Panasonic 55-inch VT50 ($2,700; panasonic.ca)
Even if you don’t use the three-dimensional functionality on Panasonic’s flagship plasma screen, the technological improvements that enabled three-dimension viewing make regular two-dimension better. The VT50 boasts THX certification for both picture and sound and has the deep blacks and vibrant colours you expect from a plasma display. The screen was manufactured using a single pane of glass, which serves to enhance the rich and responsive picture quality.
Samsung 55-inch 8000 series ($2,500; samsung.ca)
If you are like most people, the TV remote is always getting misplaced. No matter, because this “smart” TV can be controlled with voice commands and gestures. Need to change the channel? Simply stand up and wave your hand. A built-in camera at the top of the screen means your TV can recognize you and allows for Skype video calls from your living room.
Sharp Aquos (sharp.ca)
The trend in flat-screen TVs is bigger, and leading the pack is Sharp. Its line of Aquos LED backlit LCD screens have built-in WiFi and access to Web apps, and some also have 3D functionality. And while the 90-inch ($10,000) model is too big for most, you’d be surprised at how great the 80-inch ($6,500), 70-inch ($4,200), and 60-inch ($3,100) sizes look in your living room.
Sony 55-inch Bravia HX850 (store.sony.ca)
Few people can afford the $25,000 price tag on Sony’s fancy new 84-inch Bravia 4KTV that delivers four times the resolution of the best HD TV on the market. For the rest of us there’s the HX850 ($2,800). It’s got the usual Sony sleekness and comes with WiFi connectivity and a host of apps, including Netflix, YouTube, Facebook and more.