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CNET Top 5: LED LCD TVs
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CNET Top 5: LED LCD TVs

4:10 /

The hottest TV tech out there isn't 3D, it's LED. Here are the best LED LCD TVs according to CNET.

TV makers are throwing a lot of new technology at us this year, from 3D to connected to LED. But of all of those features, LED is the one you�ll use every time you turn on the television. So let�s rank the Top 5 LED LCD TV�s according to CNET�s review scores. #5 is the Samsung UNC8000 series. This guy has better black levels that many other edge-lit LED�s, which are the really thin kind. We also love its streaming and Samsung Apps platform for various widgets. It also converts 2D to 3D which works better than we expected, but don�t buy it for that reason � it doesn�t even include a pair of 3D glasses which tells you that�s not the point here. It is pricey at a best street price of $2,169 the day we shot this and you give up some off angle viewing which you�ll miss when a lot of people come over to watch. #4 is the Sony XBR-HX909 series. Great black levels, which is the holy grail for LCD TV�s of any kind and handles films on DVD really well which not every TV does. It�s also 3D compatible and has a cool monolithic look we love. It is pricey at $2,159 street today and as a local dimming LED its not as thin as an edge lit set. #3 is the LG LE8500 series. Superb black levels, accurate color, really good off angle viewing. But this local diming LED TV does have some uneven backlighting issues though they don�t clobber the overall picture quality. No 3D on this guy, which is almost refreshing, but there are streaming services. Its ready for wired Ethernet or of the box but Wi-Fi requires an optional dongle for $70. #2 is also an LG, the step up big brother to the last one: it�s the LX9500. So take that excellent set and add a thinner profile of just 1.3�, a super skinny bezel, 3D and 2D-3D conversion -- but no 3D glasses are included and they would have to be the pricey active shutter type. And it�s not worth it anyway since the 3D quality isn�t fully baked yet. Before we get to #1 a couple of FAQ�s about LED TV�s. First, all LED TV�s are LCD TV�s; LED is technologically inapplicable to Plasma. LCD TVs traditionally have a series of fluorescent tubes behind the picture. LED LCD replace those with LED�s around the edge � those are �edge lit� sets � or with a full array of LED�s behind the picture, those are local dimming sets. Local dimming tend to be more accurate, edge lit tend to be thinner, but both are fairly new and improving fast. OK, let�s get to the #1 LED LCD according to CNET Reviews from Q1 2011: It�s the only one that earned a CNET Editor�s Choice, the Vizio XVT3SV series. It�s a local dimmer that great black levels and just about everything else, excellent streaming services and interactivity widgets, has built in Wi-Fi and a Bluetooth remote with a built in keyboard. And it�s the cheapest TV in our list by at least hundreds. It does suffer from some blooming issues, which a lot of local dimmers do, and doesn�t do 3D which can be a plus or a minus depending how you feel about 3D. Simply put, you can�t spend your money any more wisely on an LED LCD TV right now which is particularly impressive since Vizio used to be a value brand, now it�s just an industry ass kicker. For more T5�s like this, etc.

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