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2 August 2013 by Shifali Rao
HDTVs are contemporary television, and with standard definition almost phased out, Full HD is quite the only way to go. An HDTV not only supports but also displays true 720p and 1080p content. This must not be confused with an HD-Ready TV which has only the power to carry HD signals and then downscale them to SD video.
The HDTV resolutions seen today are generally 720p, 1080i and 1080p, where the i refers to interlaced scanning and p refers to progressive. While interlaced scanning means that the even and odd fields of pixel rows are displayed alternatively, progressive scanning means the even and odd fields are displayed simultaneously. Progressive scanning surpasses interlaced scanning in terms of picture quality and is predominantly the type of resolution used in current HDTVs. So the dilemma is really between 720p and 1080p. There is very limited amount of 1080p content to view as yet and everything is mostly 1080i or 720p, so a 1080p HDTV might only upconvert that into 1080p, and this quality is hardly better than the original form. Furthermore, a 1080p resolution is only worth shelling out for if you're going in for a large screen size of 60"; in anything smaller than this, the difference in 1080p picture quality (PQ) and 720p is not really noticeable.
Speaking of screen size, HDTVs come in sizes as small as 27" to as large as 90" and you could freeze on the display appropriate for your TV room with this simple formula - Screen size = Viewing distance/2.
Depending on the type of panel and backlighting they use, HDTVs are available in three kinds: traditional LCD, Plasma and LED LCD.
Traditional LCD TVs use Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamps (CCFL) to backlight the display panel, and are on their way out. They're the cheapest of the lot, have the lowest PQ and have the shortest lifespan since the lamps tend to get worn out.
LED LCD TVs use Light Emitting Diodes(LED) to light up the display panel and are often the most expensive. They have much better picture quality due to higher contrast ratios, quicker response times of 2 to 5 ms and also last longer. A low response time essentially means there wonÃ¢??t be any motion blur in action packed scenes
In a Plasma TV however, the plasma itself emits light and therefore there is no backlighting technology required. They have excellent contrast ratios, and a quick speed of 600 frames per second obviating any motion blur. Plasma TVs rival LED TVs for the top spot and while the best TVs for brightly lit room are LED TVs, plasma TVs steal the show when it comes to dark room performance.
For more information on each, visit our Best LED TVs , Best Plasma TVs , or Best LCD TVs page.
Today's HDTV market is brimming with state-of-the-art offerings from audio features and sleek panels, to 3D and SmartTV; from leading brands like Panasonic, Samsung, LG and Sony.
The higher end SmartTV amenities include a Full web browser and Skype compatibility and gives you complete freedom on the internet, while lower end SmartTVs give you access to specific movie sites like Netflix to stream videos from. To learn more about 3D, we have a list of the best 3D TVs to guide your purchase.
Displayed below is our list of the best HDTVs and their ranking, defined by expert reviews. So scroll down to read reviews, check specifications and buying options.
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