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TVs

What's behind our TV Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 183 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)
    Display technology type, and TV resolution format. Display technology types include LCD ( with LED backlight, or CCFL -- when LED is not listed), Plasma, or OLED. TV resolution formats include HDTV, and Ultra HD.
  • 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
  • Motion blur
    Evaluation of how well the display can present a blur-free image during motion scenes. TVs with a 120Hz, or 240Hz frame rate feature generally perform better than TVs with with a 60Hz frame rate. However, if the blur reduction feature also invokes a "smooth motion" effect, the feature will be turned off for our test.
  • 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.
  • First time setup
    How easy it is to setup the product out of the box.
  • Everyday use
    How easy it is to use on a normal basis.
  • 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 LCD and plasma to LED and OLED TVs, and 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 LCD, LED, OLED & plasma 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 in an LCD, LED, OLED & plasma TV. We also provide unbiased Ratings and TV reviews to help you choose the best television for your needs.

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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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