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Innovation

Holiday Gift Guide 2008: Three Ultimate HDTVs

Though putting together a high-end home theater for a few thousand dollars might seem like an awful lot of money in this economy, there are a lucky few who can afford to spend the same amount just on their TV. (Of course, many also choose to go the projector route when creating an ultimate home theater costing many, many thousands of dollars.
Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor on

Though putting together a high-end home theater for a few thousand dollars might seem like an awful lot of money in this economy, there are a lucky few who can afford to spend the same amount just on their TV. (Of course, many also choose to go the projector route when creating an ultimate home theater costing many, many thousands of dollars.) If you have the cash to burn, and a burning desire to get the highest of high-end HDTV, here are three sets—one plasma, one LCD, and one rear-projection—that will bring the "wow" factor to your home theater setup.

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Pioneer Elite Kuro PRO-151FD

There may be bigger plasmas available, but there may not be a better one than this 60-inch 1080p model from the plasma performance leader, Pioneer. Offering the blackest of black levels, the set in turn provides outstanding color accuracy, along with a great anti-reflective screen that combats plasma's biggest nemesis: glare. Its Pure mode delivers flawless out-of-the-box settings that even minimize the need for picture tweaking.

[read the review] [check prices]

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Sony Bravia KDL-55XBR8

The KDL-55XBR8 offers many of the same strengths as the Kuro PRO-151FD, but in the form of a 55-inch 1080p LCD instead of a plasma: deep, deep blacks and strong color accuracy, thanks to its LED backlighting. Not only does the use of LED technology boost performance, but it makes this big set more energy efficient as well. You're stuck with the attached speakers on the side, but you can buy different color grilles as an option to match your room's decor.

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Mitsubishi LaserVue L65A90

If you're looking to be on the bleeding edge of display technology, then you can be one of the first to drop seven grand on this 65-inch laser-based rear projection 1080p set. Mitsubishi claims that the use of lasers as the TV's light source provides twice the color gamut of most other HDTVs and consumes only a fraction of the energy they do. About six weeks ago I wrote about when the laser TV first started shipping, and at the time the HD Guru had already written that its performance rivaled the best TVs he tested, meaning it should be on par with the Pioneer and Sony sets already mentioned. Are you willing to spend the money to find out if he's right?

[ZDNet product page] [check prices]

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