the best tv’s

Buying a TV for Christmas

TV’s (for men at least) are right up there this Christmas as the go-to gift. With so many choices on the market, so much information and a wide variety of prices where do you start? We developed this page as a resource for all those seeking the best TV’s in Canada online and in-stores for the best prices. We will also be giving away one of our favourite TV’s in our Christmas competition.

random number tabletCongratulations to Bernice! You just won a 3D TV. Thanks to all the participants who participated in this year 12 Days of Christmas contest! Merry Christmas everyone!

TV Criteria, Info & Reviews

Retail stores have started to do some cheeky stuff, they are fed up with price comparison websites helping consumers pay the lowest price so they have asked the manufacturers to give them all slightly different varieties of the same products; so they look to be exclusive and it makes the model number slightly different and harder to compare. But don’t fret I will give you some of the models you can compare as well as some of the criteria to look for in a TV (so you can sound like a pro to the sales man or your man when it comes to Christmas time).

You will notice that all the TV’s happen to come from Futureshop, but that’s because at the time of checking it was actually Futureshop that sold the cheapest and best TV’s; go figure. You should also be aware that I only selected TV’s that were the more future-proof kind, having these minimum specs;

  • Over 40″ (because for a living room TV under this and your man may possibly be disappointed) but under 60″ (these kind of TV’s are crazy expensive and too big for most living rooms imho)
  • Smart TV (apps are all the rage in TV’s these days, from skype to netflix, I can’t wait for a real browser to be released though). Really spend a minute thinking about what apps you really need and ones you can live without, as getting a TV that can handle some resource intensive processes like Skype are going to cost a huge premium (just for that ability, it wont make it an overall better set)
  • 3D TV (There are only a limited number of 3d movies and TV shows, but there will soon be a 3d tv channel and more and more stuff is being filmed in 3d like the new hobbit movie). Bear in mind that the TV might not come with the necessary glasses, check before purchasing. Watching the TV without glasses is just like watching normal tv, some people still believe that they will see the old fashioned blue and red blurriness if they don’t wear the glasses all the time, so I wanted to dispel this myth.
  • HD TV 1080p resolution minimum
  • Wireless; make sure you have wireless access at home, and not at low speeds

LCD Vs LED Vs Plasma; Which type of TV is best?

If you are worrying about whether to get an LCD, LED or a Plasma TV and trying to understand which is best, we have the answer for you.

The way all three technologies render light and picture are vastly different and all have their own pro’s and cons. I will try to break it down for you below, but for those of you that want to know which type is best then; LED TV’s are the best but also the most expensive, Plasma are the cheapest but consume more power and are thicker and LCD is in the middle of the two. Here is the total breakdown, see what criteria is important to you and show off to your man that you know more than him now about TV’s;

LCD TV’s
Pros: Consume less power
Cons: Needs back-lighting, so not as bright in daytime

LED TV’s
Pros: Consume lowest power, thinnest, produce best ‘black’ and ‘white’ levels for best picture quality
Cons: Expensive

Plasma TV’s
Pros: No additional back-lighting needed, so you get a brighter picture in the daytime. Cheaper.
Cons: Thicker. More power consuming (three times as much as LED TV’s). Can potentially get screen burn (but not so much with modern TV’s)

The Best TV’s; Which TV to buy?

Here are my top picks this Christmas for TV’s when it comes to bang for buck (quality vs the pounding your purse takes).

Sony 55

Sony 55″ 1080p 3D LED Smart TVB, $2,800 – $3,299 at futureshop.ca, Buy it Now

The reason there is a price range for this TV set is because there are slightly different variants of this model, the one the link points to is one of the best the XBR55HX929 but we also really like the KDL-55NX720 and others, and they are all pretty much the same model.

This TV is awesome, everything from a truly huge 55″ LED screen (that’s big for an LED) to the fast refresh rate of 240Hz (making almost no perceptible lag with high action and video games). This TV is the cream of the crop offering up rich blacks, smooth edges and handles everything ‘wired’ (the tech guys) could throw at it. Fine tuning, installation and netflix buttons are amazing.

You can browse any store that sells Sony flat screens (Sony actually invented the technology) and ask for their 55″ models, look out for the specs above and your man will not be disappointed.

Panasonic 50

Panasonic 50″ 1080p 600Hz 3D Plasma Smart TV , $949.99 at Futureshop.ca, Buy it Now

This Panasonic TV is not the prettiest TV out there, it needs a USB dongle for wireless access and it’s Plasma (more power consuming, bulkier) but that doesn’t stop it from being a kick ass TV. This TV has done a great job pinpointing colour accuracy, it has a staggering number of apps and a great list of customizable features. It has MLB.TV and Skype (which are usually only available in more expensive TV’s). This is a ridiculously low price for such a high quality 50″ plasma TV. If you are on a budget and don’t need the TV to look like it’s going to take off into outer space, then this TV is your best bet.

Samsung 46

Samsung 46″ 1080p 120Hz 3D LED Smart TV, $1399.99 at Futureshop.ca, Buy it Now

This is a great middle of the road option. This size is big but not too big. It gets great customer reviews (Samsung customer service is pretty good). It has stunning looks (like the entire new Samsung range). This TV has loads of video streaming apps to choose from, like netflix, blockbuster and Vimeo, it also has a nice user interface which is like fresh air for people not too familiar with using different TV’s. Solid speakers. Only downside is that on a performance level it is not as good at rendering colour and lags more than the two aforementioned. But a solid TV nonetheless.

Editors TV Pick

Samsung 51

Samsung 51″ 1080p 3D Plasma Smart TV, $898.98 at Futureshop.ca, Buy it Now

Samsung TV’s are good. They are reliable, they don’t get many pixel’s dying on you (the worst in the history of the universe for this is Sharp; stay away from these guys, the only thing worse than their quality is their customer service) and they offer great bang for buck. This is why this 51″ Plasma TV gets our Editors Pick award this Christmas. All the specs are good (not the best but they hold their own) and best of all; it’s under $1k, it’s beautiful and customers love it. Do some research on this model, the one we like especially is the PN51D550, even on FS it gets a user rating of 4.3/5 (on 64 votes no less) which is commensurate to other electronic store reviews. This is a good solid set offering a decent size, quality and options.

TV Coupons

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Giveaway

We’re running this giveaway for an entire week. This means that you have until Christmas Day (Dec 25th duh) to participate before we pick the winner. We are hoping to make someone’s Christmas that little bit more awesome!

We will be giving away our editors pick (or a like version; Stephen will shop during the Boxing Week sales to pick the best bang for buck TV) . Simply leave us a comment to enter, you can facebook ‘like’ us, retweet this page, google +1 us for love (because we are worth it) but it won’t get you an extra entry, it just shows some appreciation is all. And if you happen to be the lucky winner, you will receive the Editors Pick TV which is no slouch of a prize!