Explainer: The five best TVs under $1,000

  • LG
    The LG 42LE5400 is the thinnest LED-backlighted TV selling for under $1,000.

    With the U.S. economic slump continuing, TV shoppers are more price conscious than ever. In fact, in the third quarter of 2010, a whopping 85 percent of all plasma TVs and 61 percent of LCD TVs 40-inch and larger sold at prices below $1,000, according to TV industry marketing research firm Quixel.

    Fortunately for holiday shoppers, HDTV prices aren't going up. If anything, they're dropping further. Prospective buyers get bigger screens, more features and better HDTV performance than ever before, and for less money.

    We scoured the Internet and major retailers for the five best TVs in the land for under $1,000. (Once you've picked out the set you like below, learn how to get the best deal from your local brick-and-mortar store in HD Guru's guide to getting the best HDTV price.)

  • Panasonic G20/G25 series 1080p 50- and 54-inch plasma TVs


    Price: $999.99 for 54-inch at Costco; $984.98 + free shipping for 50-inch at 6Ave via Amazon

    The G20 and G25 deliver top-notch picture quality and perfect motion resolution, with  THX-certified picture presets for ideal settings without fiddling, and without pro calibration. The sets include Internet services and support Skype video (optional camera required).

  • Samsung PN50C490 50-inch 720p 3-D-ready plasma


    Price: $899.99 at Amazon

    Simply put, it's the only 3-D TV for under $1,000. It has great plasma image quality, perfect for PlayStation 3 3-D gaming as well as watching the latest 3-D Blu-ray movies. Bonus Alert: Samsung just began a dealer promotion where they'll throw in two pairs of 3-D glasses, a $300 retail value.

    To learn more about 3-D check out HD Guru's 3-D website

  • Toshiba 55HT1U 55-inch 120 Hz LCD


    Price: $999 at Best Buy

    It's the biggest LCD bang for the buck, size-wise. And you're not sacrificing picture quality: Since it has 120 Hz refresh rate, it's great for sports, as well as movies and everyday viewing.

  • LG 42LE5400 42-inch 120Hz LED LCD

    The LG 42LE5400 is the thinnest LED-backlighted TV selling for under $1,000.

    Price: $902.94 at Amazon; $1,087.70 for the 47-incher

    With a thickness of 1.2 inches, this LG model is probably the thinnest TV under $1,000. Better yet, it has LED backlighting, for high efficiency, and strong brightness and contrast. It has good motion resolution, Internet-connected streaming service and wireless 1080p compatibility (accessory required).

  • Sony KDL46EX500 46-inch 120Hz LCD


    Price: $899 at Amazon

    This highly rated Sony model performs well with both standard-definition and high-definition content. It provides good motion resolution, and, for homes with a lot of ambient light or shifting light conditions, it has a smart sensor to adjust the picture accordingly.

  • More stories from HD Guru

    How to pick the right HDTV

    Learn the ideal screen size with our Viewing Distance Chart

    How to get the best HDTV prices


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