Being in the market for a new TV is mixed blessing. On the one hand, the screen sizes of new models probably dwarf your aging or defunct set, and features like built-in internet connectivity and 4K resolution can change the way you watch video. Then again, there are far too many total options, features and technologies to quickly process, and asking advice from a big box salesperson is practically begging to be swindled.
Here, then, are the best televisions available right now. We tried to cover everything, from low-end models that perform surprisingly well, to a luxury choice suitable only for early adopters. And even as these choices become less current, their prices are bound to drop, making them just as viable (for at least another year).
Vizio E550I-B2 55-inch LED
Vizio has established itself as the best brand in bargain TVs, which isn't a back-handed compliment – their products are minor marvels of engineering. The 55-inch E550I-B2 maintains this tradition of low-cost excellence, with an image quality feature – called local LED dimming – that's normally found on the most expensive range of HD TVs. It automatically dims or brightens portions of the screen to adjust the contrast of whatever image is being displayed, making a bright light on one side of the screen pop, while the darker areas remains dark (instead of balancing out the entire screen to a muddy gray). [$700; store.vizio.com]