22 April 2013 by Shifali Rao
Flat panel TVs have come out to be the hottest selling consumer electronic gadget, over the last few years. The best flat screen tvs help create a theatre like experience right in your living room.
Flat Panel TV's come in primarily four different variations which are LCD, LED, Plasma and Rear projection. This is also roughly the order in which the quality/size/price increases. LCDs starts from 19 inches and Rear Projections begin at 60 inches; while the popular LEDs and Plasma TVs spring at around 32 inches and 42 inches respectively and go up to 70 inches or more. The dark room performance of the best flat TVs also roughly gets better from LCD to LED to Plasma to Rear Projection, however some of the best LED HDTV's have begun to show much better dark room performance than comparable Plasma HDTV's.
LCD or Traditional LCD is the oldest technology of the lot and relies on Cold Cathode Fluorescent Light (CCFL) to backlit the liquid crystal display. The next generation of LCD TVs used Light Emitting Diode (LED) instead of CCFL and are consequently knowns as LED-LCD HDTV or more simply just LED HDTV.
Plasma HDTV's on the contrary do not require a backlighting source as the phosphors that make up the display emit light by themselves. Plasma and LED HDTV are by far the dominant technologies of today and are found in some of the best HDTV's.
Rear projection HDTV's basically use the same technology as the older CRT TV's but on a much bigger scale and are typically found on HDTV's with a screen size of around 60 inch. However, rapidly evolving LED HDTV technology has been steadily increasing in screen size, and with much better display performance levels and is bound to overtake the market for Rear projection HDTV's. The other big downside to Rear Projection HDTV's is that they are often much bulkier than LED HDTV's due to the presence of a projection lamp. Due to their declining popularity some of the bigger brands like Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi no longer manufacture Rear projection TVs.
For the best flat panel tvs, LED HDTV's are by far the best options, but also the most expensive. Plasma HDTV's often offer comparable display performance at a cheaper price but are often thicker and have a dramatically higher power consumption. The cheapest of the lot are the LCD HDTV's but, they also have the worst display performance of the lot. Our list below shows you the top rated televisions of 2013.