangement.

ultimateavmag.com Says: The Samsung PN50A550 is excellent all-around performer with no serious flaws. It’s a good deal at it’s list price of $2700, but you won’t have to pay that much—it’s widely available for hundreds less, making this well-equipped and attractively designed 50-inch plasma TV one of the best flat-panel values on the market right now.

ConsumerSearch.com Says: Though some other highly rated plasma TVs have deeper blacks, most critics and users say that the 50-inch Samsung PN50A550 has one of the best overall pictures of any HDTV. Although the blacks are not the best available and the anti-reflective screen is a step behind the competition, those shortfalls are largely trumped by outstanding color accuracy and much better than average video processing.

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Read more details and find out prices here.


Samsung SP-A800BDLP Projector - $9995


Specs:
Projector / Panel
Image Brightness 1000 ANSI lumens
Image Contrast Ratio 10000:1
Resolution 1920 x 1080
Native Aspect Ratio Widescreen

Video Input
Analog video signal: Composite video, RGB, S-Video, Component video
Digital video standard: High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI)
Digital Television Video Formats: 480p, 576i, 576p, 480i, 1080i, 720p

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CNET.com says: Extremely accurate color including spot-on color decoding for both SD and HD, nearly perfect primary colors, and linear grayscale tracking; superb black level and shadow detail performance; plenty of light output; excellent lens; solid feature package with numerous picture-affecting options; beautiful styling.

TrustedReviews.com Says: There’s a lot to like about Samsung’s A800B. The brand’s connection with Joe Kane has certainly helped the projector stand out from the pack in the shadow detail and colour tone departments, and the design is both practical (in that it’s terrifically quiet) and pretty enough to embellish any room.

Home Entertainment Mag Says: With that one reservation aside, the SP-A800B moves to the top ranks of single chip DLP 1080p projectors, with a bright, vivid and colorful picture that never fails to impress. The projector runs very quietly even in the bright lamp mode, and on the lower lamp setting is still plenty bright on my 78” Stewart GrayHawk RS screen – using the lower lamp mode significantly extends the life of the projector’s bulb.

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Samsung HL61A750 - Mp3 & Video – $1600


Specs:
1080p HD Resolution
LED Light Source
3D Gaming Ready
1 Tuner PIP
3 HDMI Inputs, HDMI-CEC
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CNET.com says: Excellent screen size-to-price ratio compared to big-screen flat-panels; solid black-level performance; very accurate color, with minor tweaking; plenty of connectivity options.

HowStuffWorks Says: Pros: Reasonably good black levels, HDMI 1.3, nice design, LED light source | Cons: Only three HDMI inputs, all side inputs, underpowered speakers for set this size.

ConsumerSearch Says: When it comes to rear-projection TV, critics and users are nearly unanimous in saying that the 61-inch Samsung HL61A750 is a top pick. Though more expensive than other rear projection TVs, critics say no plasma or LCD television can deliver this good a 1080p picture at anywhere near this price

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Read more details and find out prices here.


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