Yonkers, NY–Bigger, better, cheaper–those three words sum up the major trends in LCD and plasma TVs this year according to Consumer Reports Annual Electronics Issue, available now on newsstands. The latest round of testing turned up the best flat panel set that Consumer Reports has ever tested: the Panasonic TH-50PZ700U plasma TV. Additionally, the Panasonic brand of flat-screen TVs has fared well in Consumer Reports Annual Product Reliability Survey.
The Panasonic 50-inch TH-50PZ700U ($2,900) is one of the new breed of 1080p plasma TVs. It combines 1920×1080 native resolution with the characteristic strengths of plasma technology. In Consumer Reports’ tests, the Panasonic TH-50PZ700U reproduced the finest detail, rich vibrant colors, and deep blacks that lent an almost three-dimensional look to images. It scored Excellent for HD, DVD, and standard-definition picture quality in Consumer Reports tests.
Consumer Reports has a comprehensive testing program for electronics. Consumer Reports tests more than 150 televisions, along with hundreds of other electronics products, annually in its state-of-the-art labs in Yonkers, New York. In addition to picture quality, Consumer Reports tests televisions for sound quality, and ease-of-use with the remote and the on-screen menu.
Consumer Reports notes that whichever type of TV consumers ultimately decide to buy, its best not to skimp on screen size. In CR surveys, many consumers said they would buy a bigger set if they could do it over. In the Annual Electronics Issue, Consumer Reports has outlined the benefits of LCD and plasma TVs.
The Consumer Reports Annual Electronics Issue also includes Ratings of DVD recorders and a First Look at the TiVo HD, Ratings of digital cameras, camcorders, laptops and printers.