We want to get a TV for the bedroom. The requirements: wall mountable, minimum 32 inches. Selection, however, seems to be more complicated than it need be. Not only are there different vendors, each with multiple lines, there is a legacy to contend with: models from previous years that remain on the shelf just adding more clutter.

So there are a number of different issues to tease out.

Dealing with the clutter of multiple years of product.
Go for the latest products. As one source said, the technology continues to move rapidly and the latest models will have significant new features.

Understand the multiple product lines offered by a vendor.
Generally they correspond with a market segment: high/medium/low end.

  • Sony seems to have three lines: XBR, S2010 and S200A
  • Sharp, within the widescreen line, distinguishes by number: D4U, D6U, D40U, D50U, D90U. The bigger the number the more features of the TV.
  • Panasonic has LX60C and LX600 series
  • JVC, like Sharp, distinguished by ever increasing numbers

Narrow the field to a few selected vendors and products.
Narrowing the field to a few vendors and product lines is done through research. As I noted in an earlier post, there are multiple sources of product information, including vendor sites, reviews and “geeks.” I’ve used a combination of these to help focus the search.

Determine key qualities
Consumer Reports tests products across a number of dimensions, but the two that were most important to me were: picture quality and sound quality.

This has narrows the scope to the following

  • Sony Bravia KDL-V32XBR1
  • JVC LT-40FH96
  • Panasonic Viera TC-32LX50
  • Sharp Aquos LC-45GD7U

The next step is to look at the sets, assess cost/benefit and come to a conclusion.

ConsumerReports.org – First Look: Sony Bravia LCD HDTVs 6/06

Our preliminary testing shows that the Bravia S series LCD TVs provide a fine picture at an attractive price, with only minor quibbles. The U series set performed well enough in initial tests but doesn’t seem like a great value: For only $200 more, you can get a better picture and more functionality with Sony’s S series.

The new Bravia S series models displayed fine picture quality in our initial tests–almost as good as that of Sony’s $3,300 KDL-V40XBR1, one of the best LCDs we’ve seen so far.

The KLV-40U100M is very bright, but that’s a mixed blessing, as we note below. Our initial tests indicate decent picture quality, a step lower than our judgment of the two S series TVs.

ConsumerReports.org – LCD TV

Product Selector LCD TVS

ConsumerReports.org – LCD TVs – Brand repair summary

LCD flat panels from Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, and Toshiba have had relatively low repair rates. We don’t yet have enough data to comment on other brands.

ConsumerReports.org – First Look: Sharp LC-37D90U: 1080p in a 37-inch LCD set 07/06

he Sharp LC-37D90U, a 37-inch LCD TV that sells for $2,500, is among the best LCD sets we’ve ever tested. It’s one of the few sets of this size with 1080p native resolution, the highest currently available for a consumer TV. The question is whether it’s worth paying for 1080p resolution–which has 1920×1080 pixels–on a relatively small screen.

ConsumerReports.org – LCD TVs – Sony LCD Wega KLV-S23A10

Sony LCD Wega KLV-S23A10

ConsumerReports.org – LCD TVs – Sharp Aquos LC-32DA5U

Sharp Aquos LC-32DA5U

ConsumerReports.org – All about HDTV, TV types 3/06

The best LCD TVs display very good, bright HD images, and the antireflective surface minimizes the reflections and glare that often plague plasma screens. But LCD TVs haven’t caught up with plasma TVs for viewing angle, color accuracy, and the ability to display the deepest black. Also, fast motion may blur. As a result, their picture-quality scores aren’t as high as those for plasma sets.

At this point, a plasma TV still offers more for the money in 42-inch and larger sizes. If a 32- or 37-inch screen would do, an LCD is a good choice for a main TV. 

However, the newer brands don’t have any track record at this point. We have preliminary data for some established brands of LCD TVs that raise no repair concerns during the first year of use, though we have no long-term data on any LCD TVs yet.

We’ve been testing more LCD TVs, most with 40- to 45-inch screens. Some 1080p models with native resolution of 1920×1080 look impressive.

Less-familiar brands of plasma TVs being sold at chains such as Costco, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Circuit City cost much less than major brands, which is tempting. But those we’ve tested have been middling to mediocre, so you’ll trade quality for price.

The best have excellent picture quality, with good brightness and contrast from any angle. However, a plasma TV’s shiny surface can produce reflections, and static images displayed for a long time–such as stock tickers or video games–can burn in.

ConsumerReports.org – First Look: 1080p TVs 2/06

TV technology has taken another step forward with the introduction of so-called 1080p TVs. With a native resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, the highest so far, these TVs are the first with the potential to display all 1,080 lines in the most common high-definition format, called 1080i. (Until now, TV resolution has maxed out at 1366×768, requiring 1080i HD signals to be down-converted to match the TV’s less-detailed display capabilities.)

ConsumerReports.org – LCD TVs – Sony Bravia KDL-V32XBR1

Sony Bravia KDL-V32XBR1

ConsumerReports.org – LCD TVs – JVC LT-40FH96


ConsumerReports.org – LCD TVs – Panasonic Viera TC-32LX50

Panasonic Viera TC-32LX50

ConsumerReports.org – LCD TVs – Sharp Aquos LC-45GD7U

Sharp Aquos LC-45GD7U

ConsumerReports.org – LCD TVs – Toshiba 37HLX95

Toshiba 37HLX95

ConsumerReports.org – LCD TVs – Sony Bravia KDL-V40XBR1

Sony Bravia KDL-V40XBR1

ConsumerReports.org – LCD TVs: How to choose

HD-ready sets. Also called HDTV monitors, these sets can display standard-definition programs (which still account for most non-prime-time TV broadcasts) on their own. To display digital programs, they require a digital tuner to decode those broadcasts.

Think twice before buying an ED set.

Check the viewing angle.

Look for easy-to-use inputs.

Weigh the merits of an extended warranty. While extended warranties aren’t worthwhile for most products, they may be for high-priced devices using new technologies.
Because LCD TVs are costly items that haven’t yet established a track record for reliability, check into the cost of a service plan. Find out whether in-home service is covered and whether a replacement is provided if a set can’t be repaired. Our preliminary survey data found no repair problems during the first year of use for LCD sets, but it’s too early to comment on later years.

ConsumerReports.org – LCD TVs – LG 37LP1D


ConsumerReports.org – TV sets: Brand Ratings history

The Sony sets have consistently been top performers in our tests, and TVs from Panasonic, RCA, and JVC sets have done very well. Samsung and Philips models, while sometimes performing as well, have been much less consistent. Until recently, Toshiba has been in the same league as Sony, but the Toshiba sets we tested in 2005 scored much lower. Sanyo and Sharp have consistently had good but unexceptional results in our tests.

ConsumerReports.org – LCD TVs – JVC LT-37X776

JVC LT-37X776

HDTVs for Every Budget

For HDTVs with screen sizes up to 36 inches, CRTs remain the best bang for the buck.

For screen sizes above 40 inches, plasma display panels (PDPs) are a better flat-panel value. 

Westinghouse LTV-32w1 review by PC Magazine

The Westinghouse LTV-32w1 is an LCD TV that delivers impressive dark levels as well as good color performance when using its DVI input. Unfortunately, the LTV-32w1’s image quality with component video and other analog inputs leaves much to be desired.


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