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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Panasonic TC-P50ST60

Panasonic TC-P50S60

Sharp LC-60LE650U

Vizio E601i-A3

Samsung UN50F6300

Panasonic TC-L58E60

TCL LE58FHDE3010

Samsung PN51F5500

As the only TV CNET has ever given five stars, the ST60 series is an amazing value for the quality of picture it delivers. The smallest size, 50 inches, starts just under the magic $1000 number. Buy it while you can.

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$1,149.99 MSRP

It can't match the picture quality of the ST60 in brighter rooms, but the S60 is an equally good value thanks to its rock-bottom price. You simply can't get a better TV for the money. The only downside it the 60-inch version costs slightly more than a grand, so we're listing the 50-incher here.

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At press time Sharp's cheapest 60-inch LED LCD cost a few bucks more than our $1000 limit, but it's a good enough value to include anyway. We think it's destined for a price reduction this year to take it under the barrier, and even if that doesn't happen it still has better picture quality than the 60-inch Vizio on the next slide.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
$1,499.99 MSRP
When this 60-inch TV first came out in late 2012 we called it "our value pick so far this year." It's still current, and still a great choice if you want lotsa screen for little money.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Yes, at 50 inches it's smaller than either the Sharp or the Vizio, and it doesn't beat either of those two in picture quality, but it does offer sleeker style and the industry's best Smart TV platform.

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Panasonic is best known for its value-first plasmas, but the E60 LED LCD, now under a grand for the 58-inch size, is an excellent alternative.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
$1,499.99 MSRP

You say you want a TV larger than 55 inches, but you want to pay less than $800? We don't know of any that qualify aside from this TCL. Think of its "good enough" picture quality as icing on the delicious big-for-the-buck cake.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET

Falling somewhere between the Panasonic plasmas on the price scale, this 51-inch Samsung's not-too-shabby picture isn't enough to recommend it over those two. For that, you'd need to turn to its excellent Smart TV suite.

Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
$1,349.99 MSRP
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