Holiday Buyer's Guide | Upgrading Your HDTV

According to market research, the average HDTV in America is most likely a four-year-old plasma with 720p or 1080i resolution. If this sounds like your aging flat screen, now is a good time to upgrade. HD technology has advanced significantly in the past few years, driving picture quality up and prices down. It's tough to find a flat screen with a crummy picture these days. You'll find amazing deals on some of yesteryear's high-end models, while new technology has pushed the cutting edge forward to previously unthinkable places. We've selected a few of the best buys right here:
By , Last updated on: 12/3/2014

If you think bigger is better, money is a factor, and picture quality is secondary, the Panasonic Viera TC-P50X1 is a great choice. It's a plasma display with 720p resolution, so it's not on the cutting edge by this year's standards, but it's still a 50-inch TV for about $700 (that amount of money probably couldn't even get you a 37-incher a few years ago). All things considered, this is a huge bang for your buck.

If you have some extra money to burn and want a solid, up-to-date HDTV with some slick features, check out the Sony Bravia KDL-46W5100. This ranks among the year's hot models. The 46-inch, 1080p LCD display and a 120Hz refresh rate provide for a crisp, motion-blur free picture, while Bravia Video and DLNA home networking make multimedia access quick and easy. It's a few thousand bucks cheaper than the most advanced flat screens out there, but you won't notice much of a difference anyway.

When money is no object and you want the biggest, meanest HDTV out there for the sake of having it, go all in and nab a Samsung 8 Series UN55B8500. This bad boy has everything: LED backlighting, 240Hz refresh rate, Internet@TV connectivity, DLNA networking, and a massive 55-inch screen. Is this all necessary? Absolutely not. But your investment-banker friends will be really, really jealous of you.

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