Best TV 2011: 8th Pocket-lint Awards nominees

The best TV of 2011 is going to be a tricky category to judge in the 8th Pocket-lint Awards. Panel quality continues to increase as ever, set design is fast catching up and suddenly we have a huge proportion of the market filled with televisions that are all very watchable indeed. Throw in the fact that most are 3D and Wi-Fi these days and there becomes very little to separate them.

All the same, it still seems that our five nominees for this year’s award are all fairly pricey beasts but, to help you decide which one is the best TV, here’s a run down of each of them. Once you’ve made up your mind, remember to head over to the voting page and make your opinion count.

Samsung UE55D8000

Price
£1,900
Released
March 2011
PL review score
4.5 stars


There’s very little to say about the Samsung D8000 that hasn’t already been said. You might not know it by name but we guarantee that you’d have stopped to take a look at one if you passed it in the shops. Possible the prettiest on the design side of all, the D8000 is virtually edge-to-edge picture framed by a thin bead of silver which drops down to form the cross legged stand.



Naturally, it’s beauty is more than skin deep with its screen blasting out absurd levels of contrast rich, razor sharp images and a 3D performance with precious little crosstalk to speak of at all. Perhaps the only criticism might be the look of skin tones on this LED backed set when compared to a more natural plasma but you simply can’t beat it for punch.

Sony KDL-40HX723

Price
£899
Released
October 2011
PL review score
4.5 stars


Being the cheapest of the bunch must be a first for Sony but there you have it. While we wish Sony would support MKV media playback, we can’t complain about the audiovisual quality of this screen. Offering an admirable HD performance, active shutter 3D that doesn’t fatigue and a galaxy of IPTV, it’s the star turn in Sony’s current TV fleet.



Its 3D skills might not be top of the pile but the 2D quality is cracking with superb colours well worth a mention. Throw in some nice smooth motion and Sony’s excellent internet offering and you’ll find a real winner of a set.

Panasonic TX-50GT30

Price
£999
Released
April 2011
PL review score
4.5 stars


Next to the Samsung D8000, in the shops, the Panasonic TX-50GT30 does come across a but of an ugly sister, but that judgement is to do this top of the line plasma an enormous diservice. It’s not as chic and the picture will come across less punch and slightly more yellowish than an LED but it’s got killer blacks, peerless colour and probably the best 3D performance we’ve seen so far.



Complete with multimedia features including BBC iPlayer, DivX playback and Skype video calling, it sees Panasonic in confident mood. If Wi-Fi and 3D glasses were included this set without the need for an add-on dongle and splashing out on expensive shutters, it could nearly be the perfect television.

Philips Cinema 21:9 Gold

Price
£1,995
Released
November 2011
PL review score
4.5 stars


Three years down the line and the 21:9 aspect ration is still unique only to Philips and the silver screen. While the 2011 gold version doesn’t represent the company’s top of the line - in both 21:9 TVs and normal widescreens too - it’s probably the most fun of them all and, possibly more crucially, actually just about affordable.



Shading in just below the two grand mark, you get a beautiful brushed metal-framed device that was simply made for Blu-ray. Sure, it’ll have to stretch and pull and crop a touch to make your TV signal fill the screen but the side by side two player gaming mode, the 3D performance and rendering of standard definition internet streams from YouTube and iPlayer are truly remarkable.

LG 55LW980T Cinema 3D

Price
£2,500
Released
October 2011
PL review score
4.5 stars


The LG 55LW980T is a great all-rounder with top notch picture quality for both 2D and 3D. If that isn’t enough - and it seems that these days it isn’t - it makes sure that it’s gone a long way in making itself future proof with wireless internet connectivity, four HDMI slots, DLNA and USB offerings, as well as an iPad / iPhone remote control to boot.



Design-wise, it has to be the prettiest that LG has come up with to date. It’s super thin, super sleek and has virtually no bezel whatsoever. Our only real complaint was with the quality of the 3D handling. Although plenty of arguments can be made about the choice to go down the passive route, it was the ghosting that let us down. That aside though. we’d have happily have kept the thing.

Remember to get your vote in for the 8th Pocket-lint Awards before 29 November.

- Best laptop 2011 nominees



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