Photo of Barry Reiner

Barry Reiner

Professional Home Entertainment Expert

Best Flat Screen & Best Flat Screen Televisions

Home Theater Overview:

If properly designed, a home theater can be a special place. A place to laugh, relax, and enjoy. A haven from the outside world. A welcome respite from your busy lifestyle.

A variety of components are needed to make up a superior home theater—some more obvious than others. However, in the context of this website, we can’t provide in-depth coverage of all the products. So here are a few to whet your appetite.

In a great theater, the sound and visual experience are critical elements. That’s why we discussed the top projectors, flat screen televisions, and speaker systems. And to help you keep control of it all, we’ve recommended the best remote controls.

The areas that we haven’t covered are equally as important to designing a custom home theater. These areas are seating, projection screens, acoustical treatments, surround sound receivers and separates, and complements such as Blu-ray and high-performance media servers.

Flat Screen Overview:

When it comes to home entertainment, there’s only one thing better than watching a great movie. And that’s watching it on a large, high-quality, flat-screen TV. So here’s my Best of the Best flat panel-displays. They’re all top-of-the-line, of course, and they offer picture quality that makes movie watching more intense and satisfying.

For the world’s best black levels, the Pioneer Elite Kuro Plasma 60” is the obvious choice. Panasonic’s Plasma 103” dominates the huge-screen category, while Sharp’s LC-65SE94U LCD 65” offers built-in Internet, high contrast and stylish design. LED backlighting makes Samsung’s LN-T5781F a clear standout, while Runco’s SP-60DHD has an edge with its all-digital DHD controller featuring advanced Vivix processing.

The best flat screen is the key to a successful home theater system. We suggest the best flat screen televisions at the best price so you will have many memorable moments watching movies, playing games and enjoying each other in front of the flat screen TV.

Best Flat Screen Televisions by Barry Reiner

The Best You Can Get

  • Pioneer Elite Kuro Plasma 60”

    Barry says: True to its name, the Pioneer Elite Kuro Plasma 60” PRO-150FD is in a class by itself. It offers superb picture quality with ultra rich colors and deep black levels - which is to be expected, since “kuro” means black in Japanese. In fact, this model delivers some of the world’s best black levels.

    And with its 1920 x 1080 native resolution, the PRO-150FD does what many of its rivals can’t. It’s capable of true 1080p display, and delivers one of the best pictures I’ve encountered in the plasma category. But that’s just one of the reasons why it tops my Best of the Best list for flat screens. While the screen is not overly large, it’s ample enough for the average viewing room. And the PRO-150FD is fully-loaded with advanced video processing features, a sensor that automatically adjusts for ambient light conditions, impressive connectivity with four HDMI 1.3 inputs and a sleek stylish design. Of course, you’ll pay a pretty penny for all these wonderful features, but the PRO-150FD is definitely worth the money.

    • 1920 x 1080 native resolution
    • Anti-glare/reflective filter
    • IP network compatibility
    • 17-watt stereo digital Amplifier
    • Four independent HDMI 1.3 Inputs
  • Panasonic Plasma 103”

    Barry says: Big isn’t always better. But Panasonic’s 103” TH103PF10UK model definitely ranks among the biggest and best. This professional model from Panasonic is the industry’s largest plasma panel. Pushing the boundaries of size, innovation and performance, it’s also one of the most versatile and flexible displays available.

    The Panasonic plasma 103” display delivers incredible images featuring full HD resolution of 1,920 X 1,080 pixels and a contrast ratio of 5,000:1. With a multi-function slot system, it’s versatile enough for a wide range of AV, PC, or interactive environments. And the Panasonic’s 103” plasma display offers plenty of accessories to make it even more flexible, such as detachable speakers, multiple table stand options and brackets for wall mounting.

    It takes watching movies and live events to an entirely different level.

    • 1080p HD TV
    • Contrast ratio: up to 5,000:1
    • 16-bit processing
    • Advanced dual picture mode
    • Multi-function plug-in slots for enhanced connectivity and expandability
  • Sharp LC-65SE94U LCD 65”

    Barry says: There’s nothing like watching movies on a big-screen TV - especially if you’re viewing them on the Sharp LC-65SE94U LCD 65”. Sharp sets the standard for large-screen, flat-panel LCD TVs. With full HD 1080p resolution and super-high contrast, it has a picture quality that is virtually unmatched. And the LC-65SE94U is elegantly designed with a leather-based finish that will complement just about any space.

    The LC-65SE94U LCD 65” is also big on features. It includes innovative AQUOS Net, which delivers custom internet content - and live customer support - through an Ethernet jack. There’s also 120Hz frame rate conversion for fast-motion image processing, three HDMI inputs, as well as two HD component video inputs.

    • Full HD 1080p resolution
    • 27,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and 4ms response time
    • Built-in internet and live online support
    • 120Hz frame rate conversion
    • Five 1080p-compatible inputs (including three HDMI inputs)
  • Samsung LN-T5781F

    Barry says: SmartLighting technology is a key feature that makes the Samsung LN-T5781F a top choice in LCD TVs. It features LED backlighting that automatically turns on and off to enhance images so they appear more natural. This flat-panel HDTV provides an amazing 500,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio with ultra-sharp blacks.

    The LN-T5781F offers full 1080p resolution and reduced motion blur, thanks to its LED Motion Plus feature. As a result, it delivers one of the clearest, brightest and sharpest pictures possible. But Samsung’s LN-T5781F not only performs well; it also looks good. It features state-of-the-art design with attractive metallic borders that give it a striking appearance. It’s the ultimate centerpiece for home entertainment.

    • Wide color gamut LED backlighting
    • 500,000:1 contrast ratio
    • 1920 x 1080 resolution
    • 8 ms fast response time
    • Built-in digital tuner
  • Runco SP-60DHD

    Barry says: The SP-60DHD is Runco’s best plasma monitor. Equipped with Runco’s next-generation all-digital DHD controller, it features advanced Vivix processing that delivers spectacular video imagery. With a native high-definition resolution of 768p, the SP-60DHD produces high brightness, deeply saturated colors, amazing contrast and impressive black levels.

    To simplify installation, source component connections are handled at the DHD Controller. Runco’s SP-60DHD features both RS-232C and IR control interfaces to facilitate custom installation. And it’s smartly engineered to provide superior performance in a wide range of environments. The SP-60DHD has enough stature to fill almost any home theater, yet is slim enough to fit into a smaller viewing room. Regardless of the room size, it can be mounted on a wall, ceiling, or tabletop to fit your requirements.

    • 1000:01 contrast ratio
    • 16:9 screen aspect ratio
    • Advanced Vivix processing for amazing imagery
    • Features Runco’s all-digital DHD controller
    • Inputs from DHD controller

You will be happy with any of these

  • Pioneer Kuro Plasma 60”

    Barry says: Your home will never be the same with a Pioneer Kuro 60”. It offers the ultimate in connectivity, functionality, and technology—all for a price you can afford. The 1080p display provides the highest-quality, progressive-scan picture possible from a high-definition source. The Pioneer Kuro 60” also offers powerful ASIC video processing and scaling, advanced picture adjustment, dual 17W speakers with built-in amplifier, and TruBass surround sound.

    Other features include a built-in HDTV tuner, a 3D digital comb filter and an optical light sensor that adjust automatically for different light conditions. The Pioneer Kuro 60 also includes PC inputs that let you connect to a computer to experience high-definition visuals. And the Home Gallery feature allows you to use a USB connection to take your digital photos to the big screen. Plus, there are on-screen menus for easy installation and control.

    • 1080p display with 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio
    • Digital cable-ready/built-in tuner
    • ASIC video processing and scaling for enhanced images
    • Four HDMI inputs
    • USB jack for viewing digital photos
  • Revolution Plasma 50”

    Barry says: It’s hard to beat the RevolutionHD Series for quality and pricing. Revolution displays are ideal for installation in residential and professional environments such as restaurants, auditoriums, classrooms, and conference rooms. They’re loaded with a variety of input/output and control features that allow for complete customization. Revolution plasmas are Imaging Science Foundation compliant, so you can optimize the picture quality and make adjustments for the quality of your input devices.

    The Revolution 50-inch plasma offers the latest technology. It features state-of-the-art video processing including dual integrated NTSC/ATSC tuners. It also offers a contrast ratio of 10,000:1, brightness of 1,200 cd/m2, four-position picture-in-picture and PC compatibility. With its competitive pricing and excellent picture quality, the Revolution 50-inch plasma is a product worth placing on your shopping list.

    • HDTV input
    • 1366 x 768 native resolution
    • 10,000:1 contrast ratio
    • Picture-in-picture feature with four positions/three modes
    • RS-232C control
  • NEC Plasma 60”

    Barry says: The NEC P60XC10 60” represents a new breed of plasma displays, and it’s especially engineered for the home theater market. The NEC P60XC10 wraps excellent color, incredible contrast ratios, and cutting-edge technology into a truly worthy product. It’s ideal for everything from watching TV and movies to gaming applications.

    The NEC P60XC10 features a comprehensive input panel, including DVI with HDCP inputs. Complete RS-232 input and output control provides easy setup to control systems, while ISFccc-certification controls allow you to adjust for day and night viewing. There’s also picture-in-picture technology, which can maximize your home entertainment experience.

    • Superior color with greater detail and deeper blacks
    • Imaging Science Foundation compliant
    • DVI with HDCP inputs
    • RS-232 input and output control
    • Enhanced picture-in-picture
  • Samsung FP-T5094

    Barry says: Samsung’s FP-T5094 allows you to hang a flat screen on the wall—without leaving messy, hanging wires. It includes an A/V center or base station that enables wireless communications between the TV and components such as a DVD player, cable/satellite box and game console. Rather than connect your components to the TV, you link them to the base station. So the only wire coming from the panel is the power cord.

    Another major advantage of the Samsung FP-T5094: It’s equipped with a FilterBright anti-reflection filter that helps maintain image sharpness in any light. The FP-T5094 also features full HD 1080p resolution, 18-bit color processing, a 15-watt built-in amplifier and SRS TruSurround XT. As another nice feature, Samsung included three power-saving modes, one of which can cut power consumption by a whopping 25 percent over standard TVs.

    • Full HD 1080p
    • A/V center avoids dangling wires
    • Anti-reflection filter
    • 18-bit color processing
    • Three power-saving modes
  • Panasonic TH-50PZ85U

    Barry says: Panasonic has achieved impressive picture quality with its TH-50PZ85U plasma TV. A native ratio of 30,000:1 produces deep rich blacks and brilliant whites. This translates into sharp, high-impact images that heighten the viewing experience.

    The TH50PZ85U also offers a number of features that make it easy to install and enjoy. It includes three HDMI connections that let you transfer high-definition video and audio with a single cable. And thanks to Panasonic’s VIERA Link, you can operate (through HDMI connections) all your home theater components by pressing one button on the remote. For even greater convenience, Panasonic offers a PC input, a SD slot you can use to view jpeg photos, and V-Chip technology that can block inappropriate programming from young children.

    • 1920 x 1080 resolution
    • 30,000:1 contrast ratio (1,000,000 dynamic contrast ratio)
    • Built-in NTSC/ATSC/QAM digital tuner
    • Three HDMI connections
    • VIERA Link to simplify remote control for Panasonic components

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