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If the picture quality of your TV is your primary concern, you're looking at evaluating a number of factors before making a decision. Although CRTs offered pretty great image quality, they've now been superseded by flat screen TVs which hold several advantages over them. However, if you've got the option of an HD CRT TV, and don't mind the awkward size and lack of added features, take it! They give you excellent picture at just a percentage of a flat panel TV's cost.

Flat screen television today is largely dominated by LED TVs and Plasma TVs and in this article we've excluded LCD sets as they're not really in the competition for the best picture. LED TVs use a panel of Light Emitting Diodes as a light source for their LCD screens, as opposed to LCD TVs (or CCFL LCD TVs) which make use of Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamps. This makes LED TVs superior in terms of contrast, viewing angles, lifespan and power efficiency; and this is the reason behind that mysterious price hike. Depending on where the LEDs are placed, LED TVs can be of two kinds: Direct/Full array-lit or Edge-lit, which you can find out all about in our guide to the best LED HDTVs

To transcend the limitations of a conventional LCD's display quality, manufacturers implement the underlying concept of local dimming under varying epithets and altered technologies to boost the contrast ratios of their TVs. Local Dimming is the mechanism of controlling groups of LEDs to dim them or turn them off when a scene demands deep blacks for high contrast, to display richer image detail.

The key to a plasma TVs high contrast ratios is the absence of these LEDs or CCFLs as a backlight. Plasma TVs obviate the need for any backlighting since the plasma itself is light source and the pixels here are individually controlled, so you can have a pixel which emits light next to a black one. So you see what this means? If each pixel is independent of the other you can have perfectly accurate image depiction and even richer details than in an LED! However, even the best Plasma TVs have one drawback in terms of display quality. They come with glass screens and do not have a very high brightness output, so in well lit rooms plasma TVs might suffer loss of picture quality and a lot of glare.

For the best display quality in sports scenes and games, the decisive factor is the response time of the TV, or simply put, your TVs ability to change from one image frame to the next. This is mainly an issue with LED TVs because the pixels in the LCD screen takes time to go from one value to the next, but the best LED TVs today boast a rapid response time of 5 ms to 2 ms which is quick enough to give free flowing picture. The best Plasma TVs on the other hand have what's known as 600 subfield drive to display 600 frames per second precluding any motion blur in action packed videos. In terms of viewing angles, the best plasma TVs outrun even leading LED TVs which offer a 178 degree viewable angle.

Furthermore, we've heard customers hunt for TVs with the best contrast ratios for great display. However, we've like to point out that contrast ratios are not a recommendable criteria to base your search on since this ratio as yet has not been standardized to a specific unit, and manufacturers use various methods for their measurement that can't be comparable to each other. You'll need to watch the quality with your own eyes to perceive the difference. So if weighing the contrast of your television is important to you, quit hunting online and visit your nearest store. Our list below has the top rated flat screen TV s for display, along with their individual ranking, from television giants like Panasonic, Vizio, Samsung and LG.

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Panasonic VIERA TC-P ZT60

Panasonic VIERA TC-P60ZT60 60-In 1080p 3D Smart Plasma TV


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Panasonic VIERA TC-P ZT60
Samsung PN F8500
Panasonic TC-P ST60
LG LA8600
Panasonic TC-P VT60
Panasonic VIERA TC-P60ZT60 60-In 1080p 3D Smart Plasma TV
Samsung PN51F8500 51-In 1080p 3D Smart Plasma HDTV
Panasonic TC-P50ST60 50-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV
LG 55LA8600 55-In 3D 1080p 240Hz LED-LCD HDTV
Panasonic TC-P65VT60 65-Inch 1080p 3D Smart Plasma HDTV
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Release Date
Aug 2013
Mar 2013
Jan 2013
Mar 2013
Apr 2013
Contrast Ratio
1 : 6, 000, 000
1:5, 500, 000
1 : 6000000
Digital TV Standard
HDTV Television
HDTV Television
HDTV Television
HDTV Television
HDTV Television
Flat Panel Type
Plasma TV
Plasma TV
Plasma TV
LED TV
Plasma TV
Screen Size
60.0 inch
51.0 inch
50.0 inch
55.0 inch
65.0 inch
Aspect Ratio
16:9
16:9
Widescreen (16:9)
16:9
16:9
DLNA Certified
DLNA Certified
DLNA Certified
DLNA Certified
DLNA Certified
3D-ready
3D-ready
3D-ready
3D-ready
3D-ready
3D-ready

  • For those who can afford it, the Panasonic TC-PZT60 comes closer than any TV yet to picture-quality perfection.


  • At this point, I've said a lot about this TV; however, the only thing that needs to be said is that it's the best. Is it leagues and leagues better than anything else you could buy? No - but neither is it leagues more expensive. Sure, the 65-inch model is demanding four thousand of your hard-earned greenbacks, but any home theater enthusiast would be lucky to own this grade-A plasma.

    The bottom of the line is that the ZT60's price-to-performance ratio is higher than average.


  • Finally, let's address the question of which is better: ZT60 or VT60? To answer, let's look at the three key differences between the two. The ZT60 does better in rooms affected by sunlight, while the VT60 has superior sound and comes with a camera for Skype and facial recognition. Which is better for you will depend on your priorities, but for us, the ZT60 is worth the extra $500 or so.


  • Samsung's best-performing TV ever, the PNF8500 series pushes the plasma picture quality envelope, especially in bright rooms.


  • While we can't claim that the F8500 is the new reference TV in picture quality, it looks to be one of the best 1080p televisions ever. Each screen size in this series is fairly expensive, and they should be: There is only quality here. The F8500 has royally surpassed one of the biggest drawbacks of plasma tech-their dimness when compared to LCDs-giving those with the funds to pursue it every reason to do so.


  • The Samsung PNF8500 series is a top-shelf plasma HDTV line that delivers outstanding color quality, solid 2D and 3D imagery, and very dark blacks. You'll shell out some big bucks for this model though, and you may want to pick up a universal remote while you're at it.


  • The midlevel price and outstanding quality of the Panasonic TC-PST60 series make it our strongest TV recommendation ever.


  • The TC-P50ST60 is one of the best value TVs for this year. At $1100 it will be a great seller and the price may get a bit better before the year is over. It's got good 3D, great blacks, a simple but effective remote control, ample Smart TV features, and pretty good looks. Samsung PN51F5500 is one competitor, though I prefer the ST60. The Samsung UN50F6400 is an LED competitor.


  • All in all, I found the new look to strike a good balance, offering more options on the screen (so less navigation is required), but presenting everything a clean, logical way.


  • Although its lovely frame is packed with well-executed features, the flagship-priced LG LA8600 series LED LCD TV has the picture of a midrange model.


  • We really enjoyed the LA8600, even with its slight color temperature issue and yawn-worthy black levels. And while we easily say this is a terrific display, its huge asking price of $2,699.99 for a 55-inch model is a bit steep. Yes, you get a beautiful TV that will make your in-laws jealous, but you can also do that with Panasonic's DT60 and Samsung's F7100 for less. If supermodel-thin bezels are your thing, definitely consider the LA8600 if you find it on sale. Otherwise, do some comparison shopping.


  • The LG LA8600 series of HDTVs offers beautiful aesthetics, sharp 2D and 3D imagery, and rich color reproduction at a premium price. You get lots of features with this series, some of which are of questionable value.


  • The Panasonic VT60 has one of the best pictures of any TV we've ever reviewed, but it's soon to face some tough competition.


  • Here is where quality and price converge and man, these top end plasmas are up there this year in price. The TC-P65VT60 is around $3399 - no bargain basement TV and $1000 more than the 55 inch version. Yes, it has best in the market black levels that rival the best ever. In a dark home theater type environment the picture quality is astounding.


Top 5 display tv:

  1. Panasonic VIERA TC-P60ZT60 60-In 1080p 3D Smart Plasma TV
  2. Samsung PN51F8500 51-In 1080p 3D Smart Plasma HDTV
  3. Panasonic TC-P50ST60 50-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV
  4. LG 55LA8600 55-In 3D 1080p 240Hz LED-LCD HDTV
  5. Panasonic TC-P65VT60 65-Inch 1080p 3D Smart Plasma HDTV