Best big-screen TV values under $1,000

A grand buys a lot of TV these days. Here are five of our favorites larger than 50 inches.

One undeniable trend in TVs is bigger screens for less money, and 2012's crop of LCD and plasma models goes bigger than ever.

For example, I reviewed a 60-inch Smart LED TV from Vizio that clocked in right beneath the magic $1,000 barrier, and its picture was better than that of many spendier LED sets. Even better is the same-size, same-price U50 plasma from Panasonic that trades smarts for improved picture quality. Meanwhile, one of the most popular TVs around is LG's own 60-inch, $999 PA6500 plasma, and while it can't beat either of those in a picture quality race, it's still a pretty good deal.

Below you'll find in-depth reviews of all three of these TVs, as well as two other sub-$1,000 sets that also qualify as "very good" values in my book (a 7 or higher in the Value subcategory) and still make the "big-screen" cut -- larger than 50 inches in this case. I've arranged them in descending order of overall CNET rating.


Panasonic TC-P60U50 (60-inch plasma)
The U50 is simply a phenomenal value considering its excellent picture quality, which blows away anything on this list. Read the full review.


Samsung PN51E550 (51-inch plasma)
The Samsung E550 is a great choice if you want something with extras like Smart TV and 3D for a price less than $1,000. Read the full review.


Vizio E60i-A3 (60-inch LED)
There's only a couple of 60-inch LED TVs on the market for less than a grand, and none of them has Smart TV except for this Vizio. Read the full review.


Sharp LC-52LE640U (52-inch LED)
With good picture quality and great pricing, the Sharp LC-52LE640U series makes a strong case for mainstream TV shoppers. Read the full review.


LG 60PA6500 (60-inch plasma)
Aside from arguably nicer styling, this otherwise lackluster TV's main advantage over the U50 is its better performance under bright lights. In such situations, the Vizio is even better, however. Read the full review.


Looking for specs and pricing? Compare these TVs head-to-head. Click through to the reviews for additional screen sizes.

 

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