Top 15 LCD & Plasma TVs of 2008

Our pick of the best fifteen TVs from the first half of the year

Sharp Aquos LC-37B20E - 37-inch - LCD TV

The 37-inch LC-37DB20E we have here boasts plasma-baiting tech aplenty, including a claimed 100,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio (2,000:1 actual), 6ms response time and 1080p/24 input via HDMI. Most significantly, the Sharp Aquos LC-37B20E also includes anti-judder processing on both standard and high definition sources. As is stands, the Sharp Aquos LC-37B20E is a highly accomplished LCD TV, with little of note to count against it - a fact confirmed by other recent reviews of the TVs bigger siblings on TechRadar that confirm Sharp's place near the top of 2008 LCD TV tree. Read our full review

Panasonic TH-37PX80 - 37-inch - Plasma PDP TV

Aesthetically the Panasonic TH-37PX80 is a bit boring, truth be told, lacking the glossy glamour and slenderness of many of its rivals. But things look up with the discovery among its connections of three non v1.3 HDMI sockets, all capable of handling 1080p/24fps inputs. The effectivness of the V-Real 3 engine, meanwhile, is apparent in the quality of standard-definition pictures after being upscaled to fit the HD Ready panel resolution, and also in the sharpness of HD images given the limitations of the 1,024 x 720 pixel count. Read our full review

Panasonic TX-37LZD800 - 37-inch - LCD TV

Despite being the only UK brand still making 37in plasma TVs, Panasonic isn't adverse to using LCD technology to make 37in TVs too. Particularly as its latest flagship model, the TX-37LZD800, effortlessly demonstrates the picture prowess that LCD tech is capable of. Firstly, the TX-37LZD800's Clear Panel screen design helps it pull off a slightly cleaner and smarter appearance than the cheaper models, as well as - according to Panasonic's marketing blurb - helping it deliver sharper, crisper images. Read our full review

Samsung LE40A656 - 40-inch - LCD TV

What do you do if you already make what are regarded as the prettiest LCD TVs in the business? You just make your next ones even nicer, of course. Cue Samsung's haute couture LE40A656. Considering you're getting a true design statement of a television with some of the best connectivity in the business, not to mention 40in of the most excellent LCD picture quality ever, we think that the £1,300 RRP looks very fair. It's just a brilliant TV. Read our full review

Toshiba 40XF355D - 40-inch - LCD TV

Although hanging a flatpanel TV on the wall of your living room is a mouth-watering prospect, the number of buyers doing just that is low. However, Toshiba's latest supermodel – the 40XF355D – is dead set on redressing the balance thanks to its record-breaking diet. The sumptuous 40XF355D boasts the world's slimmest bezel, making it look like something to hang in an art gallery – perhaps why Toshiba has resurrected the 'Picture Frame' moniker made famous by its popular slim-frame CRT sets.The result is a roaring success: the 40XF355D looks unlike any other LCD out there. Read our full review

Samsung LE46A656A1F - 46-inch - LCD TV

With the 46in LE46A656A1F, Samsung's Series 6 range of LCDs is born. And, thanks to the company's proprietary Crystal Design concept (ironically named 'Touch of Color' in the US), it really stands out amongst its shiny sable peers. Indeed, the contrast level is excellent all-round. Although Samsung's LED backlight technology is absent in this instance, it's inclusion would simply have been the icing on the cake. It's no Kuro, but for an LCD TV, wow! Read our full review

Pioneer PDP-LX508D - 50-inch - Plasma PDP TV

And talking of the Kuro, here is one. The Pioneer PDP-LX508D is a high-performance bigscreen plasma TV with a Full HD resolution. The asking price is a whopping £3,300. And that price doesn't generally include speakers or a desktop stand, either. But for the money, what you get is the best TV picture that money can buy. World-beating black levels and a fantastic back-end image processor make this one the TV to aspire to. Read our full review

Samsung PS50P96FD - 50-inch - Plasma PDP TV

After waiting far too long for Full HD plasmas to appear, they're now starting to become commonplace. The only remaining problem is their high price when compared with Full HD LCD TVs – just look at the Kuro above. All hail Samsung's £1,900 latest, then. In operation, the PS50P96FD punches well above its price weight. Fed Mission: Impossible III on HD DVD, the 1920 x 1080 resolution displays exceptional amounts of texture, clarity and detail. Also, with its 1:1 pixel mode in action, there's no problem with video noise whatsoever. Read our full review

Samsung LE-52F96BD - 52-inch - LCD TV

Anyone who knows much about flat TVs is aware that LCD technology has a couple of fundamental problems. However, these are being conquered with the help of LED backlighting. And this telly was the first in the UK to utilise such technology. Obviously £2,200 is a lot of money to spend on a TV, but on the other hand, this one is enormous and its black levels are truly groundbreaking. If you can afford it, the decision should make itself. Read our full review

Samsung LE-52M87BD - 52-inch - LCD TV

If you're looking for a TV which has style at its core, you have to consider one from Samsung. And the brand's new flagship LCD TV, the 52in LE-52M87BD, certainly fits that bill. The best summary of the LE52M87BD's performance is 'mostly spectacular but occasionally flawed'. However, with its sumptuous looks and its extra cost over similar-sized plasma screens being mostly justified by its resolution and features, it's a TV that has to find a way onto your shortlist. Read our full review