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'Consumer Reports' Touts HDTV Quality, Lower Prices

4 Feb, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Citing a 40% drop in comparable-year pricing and improved features, Consumer Reports in its March issue rating 101 HDTVs said it's a bull market for plasma, LCD and rear-projection models.

The report said consumers should consider a 1080p-resolution model first if price is no object. At the same time, tests revealed that many 720p resolution models — especially below 50 inches — performed better than 1080p models.

For example, CR cited Samsung's 40-inch LCD set (LN-T4053H) with 720p resolution for $1,500 as the top pick in its size.Panasonic's plasma models again dominated large-size screens, led by the 58-inch, 1080p model (TH-58PZ7OU) for $5,000.

For budget-minded consumers, the report cited several brands below $1,000 but added that the best 32-inch LCD units cost more than $1,000.

The HDTV report concluded that the new model LCD, plasma and rear-projection units consume as much energy as 32-inch and 36-inch picture tube TVs. The exceptions were 50-inch and above screen sizes with 1080p resolution that used nearly twice the energy as the largest picture tube set and significantly more than comparable LCD models.

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