Are you in the market for a big-screen TV for the Super Bowl? Consumer Reports tests hundreds of televisions a year, and guess what-paying top dollar doesn't necessarily mean top performance.
Catching the big game at your local sports bar or restaurant is one way to see the Super Bowl.
Bar owner John DelliCarpini says, "A full crowd, with 15 televisions all playing the same game."
But if you want to pick up a new TV before your Super Bowl party, Consumer Reports can help.
Testers size up hundreds of TVs every year to find ones to recommend.
Claudio Ciacci of Consumer Reports says, "One of the tests we perform on our TVs is a motion blur test. This test is designed to expose how well a TV can reproduce fast movement, such as you might find in sports or action movies."
Some LCDs tend to have trouble.
Then there's the black-level test.
Christopher Andrade of Consumer Reports says, "So on better performing sets like this one you have a brighter black level that doesn't give you that deep contrast, so images will look flatter, especially in dark scenes."
Testers also evaluate how well each television displays color. They use a device to take a color temperature measurement from a solid grey screen to see how balanced the tones are.
Jim Willcox of Consumer Reports says, "A high price tag doesn't guarantee you a great TV. We found plenty of TVs that were higher-priced but actually came in lower in the ratings than many less-expensive sets."
But testers did find several TVs to recommend, including the 55-inch plasma Panasonic Viera for 12-hundred dollars. It has an excellent picture and nice extras like 3D and Internet access.
If you want to spend less, Consumer Reports recommends a 60-inch LG for 900 dollars. While it lacks some bells and whistles, such as online access and 3D, it's got an excellent picture at a great price. Its model 60PA6500.