LG 47LB1DA 47-inch LCD HDTV
Not too long ago, if you wanted a big flat-panel HDTV, you had one choice: plasma. But times have changed, and these days, LCD has staked a claim in the popular 42- to 50-inch size range, with many sets offering the added attraction of 1080p resolution. A good case in point is the new LG 47LB1DA 47-inch LCD HDTV, which lists for $3,600 - a nice price for a large, 1080p flat-panel TV.
Dual HDMI inputs (compatible with 1080p signals) and component-video jacks on the back should cover all your high-def input needs. There's also a VGA port for plugging in a computer - a desirable feature that seems to have gone missing from many new flat-panel TVs. Rounding out the LG's jack pack are a CableCARD slot for tuning encrypted digital cable channels without a cable box, an optical digital audio output, and an RS-232C input for connecting an advanced home theater control system.
The remote's layout is somewhat busy, with no backlight to help you locate buttons in a dark room. Fortunately, the two I tend to use most - Input and Ratio - were grouped near the remote's top where I could easily find them. Pressing Input calls up a menu that lets you scroll through and select active connections, while repeated presses of the Ratio button toggle through the set's plentiful display modes: 4:3, 16:9, Horizon, Zoom 1 and 2, and Cinema Zoom (a variable adjustment with 16 steps). All modes can be selected for both standard- and high-def channels, and there's also a Set by Program option that automatically selects 4:3 or 16:9 based on the format of the incoming signal.