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Top 5 TVs of 2011

We pick the cream of the 2011 crop and while plasma has rightly enjoyed top position for the last few years it's now time for LED to take control.

In 2011, the biggest "breakthrough" may have been that connected TVs finally got a name--Smart TV--but the year also gave us some excellent televisions.

The Pioneer Kuro has remained the standard in picture quality since the last one rolled out of the factory three years ago, but this year it received a challenger: the Sharp Elite Pro. It wasn't even a plasma, but a highly sophisticated LCD, which eclipsed every other TV released this year.

Sharp aside, there were also standout TVs from Samsung and Panasonic, and LG started what could be a significant trend with the release of the first "passive" 3D televisions.

The TVs presented here in order of greatness are the pick of the crop from 2011, and in addition to excellent picture quality also come studded with the features--3D, Smart TV, etc.--demanded of a modern television.

Sharp Elite PRO series
If you're willing to pay for the privilege, the similarities between the Sharp Elite PRO and the hallowed Pioneer Kuro are more than skin deep. This is an amazing television.
Read the full review.

Samsung PND8000 series
With picture quality that's nearly the equal of the tough competition, as well as best-in-class design and features, the Samsung PND8000 makes a strong case for being the best overall plasma TV of 2011.
Read the full review.

Panasonic TC-PVT30 series (50-inch plasma)
Superb all-around picture quality, anchored by the deepest plasma black levels of the year, make the Panasonic TC-PVT30 series one of the best-performing TVs we've tested in 2011. Read the full review.

Sony XBR-HX929 series
One of the best-performing LED-based LCDs we've ever tested, the expensive local-dimming Sony XBR-HX929 competes well with the top plasmas.
Read the full review.

LG LW5600 series
While passive 3D has its flaws, the LG LW5600's 2D picture quality is very good for an edge-lit LED-based LCD TV, especially in bright rooms.
Read the full review.

Compare these TVs head-to-head.