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Back to school: Televisions

Whether you're looking to put a TV in a dorm room or simply enjoying a kid-free lounge room, these are the best "back-to-school" televisions.

Ty Pendlebury
Ty Pendlebury has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Ty Pendlebury
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1 of 5 Sarah Tew/CNET

Biggest bang for your buck

If you're looking for the best picture for the least amount of money, you can't go past the Panasonic ST50. While it might cost a little more than $1,000 online, it has better picture quality than the best TV of 2011 -- and it cost more than $2,000 at the time! While you can get (marginally) better TVs than this, none of them is as good a value as the ST50.
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2 of 5 Sarah Tew/CNET

Best budget home cinema TV

Not quite as good as the Panasonic ST50 in a lit room -- it lacks the louver filter -- the step-down UT50 is just as good in every other way, and also cheaper.
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3 of 5 Sarah Tew/CNET

Best mid-priced LED TV

Sharp is best known for huge TVs such as the 90-inch LE745, but it also makes great midrange TVs as well. The LE640 is a great balance of performance, features, and price.
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4 of 5 Sarah Tew/CNET

Best no-frills LED choice

While Samsung is best known for producing high-quality, budget LCDs, don't write off Toshiba. Its 5200 may be low on features, but it has excellent image quality for the price.
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5 of 5 Sarah Tew/CNET

Best futuristic TV

If you're looking to go the whole hog, and want a TV that's ridiculously tricked out, then the ES8000 is your boy. While 2D performance is lacking, this is one of the best sets available for 3D viewing.

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