CNET's BEST TVs by Feature


Check out the four 2012 TVs so far to score a "10" in each of our four review subratings: Design, Features, Picture quality, and Value.

Maybe you don't care how many features a TV has. Maybe you just want to see the coolest design going. Maybe all you want is the best bang for your buck, or the best picture regardless of cost.
Lucky for you, CNET's reviews have subratings. All of our TV reviews are rated according to four criteria -- Design, Features, Picture quality, and Value -- that are weighted, sifted, and centrifuged into the overall star rating.

Unfortunately you can't sort CNET's TV reviews by subrating on the Web site yet, so in the meantime I present the four TVs that would be perched at the top of those sorted lists. Each scored the only "10" we've awarded so far this year in the subratings mentioned above; they're not perfect, but a "10" is as good as it gets. I also list runners-up and potential challengers in each subcategory.

CNET's TV Review Ratings 2012

Best design: LG LM9600 series
This high-end TV is simply an incredibly striking piece of furniture. The panel is trimmed with a thin aluminum strip, which is the only thing separating the screen from your room, and the border is ravishingly thin at 5 millimeters. The ribbon stand is original and adds even more class -- we prefer it to the "U" stand on Samsung's rival ES8000. Read the full review.

Runners up/challengers: Four TVs, the Panasonic VT50 and GT50, and the Samsung PNE6500 and PNE8000, have scored a "9" in Design this year so far. I expect the Samsung UNES8000 to score very well, and I wouldn't be surprised if the OLED TVs from LG and Samsung equal that "10."

Best features: Samsung PNE8000 series
The Kitchen Sink award for 2012 goes to Samsung PNE8000 plasma and UNES8000 LED TVs. They offer voice and gesture control, touch-pad remotes, a Bluetooth-to-IR blaster, included 3D glasses, a wealth of Smart TV content, oodles of picture settings, and more. I doubt any TVs that are more feature-festooned will appear this year. Read the full review.

Runners up/challengers: Both the Panasonic VT50 and the LG LM9600 above scored a "9" in Features. The Samsung UNES8000 will get a "10" when I finish its review, and in addition to those OLED TVs, the Vizio XVT3D580CM also packs a features punch.

Best picture quality: Panasonic TC-PVT50 series
In a year when the first two big-screen OLED TVs are hitting the market and the best LCD to date will likely have an even better successor, Panasonic's VT50 plasma still has the best flat-panel picture you can buy -- for now. Its black-level performance, shadow detail, color accuracy, and bright-room picture quality outdo the competition. Read the full review.

Runners up/challengers: The only other TVs to ever score a "10" in this category are the Sharp Elite LCD and, yes, that hoary veteran, the Pioneer Kuro (circa 2008). Four 2012 TVs, the Panasonic GT50 and ST50, as well as the Samsung PNE6500 and PNE8000 earned a "9." All are plasmas; the highest score from an LCD so far is the "8" from Sony's HX850. Those oft-mentioned OLED TVs are again potential "10"s, as is the next (as yet unannounced) Sharp Elite.

Best value: Panasonic TC-PST50 series
I recently awarded the ST50 CNET's first 2012 TV Editors' Choice based on its excellent bang for the buck. It delivers one of the best pictures you can buy for a midrange price that is, frankly, a steal. Yes, you can pay less for a very good picture, but in my book this TV is worth every penny, and then some. Read the full review.

Runners up/challengers: Only two other TVs in 2012, the Samsung PNE6500 and Panasonic TC-PUT50, have earned a "9" in Value, and I've only awarded one "8" so far, to the Sharp LC-LE640U series. I'd be surprised if any other TVs earn a "10" this year, but hey, you never know.

This article originally appeared on CNET by David Katzmaier
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3 comment for "CNET's BEST TVs by Feature"

  1. Great post. I was doing research on CNET and Halsey Minor for a paper that I am writing when I came across your post. I actually have the Panasonic TC-PVT50 series in my bedroom and I think it is an amazing tv. Thanks for sharing.

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