Best LCD TVs for small spaces

The smaller TVs cost a lot less than the big ones. A 52-inch set can run about $2,700, while a 26-inch set goes for $600.

Consumer Reports' Caroline Somera, who's tested hundreds of sets, says a small screen doesn't mean an inferior picture.

"Many of the 32- and 26-inch sets that we've tested can deliver excellent high-definition picture quality," said Somera.

Some of the smaller sets Consumer Reports tested are 1080p, which can display all the details in a high-definition signal. But they tend to be pricey.

When all the testing was done, Consumer Reports gave the Panasonic TC-26LX85 26-inch LCD HDTV the top grade among 26-inch sets. The Panasonic costs about $550 and has a wider viewing angle than many other LCDs, so it's easy to see from the side.

Once you buy a flat-screen TV, what are the odds you'll need repairs anytime soon? Consumer Reports says its research center's survey covering more than 168,000 LCD and plasma TVs bought in the last three years shows they've required very few repairs.

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