If you're looking for a cheap TV 42 inches or larger, there are a lot of advantages to buying a plasma instead of an LCD.
The biggest is picture quality: an LCD is typically not able to reproduce the black levels and contrast of an equivalently priced plasma, and plasma always trounces LCD for viewing angle and uniformity. Entry-level 720p plasmas are also more energy-efficient than more expensive 1080p plasmas, and while they use a lot more power than LCDs, they still only cost about $20 to $30 per year to run.
We recently reviewed a bunch of entry- and midlevel plasma TVs, and our favorites are collected below. There were a few that didn't make the cut, including the LG PA6500 and PA4500 as well as the Panasonic X5. The latter was a surprise as every other plasma in the Panasonic range is superb for the price, and the X5 is simply...well...poor. Its picture quality was very disappointing even for the money, especially compared with that of our new budget star, the Samsung E450.… Read more