We’re almost into spring 2009, and it’s time to round up the best LCD HDTVs. With a whole bunch of new TVs recently released, we’ve poked, prodded and tested them to determine which ones you should be looking at.
Pros: Absolute best value out there, spot-on colors, great contrast, very good blacks for an LCD, good connectivity, nice styling, 120 Hz & 24p.
Cons: Glossy screen is great at night, not so much in the day.
With a black level of 0.09 ft-L (better than every single non-Pioneer plasma and every non-LED LCD TV), the A650 is a big leap forward for LCDs. The contrast ratio too, at 3700:1 was the highest we ever tested for a non-LED LCD, and was better than every plasma we looked at except Pioneer’s. Those aren’t the only reasons… the A650 had excellent shadow detail and superb color accuracy, the likes of which are extremely uncommon. It’s so good that the absolute best LCDs (the LED-backlit ones that cost as much as a decent used car) are about on par with the A650 for real contrast (in the area that displays an image and where LEDs aren’t turned off). Topped off with great connectivity and awesome upscaling and standard-definition processing, there is no better value in LCD TV land than the Samsung A650 series.
Pros: Decent blacks, contrast, matte screen means its great at night and in the daytime, 120 Hz and 24p, good connectivity and processing, attractive styling, decent value.
Cons: Contrast and black trail the A650.
We’re as surprised as anyone that there are two Sony TVs in our top three, but the big Japanese conglomerate is on top of its TV game! The XBR6 offers the all-important 120 Hz processing and 24p input that we crave for movies, with a very decent black level, good contrast ratio, tons of features, and very good processing. Did we mention it’s sexy?
Pros: 120 Hz and 24p, decently accurate colors, great value.
Cons: Blacks and contrast aren’t as good as they should be.
We looked at the KDL-52W4100, but any W-series has all of what we liked about this set. Given its current list price, attractive styling, 120 Hz processing + 24p input, excellent daytime performance and features, the W-series just had to make it onto our list. Now, there are better TVs, and there are cheaper TVs, but if you’re a Sony fan – there is no better value!
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