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$1,000 - $2,500
Jumping up a little in pricing can make all the difference in the world, especially since it gets you into the range of fully equipped 3D sets, higher quality screens, and the much sought after fourth color. Keep in mind, we're looking at the current selling price here – some of these sets have MSRPs above the $2,500 limit.
Top Pick: Panasonic 50" GT25 Plasma - TC-P50GT25
Panasonic has a history of excellence with its plasmas. They sport better black levels than most, as well as better color reproduction. The GT25 in particular boasts THX certification, which means you'll also get THX Mode, saving you some hassle in calibration.
The GT25 shines when it comes to 3D, too. Panasonic plasmas were just rated as the best 3D sets by Consumer Reports which cited very small amounts of ghosting as compared to other sets. It's a good thing too, since if you buy a GT25 before the end of the month, you'll get a starter kit that includes a DMP-BDT100 Blu-ray player and two pairs of glasses.
Sony 46" Internet TV - NSX40GT1
If you don't care about 3D, this might be the most exciting set in its price range. It may not offer the absolute top in video quality - LED edge lighting leaves something to be desired – but it's by no means a bad looking set.
Unlike most of the TVs on the list though, it's not the picture that really gets us excited. The Internet TV packs a load of features into one set. You get an internet browser, apps for Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon on Demand and more. The set even comes with a QWERTY keyboard to make searching and web navigation even easier.
Samsung 50" 8000 Series Plasma - PN50C8000YF
The 8000 series is a huge step up from Samsungs sub-$1,000 plasma offering. It ups the resolution to 1080p and adds an E3 panel and Samsung's own Crystal Full HD Engine that promises improved color saturation and an elimination of off-angle reflections. It's also internet capable and can access Netflix, Blockbuster, YouTube and more.
Samsung's 8000 line also includes a Blu-ray starter package if purchased before the end of the month. In addition to two pairs of glasses, you'll get a BD-C5900 3D Blu-ray player absolutely free. Not too shabby for someone that wants to jump into 3D.
Sharp 52" Quattron - LC-52LE810UN
Sharp's Quattron doesn't do 3D, and though it's got plenty going for it as far as internet features goes thanks to Aquos Net, it's not a set that relies on these features. The LE810UN is designed exclusively with picture quality in mind.
It's a 1080p set that uses a new X-Gen light panel that Sharp says minimizes light leakage and allows for the highest contrast level in the industry. It also uses a fourth color – yellow – to the traditional red, green and blue.