Sound & Vision's Best

Panasonic TH-50PZ800U 50-inch plasma HDTV $2,400 ($3,200 list), September 2008 Each generation of Panasonic plasma tends to be better than the last, and this THX-certified 50-incher is no exception. "The striking thing about the Panasonic's picture," observed reviewer Al Griffin, "was its color balance in THX mode." Green grass looked exceedingly natural, while red flags managed to look rich without seeming too vivid. The best thing: the price, which makes it one of the most affordable sets in the category. panasonic.com

HDTV

LG LG4760 47-inch HDTV $2,600 ($3,199 list), July/August 2008 A fine TV that offers unique styling, outstanding color, and superior video processing that was deft at handling day-to-day standard-definition material. lgusa.com

Samsung LN46A750 46-inch LCD HDTV $2,400 ($2,799 LIST), SEPTEMBER 2008 Delivers a solid high-def picture, is DLNA-compatible, and can display InfoLink feeds. samsung.com

Mitsubishi HC6000 1080p LCD front projector $3,995, June 2008 Ups the ante set by its HD1 predecessor with a crisp high-def picture and superb picture contrast. mitsubishi-presentations.com

Sony XEL-1 11-inch OLED TV $2,500, April 2008 The first OLED to hit the market defines the phrase "truly flat": Its cabinet depth is a mere 3 millimeters. sonystyle.com

A/V ELECTRONICS

Panasonic DMP-BD30 Blu-ray Disc player $500, May 2008 Looking for a standalone Blu-ray Disc player? You'll be hard-pressed to find a $500 model that's as pretty to look at or as well equipped, or that works as smoothly, as this one. Noted reviewer Rob Sabin: "I was satisfied with the crisp, vivid look of the animation in Meet the Robinsons and the well-mixed surround effects from that disc's uncompressed PCM soundtrack." Clean, dynamic, and sleek-looking to boot - bingo! panasonic.com

Anthem Statement D2 A/V processor $7,499, June 2008 Room correction makes the best A/V processor out there even better. statement.anthemav.com

Integra DTR-8.8 A/V receiver $2,400, July/August 2008 Combines HDMI 1.3 switching with a solid set of power and processing abilities. integrahometheater.com

Rega P3 24 Turntable $1,470 as tested, June 2008 Able to reveal microscopic sonic details and a sense of space, it's a smart step-up model for vinyl addicts looking to enter the high-fidelity Big Leagues. rega.co.uk

SPEAKERS

Infinity Classia home theater speaker system $4,094 as tested, September 2008 Controlled, detailed, transparent sound; very good dipole/bipole/monopole surrounds; and a wireless sub that delivers the low-end goods infinitysystems.com

Thiel Audio SCS4 speakers and SS1 subwoofer $5,380 as tested, September 2008 Emphasizing sound quality over sound quantity, this system rounds out nicely as a true full-range package with the addition of a sub that packs quite a wallop. thielaudio.com

Soundcast Outcast all-weather wireless speaker system $699, September 2008 Comes through on its promise of providing plug-and-play wireless music, making it a great solution for adding tunes to remote listening areas. soundcastsystems.com

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