What Does $3,000 (and more) Buy You in an HDTV Set?
As inexpensive as some HDTV sets have become with many sets suitable for the average sized living room selling for around $1,000, we thought we’d provide a roundup of some of the higher end sets, many of which were announced at this year’s CES show and are expected to start shipping any day now.
Samsung ES8000 Series
The 8000 series represents Samsung’s top-of-the-line HDTV sets. The new UNES8000 series not only offers a high refresh rate 3DTV in a very thin package but adds a lot of the new “smart” features like voice and gesture interaction. These sets include a new touch-based remote and a camera and microphone on the top of the set which allows you to interact with the TV through voice or gesture commands. The camera can also be used with Internet-based apps like Skype or with a face-recognition app that can be used to restrict access among other things. Although the 2012 8000 series lacks an LED array back-light, Samsung claims the “zones” they created using edge-lit technology offers something comparable to local dimming. If these TVs look as good as the 8000 series sets we saw at CES, they should be quite impressive and worth the $4,000-plus price tags.


This year’s flagship Sony BRAVIA HX850 is one of their ultra-thin monolithic displays made from Corning Gorilla Glass. This new 3DTV features Sony’s image enhancement technology including Motionflow, X-Reality Pro along with dynamic, Frame Dimming, edge-lit LED backlighting. Although pricing has yet to be announced we’re going to take an educated guess that the new HX850 is going to cost in the $3500 - $5000 range.
Panasonic VT50 Plasma TV
There are many TV enthusiasts who still swear by plasma TVs with their warm, rich colors, deep blacks and fast refresh rates. Although there are fewer plasma TVs to choose from these days Panasonic plasma TV are still considered some of the best and the VT50 represents the top of the Panasonic plasma line. You’ll have to wait another couple of months for the VT50 and we’re pretty sure it’s going to be in the $3,000 and possibly higher price range.
Vizio XVT 3D CinemaWide TV
The new Vizio CinemaWide 58-inch TV could be the ultimate living room HDTV set for watching movies. The aspect ratio has been increased from the standard HDTV 16:9 to a very wide 21:9 which should do a better job of recreating that wide-screen movie theater experience. These new widescreen 3DTV sets will cost you $3,500 and more and you can get one all the way up to 71-inches in size.
LG LM9600
We’re not even going to talk about the 55-inch LG OLED TV and the 84-inch 4K HDTV that were on display at CES because who knows when these will be available to buy and how much they will cost. On the other hand, LG’s flagship HDTV the LM9600 should be available later this year however, pricing still remains a mystery. LG brands their technology as “nano” which they claim allows them to make a good looking display that is less than 5mm thick or should we say, thin. LG also uses passive 3D technology in the LM9600 series which makes for lighter and cheaper 3D glasses. In addition to the super thin frame you get a new remote with voice control and full array local dimming back lighting. A 60-inch version will be available later this year and a wild guess would put the price anywhere around $3,000 - $5,000.

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