Thin and wall mountable, LCD TVs have emerged as the number-one choice among TV buyers. Prices have dropped dramatically since their introduction, and performance has improved just as much.
But -- and here's the rub -- finding the perfect LCD TV for you and your family can be a bit of a juggling act. Makers, in the attempt to get buyers to open their wallets, have been adding lots of high-tech goodies to sets. There's 3D, of course, and Smart features that let you access content directly from the Internet or from your personal computer. Things we (at least those of us without engineering degrees) never had to worry about before, such as refresh rate, are now front and center on the features list and in advertisements. Even the type of backlight -- standard cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) or LED and type (either edge-lit or full array) -- is something you'll need to decide before putting your hard-earned dollars down on your next set.
On the other hand, maybe you just want a TV with a great or even just a good picture. Image quality is defined by a few different factors, such as how deep a level of black a set can obtain, how accurate and saturated colors appear, how uniform the picture looks across the screen and how free the image is of artifacts (such as curved lines that are not smooth) and other image-processing bobbles. If you are a perfectionist, be prepared to dig deeply. However, others can find TVs with images that look perfectly fine -- in fact, pretty darn outstanding -- at more modest prices. And if 3D or Internet streaming don't get you all that excited, some excellent bargains can be found.
In this report, we'll walk you through the features and specifications that matter when selecting your next LCD TV to help you find the perfect one. To that end, we've scoured expert reviews and user reviews to identify sets that we think shine when it comes to image quality, features, design and value, and have named those as our Best Reviewed choices. We'll also look at some TVs that don't fall too far behind and can be excellent choices in their own right.