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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.

Browse All Top Flat Screen TVs »

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.