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Latest TV technologies tested by Consumer Reports

In the market for a new TV? It's no longer just LCD and plasma you have to consider. Consumer Reports tested some.
October 17, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
In the market for a new TV? It's no longer just LCD and plasma you have to consider. There's a revolution in TV display technology.

When you're shopping for a television, the choices can seem overwhelming. Consumer Reports' TV experts say it's only going to get more confusing.

They've tested the latest TV technologies -- OLED and ultra HD -- and say these first sets, while very pricey, have a lot to offer.

Ultra HD is a higher-resolution LCD set. That means you can get huge screens, like a 84-inch one. You also get a beautiful picture with lots of detail. But ultra HD sets start at $4,000 for a decent one, and there's another drawback.

"The problem with ultra HD is that it needs a whole ecosystem of high definition content that's ultra HD content, sometimes called 4K. And that really doesn't exist right now, so you have a TV with a high resolution and not a lot of content to feed it," said Jim Willcox with Consumer Reports.

OLED is another impressive new technology. The black levels on one OLED set that testers tested were the best they have ever seen. The brightness levels were also great. But prices are still high. OLED sets start at about $9,000.

"We feel that over the course of four or five years, it will become a more mainstream product," said Willcox.

Meanwhile, Consumer Reports says plasma TVs continue to improve. For example, Consumer Reports recommends the 55-inch Panasonic Plasma. You'll get excellent picture quality for about $1,400.

If your TV is in a room that gets a lot of light, an LCD television might be the best choice. Consumer Reports recommends the 55-inch LG 55GA7900. You'll get an excellent picture, very good sound, and a wide viewing angle for $1,500.

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