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Consumer Reports top-rated TV's for the Super Bowl

Don't Waste Your Money

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There are lots of sales on TVs right before the Super Bowl. You will find discounts of up to 25% right now at Amazon,. Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and hh gregg, as the week before the big game is traditionally the best time to buy a TV outside of Black Friday.

But how do you know if the television that's on sale is going to be a great set in the long run?

Our partners at Consumer Reports Magazine can help you find a TV that really scores.

Consumer Reports Latest Tests

The Consumer Reports TV labs are lined with dozens of LCD and plasma sets. Each television faces more than 10 tests. One sizes up picture quality at an angle in order to find out how far to the side you can sit and still get a good view. In general, plasmas don't have a viewing angle issue, but it's a mixed bag when it comes to LCDs.

Testers also evaluate black levels in different lights on plasmas and LCDs. Even in bright light, LCDs hold their black levels. But on some plasmas, the image washes out.

Consumer Reports also evaluates sound quality. As TVs got slimmer, sound quality suffered. But the latest tests show that audio is improving.

And what about 3D? With more and more sets offering 3D as a feature, Consumer Reports created special test patterns to assess the quality of the 3D picture. Some of the top-rated sets are 3D, and still provide excellent 2D picture quality. But you will pay more for a 3D set.

Top Rated TV's

       -The 60-inch Panasonic Viera TC-P60S30 is a plasma that rated excellent for picture quality and has good black levels and audio.

It costs $1,400. If that's a little too much TV for your budget, the same set comes in a 50-inch size for several hundred less.

The Panasonic Viera TC-P50S30 also rated very good, and it costs $800.

Other 46 - 55 inch Best Buys include:

         -Vizio E552VLE: $850: 55 inch LCD

       -Samsung UN46EH5000, $730: 46 inch LED

        -LG 50PA6500: $650: 50 inch plasma

Top Rated Smaller TV's

        -Samsung PN43E450: $430: 43 inch plasma

        -Samsung UN32EH4000: $330: 32 inch LCD

As always, don't waste your money.

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