CR Notes its 2010 HD 'Best Buys'

Consumer Reports has released its annual recommendations of "Best Buys" in the HD television category, and if you're looking for some of the biggest and most highly regarded brand names, you won't find all of them here this year.

Based on tests and side-by-side comparisons at its lab in Yonkers, N.Y., the independent non-profit group (which has always refused advertising in its publications) in its March 2010 issue rated more than 130 HD units (LCD and plasma).

Its Best Buys (not to be confused with the big-box store of almost the same name, although its Insignia brand is included) are based on a variety of factors — primarily overall video and audio quality in a variety of environments based on size, basic options, and especially price points. (In other words, what CR calls a "mainstream value.") All recommended sets are 1080p, unless otherwise noted.

CR's LCD picks (listed by size):

  • • Vizio VF550M (55")
  • • Toshiba Regza Cinema Series 52XV648U (discontinued)
  • • Toshiba Regza 46XV645U (46")
  • • Insignia NS-L42Q-10A (42")
  • • LG 42LF11 (42")
  • • Sanyo DP42849 (42")
  • • Vizio VO320E (720p) (32")
  • • Sanyo DP26649 (720p) (26")

CR's plasma picks:

  • • LG 50PQ30 (50")
  • • Insignia NS-P501Q-10A (720p) (50")
  • • Panasonic Viera TC-42PX14 (720p) (42")
  • • LG 42PQ30 (42")