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What's behind our TV Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 190 models in TVs to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    Based on HD picture quality, sound quality, 3D performance (when feature is present), viewing angle, motion blur performance, ease of use, versatility, and power consumption. The displayed score is out of a total of 100 points.
  • Display type (Backlight)
    Type of display technology used; Plasma or LCD, and backlight type (LED--Light Emitting Diode, or CCFL--Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp, for LCD TVs only).
  • Screen size
    The size of the television's screen, measured diagonally in inches.
  • HD picture quality
    Based on objective tests and subjective evaluations by expert testers after TV is adjusted using standard picture controls to achieve the highest-fidelity image possible. Tested image attributes include detail, color accuracy, and contrast, using signals from a Blu-ray player, cable box, and professional broadcast equipment and meters. All signals are routed through an HDMI input.
  • 3D performance
    Evaluation of the TV's ability to reproduce realistic 3D images. For effective 3D, images should be free of ghosting (aka. Crosstalk; double images visible even when wearing 3D glasses), image dimming, loss of resolution, and viewing angle problems that are specific to the 3D mode.
  • Viewing angle
    Evaluation of picture quality for clarity and color accuracy at various horizontal and vertical viewing angles, typically a challenge for LCD TVs. Excellent = Unlimited, Very Good = Wide, Good = Moderate, Fair = Narrow, and Poor = Very Narrow
  • Sound quality
    Measured from the set's built-in speakers using computer-driven test equipment, with additional subjective testing by a listening panel. In our judgments we listen for overall clarity of sound, depth of bass, effective volume level, and audible distortion, for dialogue, music, and movie soundtrack content.
  • Remote ease of use
    Assessment of the usability of the TV's remote control, considering button layout, backlighting, labeling, and access to practical features. We consider both features you're likely to use one time and those you may use more often. For 2013 we also evaluate the remote's ability to directly access premium internet services like movie streaming, as well as cable box control capability.
  • On-screen menu ease of use
    Assessment of the usability of the TV's on-screen menu, considering its interaction with the remote, menu layout, and access practical features. We consider both menu items you're likely to use one time and those you may use more often.
  • Versatility
    Indicates features that increase a TV's utility or capabilities. These include 3D capability, access to Internet and Web browsing, number of HD and USB inputs, support for various media, and other useful features.
  • Energy cost/yr.
    Estimated cost per year in dollars, calculated for 5 hours a day turned on and 19 hours in the off (standby) mode, based on the current year's national average electricity rate. Your usage and local rates will affect your costs. Note that the energy scores are for a TV optimized for the best picture quality, not using any energy-saving technology included in the set.



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Recommended TVs

Recommended TVs are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Price & Shop
As new technologies take over, they present consumers with a number of evolving television choices. From plasma to LCD TVs, and rear projection to front-projector TVs, there are now many more choices than just the picture-tube sets of your childhood. If you're looking for information about TVs, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports’ TV reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our TV buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased Ratings and TV reviews to help you choose the best television for your needs.

Recently reviewed TVs

Bravia XBR-65X900A
A 65-inch 3D-capable LCD HDTV with LED backlighting from Sony with 3840x2160 resolution, 4 HDMI inputs, and 1 component-video input. Other screen sizes in this model line include: Bravia XBR-55X900A (55"), Bravia XBR-84X900 (84")

TV buying guide

Buying a TV involves many choices, some of which may be new to you. This TV buying guide organizes the process into clear, logical steps that will help you make a smart decision.

Getting started   |   Types   |   Features   |   Brands   |   Shopping tips   |   Recycle an old TV   |   LCD, LED, or plasma TV?   |   3D

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