Big-Screen Values

Did you know you can get a plasma HDTV for $1,800? That's right - TV technology that a few years ago cost more than a Hyundai is now within reach of most middle-class American budgets. Prices for entry-level big-screen HDTVs, including those flat-panel plasmas and LCDs as well as advanced DLP and LCD projectors, are falling at near-terminal velocity and have yet to hit bottom.

Of course, some TV technologies command higher prices than others, and good old rear-projection CRTs (cathode-ray tubes) are still the champs when it comes to dollars per inch of screen size - unless you count front projectors. But the newer TV types like plasma, DLP, and LCD generally represent a better investment than CRTs since they usually produce sharper images, take up far less floor space, and offer more models to choose from. No matter which type of HDTV you choose, we've outlined entry-level models and prices at various screen sizes to give you a baseline to work with. But don't be put off by the words "entry level" - most of these sets include every feature you'll need.

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