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Vote: Black Friday 2010 Gadget Battle: Best HDTVs

Updated
By Josh Smith, dealnews writer

If you’ve been waiting and waiting to upgrade an old TV to a new HDTV, we usually recommend against jumping on Black Friday for high-end models. But this year, we’re seeing some deals that you should consider if you’re looking for a smaller, cheaper model.

We’ve rounded up the top models in an array of choices — CCFL, LED and Plasma (sorry no 3DTVs this year) — for a showdown quarterfinal for our Black Friday 2010 Gadget Battles. We have been sorting through the most coveted buys of the season in eReaders, video game systems, now HDTVs and next mobile computers. We will crown one overall best choice, by our experts and by you.

You get to do the voting on the first round, so take a look at your choices, then tell us your vote!

First, a few key things you need to know:

  • Screen Size: Our advice at dealnews is to buy the biggest TV you can afford, but keep in mind the size of your room. This handy chart will show you what size HDTV fits in your room.
  • Technology (CCFL, LED, Plasma and 3DTV) - Many of the cheapest HDTVs are using CCFL backlighting while the latest models use LEDs can result in deeper blacks and a thinner TV, but will add to your cost. Plasma HDTVs still represent a good value to consumers and offer warm colors. As far as 3D HDTVs go, it’s pretty new and there’s not a lot of content yet, so you may be better holding off a year or two.
  • Resolution and Refresh Rate - 1080p is the highest definition you’ll find and suited for watching Blu-Ray movies, for smaller sets and those used for watching HD cable 720P will do. As far as refresh rates go 120Hz is becoming standard and is sought after for fast paced sports, action movies and video games. If that doesn’t fit your viewing habits some of the cheapest Black Friday HDTV deals will have a slower 60Hz refresh rate.

Retrevo’s HDTV Buying Guide offers more details regarding the different types of screens, backlighting and 3DTV sets. When it comes to finding a great Black Friday HDTV deal Andrew Eisner of Retrevo warns that many sets will have, “one little gotcha,” such as a lower refresh rate, 720P resolution or fewer HDMI ports; but he adds, “for the price it may be worth it.”


Model Price* Size Refresh & Res. Specs Overall Value
$328 32"
720p
60Hz
2 HDMI Ports
VGA
Component
Moderate!
This model is a bare bones 32" HDTV, which many reviewers rank highly for a bedroom HDTV. If you are looking for a good picture in a small size and you don't need 1080p/120Hz this could be your new set.
$298 40" 1080p
60Hz
3HDMI
VGA
2 Component
High!
A step up in value, with support for 1080p and a lot of connections. Large enough for the living room, this set only has a 60Hz refresh so if you plan to watch sports or play games, you should look at one with a faster rate. If not this is a great value at under $300.
LG 42LD520
$499 42" 1080p 120Hz 3 HDMI
VGA
Component
2 Composite
Moderate!
With a fast refresh rate, ambient sensor and Picture Wizard Calibration, this LG is a promising set at an affordable $499. Even though the price is good, keep your eye out for a model with similar specs coming in at lower price on Black Friday, or a slightly larger HDTV which could offer more bang for your buck.
Samsung UN46C LED HDTV
$999 46" 1080p 120Hz 4 HDMI
VGA
Component
High!
This set has all the latest tech — a fast refresh rate, 1080p resolution and it's LED backlit which should deliver deeper blacks. The set has mostly favorable reviews. If you're looking for an LED set, with a fast refresh at a price you can afford, check out Black Friday HDTV deals on this set which should put it below $1,000.
$700 50" 1080p 600Hz 3 HDMI
2 Component
2 Composite
High!
If you've been searching for a Plasma HDTV deal on Black Friday this 1080p set from Panasonic is expected to be a doorbuster worth examining. Reviews ding the set for poor sound, so you may want to look into a soundbar or home theater to round out this deal. It's hard to argue with a 50" 1080p Plasma in this price range!
$999.99 55" 1080p
120Hz
3 HDMI
VGA
Component
Composite
High!
If you want to get the biggest HDTV for your dollar, skip over the 46" and 47" HDTVs and focus on a 55", and this is th one to look at on Black Friday. We've already seen this go for under $900 on sale, which is a deal. We expect to see a 55" 1080p HDTV go for around $799 on Black Friday. If this set drops that low be ready to buy.

When it comes down to finding the best Black Friday HDTV deal, or any day of the year, be sure to check out our HDTV deals. If you want to know more about a specific HDTV, Retrevo’s HDTV Product Advisor is a good place to start.

Now it's your turn to vote!







Josh Smith is a freelance writer who writes frequently about technology and consumer electronics and is based in Ohio. Follow him on Twitter — @josh_smith. You can also sign up for an email alert for all dealnews features.



For more great Black Friday coverage:

Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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