Best television 2013: 10th Pocket-lint Gadget Awards nominees
Televisions have come a long way and continue to do so. As they get bigger, their resolutions are becoming sharper and are now smarter than they have ever been. A couple of years ago 3D was the "next big thing" in TVs. Now, 4K is the magic word, while we've even seen curved displays creep into the mix - but not our awards shortlist.
From whatever angle you look at modern tellies, the concept of TV is not what it was - instead of the ugly black box in the corner there are now beautiful designs, fantastic displays and catch-up services that can probably outsmart you. In a category with numerous choices, picking the best five took significant discussion, but we eventually decided on the shortlist for the Best Television 2013, and here it is in more detail.
Panasonic TX-L65WT600 Smart Viera 4K TV
The Panasonic TX-L65WT600 was released in October with a whopping price tag of £5,400, but it is future-proofed when it comes to 4K UHD broadcast standards. The WT600 has high frame rate support via HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPoint 1.2a, acknowledging that the future of TV is not just higher resolution but also higher frame rates.
It delivers a sensational native 4K image quality, excellent 1080p upscaling and an intuitive user interface. The audio performance is so-so and the price isn't the cheapest out there, but with its superior connected performance and gorgeous designer looks, this is one of the very best 4K TVs out there.
Panasonic TX-P60ZT65B 60-inch Plasma TV
Panasonic introduced its TX-P60ZT65B plasma TV in October for £4,000. It's a special, made to order TV as part of a time-limited run because, and with a heavy heart, 2013 is the year that will see Panasonic's plasma production come to a close.
But just because it's closing doesn't mean you shouldn't pay attention - or even act now. The ZT65 is the gold standard of TV, and we doubt we will see a better plasma than this. It has everything going for it: beautiful design, stunning picture quality and a very usable smart portal. We had a couple of small criticisms when we reviewed it, but overall TVs of this quality don't come around very often and it is well worthy of your attention and ours.
Philips 55PFL8008S 55-inch TV with ambilight
We reviewed the Philips 55PFL8008S 55-inch TV with ambilight technology in July. Priced at £2,500 this 1080p set impresses because of its quirky ambilight - the colourful side-illumination that projections on to surrounding walls. Sounds gimmicky, but it's very cool. The TV looks great, the picture is super sharp and the sound rivals anything in its class.
We were big fans of the design and its thin bezel, and we also thought the stand was attractive, plus this TV is smarter than Philips' previous generation. There is a lot to love about this TV, especially if you are a TV techie or movie buff. It is an open road of excellence - it looks super-sleek, the sound quality is second to none and the display colour from ambilight had us dazzled.
Samsung UE55F8000 LCD TV
We got our hands on the Samsung UE55F8000 LCD TV in May. The £2,499 behemoth is spectacular in every sense. We loved the design - it is a minimalist triumph - and the user interface is polished, which makes it easy to use.
READ: Samsung UE55F8000 LCD TV
We think the Samsung is a formidable example of LED LCD TV art and a front-runner in terms of aesthetic design and feature functionality. With blisteringly sharp and vibrant images, along with a smart portal that offers everything you could possibly want from the streaming media side, this is a very worthy contender.
Sony KD-65X9005A 65-inch 4K TV
Sony launched the KD-65X9005A in June, priced at £6,000. Big bucks for big resolution, as this quirkily designed set is one of the 4K masters - a big drive in the Sony camp. The image quality is amazing and the 3D performance is unbeatable, plus it sounds brilliant and has great internet connectivity.
This TV sets new standards in terms of raw picture quality performance and design, and you don't need native 4K for it to impress. We loved the 4K upscaled Blu-ray and full-resolution Passive 3D, and in our opinion, this TV is hands-down one of the best large-screen TVs you can buy.
Voting for your favourite
Voting in the 10th annual Pocket-lint Awards is now open. You can let us know which one of these great devices should win the Best Television 2013 award and give us your verdict about all the other tech across the 12 select categories. To vote, all you have to do is visit pocket-lint.com/awards.
Winners will be announced at the exclusive event in London on 28 November in association with O2 and Hotwire. For now, keep an eye on the Pocket-lint Gadget Awards 2013 hub for all the latest on how the voting works, who the elite judges are and the complete 10th Pocket-lint Gadget Awards shortlist.