Top 5 Entry-level HDTVs


Panasonic TC-P42S1

Panasonic TC-P42S1
Panasonic TC-P42S1
Courtesy Panasonic

Last is the largest television on our list: a 42-inch plasma television from Panasonic. Plasma televisions don't use a backlight like LCD screens. That means plasma TVs don't have the same problems LCD TVs have showing darker colors. It's also easier to find big screen plasma televisions than it is to find huge LCD screens. One drawback for plasma televisions is that they tend to consume more power than their LCD counterparts.

Panasonic addressed that drawback by reengineering its plasma display technology to consume less power than previous models. That doesn't mean the TC-P42S1 is underpowered. The set boasts a 1080p resolution. And it has an anti-reflective filter screen coating to cut down on glare.

As for inputs, it has three slots for HDMI cables, two for composite video, two for component video and one S-video input. It doesn't have a PC input port, but the set does come with a digital audio output. With the right cable, you can connect the television to your sound system and shake the house every time Godzilla takes a step.

The TC-P42S1 is one of Panasonic's Viera televisions. This line of TVs can be hooked up to the Internet for interactive capability. With the connection of a LAN cable from your home network to the television, you gain access to Web-based content like Amazon Video on Demand and YouTube.

The TC-P42S1 retails between $800 and $1,100, making it the most expensive HDTV set on our list.

When shopping for your first HDTV, keep in mind your entertainment needs as well as your budget. With a little legwork you'll find the set right for you.

For more information on HDTV and related technologies, visit the links below.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

More Great Links


  • JVC. "LT-32P300." (Aug. 18, 2009)
  • Panasonic. "TC-L26X1." (Aug. 17, 2009)
  • Panasonic. "TC-P42S1." (Aug. 18, 2009)
  • Samsung. "LN32A450." (Aug. 17, 2009)
  • Sharp USA. "LC-32D43U User Manual." (Aug. 18, 2009)


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