Best LED LCD TVs

By Mike Wheeler

 

What are some fo the best LED LCD televisions out there with good price points? We thought we'd do the donkey work for you. Here are our picks…

By Mike Wheeler

 

Liquid Crystal Display, or LCD, televisions have become the go-to televisions over the past couple of years compared to their plasma counterpart mainly because LCDs tend to consume more power than the plasma. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look into a plasma as the technology is going to be around for some time to come. However, like any decision being made with technology there are so many different types and models to choose from, you can sit there scratching your head about which is best for you.

 

Knowing it can be a time-consuming task, we’ve taken a look at what all the big players – and some smaller ones too –have to offer and pick what we think are the best units. We will be covering LCDs that have LED technology, and we have divided them up by brand. Within that brand we have chosen what we consider to be the best for a house, and one for an apartment. We are not covering OLED, plasma or UHD TVs in this article. They will be covered at a later date. Most of these units can be wall-mounted, but make sure you ask for advice if you are thinking of doing so. Most of these are not the latest and greatest but are in stock at your local consumer electronics store.

 

SONY
For the House

Sony has a nice range of LCDs, not too big to engulf you in tech overload, but enough to make it a hard choice. We were umming and ahhing between its Bravia 800 and 900 ranges, and ended up settling on its 55-inch W800A, mainly due to price point. The W900A 55-inch is similar but has 200Hz instead of 100Hz refresh rate like the model we’ve chosen. However, the W800A has a price point $1200 cheaper at $2,299. You’ll get a 3D television with four pairs of glasses, the ability to stream content wirelessly from the internet over the television (check your data plan), Skype to friends and family overseas (no built-in camera), and crisp, clear sound. Sony uses its X-Reality Pro as its picture engine, which certainly makes for great images. 

 

For the Apartment
There aren’t  too many choices in this category, but of the ones there are, then the 32-inch W670A Bravia is the one we would go for as it too has the Reality Pro engine. For such a small unit there is a lot of technology including being Full HD, integrated wifi and a reasonably impressive number of ports including HDMI for your DVD/Blu-ray player. It will set you back $699. 

SAMSUNG
For the House

Samsung’s range is a lot more extensive and so the choice is harder. And Samsung itself tries hard, especially in the features department. It’s as if all the Ideas People at the company got together and said, “how much technology can we shove into one box?” and thus was born the Series 8. And the narcissist in us says “Choose a Series 8! Choose a series 8!”, however the bank account says “not so fast!” The Series 8 LCDs are beautiful, and we would love to recommend one, but we’re looking at the best value for money, so we’ve had to look at the Series 6 or 7, and we think the best bang for your buck would be the former.  The 60-inch Series 6 F6400LED 3D smart television comes in at about $2,400. Its picture is exquisite as you would expect, and has this nifty little feature called Micro Dimming which brings more clarity to darkened scenes. We really like the connectivity too, especially with four HDMI ports so you can connect Blu-ray players and gaming consoles without have to disconnect and reconnect all the time. For its encyclopaedic list of features click here

 

For the Apartment
We like the Series 4 28-inch F4000, not so much because of its features (which are not huge), but because of its price. You can pick one up online from anywhere between $380 and $420. If you’re not sure you can trust the internet, you could contact a retailer to get one in for you. It has 2 HDMI ports and a USB port, so you can watch movies and stream content via a DVD Player or USB stick. Its refresh rate is only 50Hz, but with a screen size this big, this is more than enough. This little guy doesn’t fit into the smart television category, but if you’re watching your pennies this is a nice choice.

 

PANASONIC
For the House

Viera is the designated name for Panasonic’s range of televisions. Like all those featured in this list, they have a massive range, we just wish they’d give them more user-friendly product names, which are a bit convoluted and therefore confusing. Cutting through all the noise, we’d have a serious look at the Viera TH-L55DT60A. This is a 55-inch beauty that will set you back $2,999 and comes with swipe and share whereby you can swipe movies, photos and music from your smartphone or tablet to the television. It has all the bells and whistles of a smart television, although there is no built-in camera, so you’ll have to buy one. It is wifi enabled and comes with 178-degree vertical viewing.

 

For the Apartment
We like the TH-L32V6A (full disclosure, we have one of these in our household), not least because at 32-inches it has built-in wifi, swipe and share 2.0 technology, and web browsing ability, but more importantly, will set you back at a reasonable $599. This has nice lines and would sit nicely in any entertainment area in an apartment.

 

LG
For the House

LG TVs have nice lines and have nice 55 and 60 inch models available. For $2,699 you can have the 55LA7400 model (full disclosure again – our main television in our house is an LG 55-inch unit, although not this one), which as well as being full HD, has a refresh rate of 200Hz, a resolution upscaler and a tonne of inputs. What is really cool is its dual play ability for gaming. Two gamers can wear glasses and instead of a split screen can see a whole screen each.

 

For the Apartment
We were almost swayed by the 26-in HD LED LCD Monitor TV but decided it didn’t quite fit the bill. However, the 32-inch Full HD smart 3D television did. A little bit more pricey than some of its competitors at $929, but that’s because it has the TruMotion technology of its bigger cousin, as well as a resolution upscaler and smart sharing technology so is worth the extra cash.

 

TOSHIBA
For the House

There was a time when Toshiba had a massive range to choose from, but it appears they have pared down their selection somewhat.  For the “House” category there is only one choice and that is the 50-inch 50L2300A unit. So is it up to scratch? It’s OK. It has a 50Hz refresh rate, which isn’t that great and only 2 HDMI ports. However, there is plenty of other connectivity, and its sound is in stereo. It can be wall-mounted, and is a Full HD unit. It will set you back $1,219.

 

For the Apartment
There are 22- to 32-inch unites to pick form, and we’d check out the 32-inch 32W1300A television. Like its big brother, it also has a 50Hz refresh rate, but unlike the 50-inch model, this is more than enough. It also has two HDMI ports as well as 178-degree viewing angle. It’s not a bad price either, coming in at $499.

 

SHARP
For the House

Sharp doesn’t have the presence of the big players in the market, but its gear is still available in most consumer electronics store. It also means they don’t have as big of a selection either.  Probably the best of the bunch is the 60-inch LC60LE631X, but comes in a tad expensive at $2,299 when compared to others. It has a 100Hz refresh rate, TruSurround HD, and an in-built TV tuner. It uses LED backlight LCD technology, which means slightly better picture than those that use edge-lit technology.

 

For the Apartment
For smaller spaces we’d check out the 32-inch Aquos LED TV. It comes in at $549, which – pound-for-pound –  is a little bit more expensive than the other 32-inch unit available, but the other device used edge backlighting technology. It has a generous three HDMI ports, Super Eco mode to reduce power consumption, and a USB multimedia player for movies and music.

 

HISENSE
For the House

Relatively new to the market is Chinese brand Hisense. It’s are slowly expanding its brand in Australia. And because they are trying to get a foothold, they are a little cheaper than the bigger names, which is good for the consumer. However, they don’t have the brand trust or awareness yet. Still, if you want a huge screen at a cheaper price then you can check out the 65-inch XT 780 that will set you back $2,799. It has a 100Hz refresh rate, a native contrast ratio of 4000:1, as well as a massive number of ports and built-in wifi.

 

For the Apartment
This one caught us a little by surprise. There are a couple of units available in this range, and we feel we’re cheating because of the size, but it’s hard to go past the 39-inch K610L Series, which comes in at $999. We’re hoping it’s a big apartment. It is a 3D television and has built-in wifi, a 50Hz refresh rate, a native contrast ratio of 5000:1 and an impressive number of ports. Might be a little bit big, but at that price we’re sure you’ll find some room.

 

Next: Best Plasmas

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