Each year, we test a whole bunch of products and there are always a few products that leave their mark. These products are at the top of the product category pyramid, offering great performance with little compromise. We put together this list to recognize these products. The year has many more models than ever before and there are a ton of new features being introduced – 3D, smart TV features and LED-backlighting. Having gone through many of these, we conclude this year with a list of top three HDTVs out there.
Sony Bravia KDL-55HX925
The trends over the years suggest that LED-backlit TVs have been the best around, at least in recent times. The king of LED-backlit TVs probably in recent times has been the Sony Bravia KDL-55HX925 LED-backlit TV. The TV offers absolutely stunning clarity, that can rivalled by few others or maybe even none. It’s priced at over Rs. 2,50,000 but that’s the kind of money you’ll have to shell out to get the best there is. The same series of TVs also is available at a smaller size – the 46HX925. The HX925 being an LED-backlit TV has a super-sleek design – a thin bezel that blends in with the display, so the TV looks like one big thin slab of glass.
Sony 55HX925 – Sleak, LED-backlit television
The 55HX925 offers all the smart TVs you expect from a modern day smart TV. It’s got 3D support, which should provide a satisfying experience, but nothing that blows your mind. Our only complaint, other than its high price is the lack of support for NFTS drives, which other TVs manage to offer. But let’s be realistic, very few people use the USB media playback feature on a daily basis. If you're looking for the best there is, look no further than the 55HX925.
First Runner up – Panasonic Viera TH-P65VT30D
Panasonic’s Viera TH-P65VT30D is a monster of a TV. We first reviewed the same sized P65VT20D model a few months before the VT30D was around and we weren’t highly impressed by it. The TH-P65VT30D blows its predecessor out of the water. It’s extremely slim for one – so slim that it’s hard to believe that it’s actually a plasma TV. Plasma TVs have taken the backseat in recent times and Panasonic seems to have been one of the few to stick around with the technology and it’s a good thing that they have. The VT30D may not be too impressive when it comes to smart TV features or may not offer as much eye-candy as the Sony HX925, but it’s absolutely stunning when it comes to colours and clarity. It’s got a very natural colour tone. Contrast levels are extremely good and although it may not get as dark as the 55HX925 in the darkest areas of the screen, it’s got an evenly lit up display, which means no grey patches on the screen to distract you. Then comes the size – at 65 inches, it’s one of the largest displays you can watch and it’s by far larger than the Sony.
Panasonic Viera TH-P65VT30D – Natural, sober colours and detail
The size really does take things to the next level – it delivers what is, nearly a proper cinema-like experience. If you are willing to shell out the Rs. 379,900 price for this display, we highly recommend you view it from a distance of at least, 8 feet. We wish the 3D performance was more impressive and if Panasonic gave their rather standard TV interface a facelift. Expect to see this review up pretty soon on Tech2.com.
One of the biggest changes in the HDTV industry has to be the introduction of 3D on mainstream TVs. Prices have dropped but unfortunately, the technology doesn’t impress everyone – primarily because it’s painful and watching 3D content for more than 15 minutes can annoy the daylights out of the majority of users. LG introduced their own 3D technology that they called the Cinema 3D, which was basically using passive 3D glasses and which has close to no flickering. While the LG 47LW6500 is an impressive display for 2D content and more affordable than the Sony and the Panasonic, one thing that it absolutely beats the others at, is 3D. One can actually sit down and watch 3D for much longer than any other TV in recent times. The glasses used are extremely light, let’s not forget stylish and more comfortable than the rest.
LG 47W6500 – Nothing does 3D better
The smart TV features and media playback features are also very impressive. The TV plays pretty much every format and has a whole bunch of media streaming features on it. The interface too is very intuitive and the remote control that has motion sensors that allow you to move a cursor on the screen while pointing at it, something like the Wii the remote. Although not flawless, it makes clicking on objects and browsing much simpler. Considering it offers all these features and it's priced at a little more than a lakh these days, it's still one of the good 3D TVs you will find.
When we saw the Samsung UA55D8000 after watching the LG 47LW6500, we were disappointed that the 3D performance wasn’t nearly as good as the LG.
However, what the Samsung lacks in 3D, it makes up in 2D performance. Activities like watching movies, viewing images and using it as a display with your PC is great with this TV. With similar smart TV features as the LG 47LW6500, it offers a lot for its price. Presentation of media and videos is beautiful and as a whole, the TV looks very stylish. Keeping aside the 3D features, it's a great TV if you're looking for an affordable 55-inch LED-backlit TV with good performance, this is it.
Stay tunedto Tech2 as we wrap up the year with the best products of 2011 in our Gadget of the Year (GOTY) series of features.
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