The outlook: What we know about OLED TV is simultaneously tantalizing and frustrating, a mix of stupendous picture quality and ultra-thin form, combined with uncertainty about pricing, longevity and when it will actually compete in the mainstream market against plasma and LED/LCD. We do know LG was the first to announce a big-screen OLED TV for sale this year, and that's enough to earn first place on this list, among other honors.
And then there's the question of shipping. Last we heard, both LG and Samsung (see the next slide) were still claiming their 55-inch OLED TVs would be available for sale in the U.S. this year. At this late date, however, I wouldn't be surprised if both makers delayed their U.S. launches into 2013, and settled on Korea-only availability for this year. LG still still claims it'll make 2012, however.
The outlook: Samsung provides even less information than LG on its OLED TV--in this case a full product name and offical image--but also promises miraculous TV goodness for an undisclosed, but reportedly almost five-figure, price.
Price: $3,499 (55-inch), $5,499 (65-inch)
The outlook: We asked Sharp for news on the 2013 version of the Elite but they're still mum. Not so Sony, purveyor of the the HX929--runner-up to the Elite as the best LED TV of 2011. The HX950 promises to be even better according to Sony, so we're excited to review one.
The outlook: Much like it was with a 55-inch OLED, LG was the first to announce a TV with 4K resolution, and it will be the first to ship one. This one. Aside from having all those pixels, the 84LM9600 happens to be 84 inches diagonal. Whether or not you think 4K TVs are stupid, you probably won't probably be able to afford the first one.
The outlook: Sony's 84-inch 4K TV is largely (get it?) similar to LG's, down to the passive implementation of 3D, a first for Sony. The 84X800 differentiates itself with a 10-driver speaker system, and one of the funkiest stands we've ever seen. Sony also upped LG's asking price by a cool five grand--officially making the XBR-84X800 one of the most expensive mass-market TVs ever.
The outlook: While not quite 84 inches diagonal or $25,000, Samsung's 75-incher makes up for the difference with an ultra-thin bezel and voice and gesture control. Plus, the deep of wallet can actually buy one now.
The outlook: The price of this brand-new Vizio, successor to the nearly identical M3D650SV, makes it mighty compelling for a 65-inch LED TV. That price also makes it the only TV on this list that's remotely affordable. We expect to review this TV in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, for more alternatives you can afford without a second mortgage, check out our Best TVs lists.