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Best High-End LCD TVs 2009

Let’s say you’re Hurley from Lost. You’ve got hundreds of millions of dollars from a lottery. Or, you’re a Bluth, and you just cashed out your stock. Whichever the case is, you’ve got so much money, you spend most of your time trying to figure out how to spend it. You want a TV. You want to spend on the best LCD TV. What are your best options?

1. Sony XBR8

Pros: LCD technology at its best, great blacks, great contrast, works well in both dark and bright rooms, bragging rights.

Cons: Still not better than Pioneer plasmas, very sensitive to viewing angle, price seems like a social experiment.

This is Sony’s top-of-the-line, LED-backlit, Japan-does-it-better answer to Samsung’s A950. It’s a lot like the A950 in that it’s got the fancy LED back lighting, but the Sony takes it a step further. It has red, green and blue LEDs (instead of white ones like the Samsung) and a heckuva lot more of them, so that local dimming works better. Overall image quality is about equal, but the Sony wins by a nose because of its superior back lighting and its matte screen, which works well in both dark and bright rooms. And yes, it costs more too.

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2. Samsung A950

Pros: The best challenger to plasma yet, great blacks, great shadow detail, accurate colors, eliminates most LCD issues.

Cons: Limited viewing angle, very expensive.

If the A650 is the Arnold Terminator, this is the liquid metal version. It does everything better. It’s got deeper blacks. More contrast. Little LEDs that can turn off completely to display a true black. And a huge pricetag!

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3. Samsung A650

Pros: The absolute best value in HDTVs today, super-accurate color, very good black level & contrast ratio, good connectivity, stylish, fair price.

Cons: Sensitive to viewing angle, glossy screen doesn’t charm much in a bright environment.

Yes, it’s so good that it makes its way onto this list as well! The A650 is easily the best value in all of TV land, and even though this list is not about value, the A650 series has enough goodness baked in that it deserves to be here.

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