1st Place: Panasonic Viera TH-42PX80
You might be surprised to find that the winner of this category doesn't boast a Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, but contrary to popular belief, the number of pixels does not represent the be all and end all of HD performance. What Panasonic has produced with the TH-42PX80 is a superb 42in HD Ready plasma TV at a stunning price.
Despite its apparent bargain price, the TH-42PX80 provides excellent black levels, and as a result, rich and vivid colours. And as Pioneer has made abundantly clear with its Kuro range, black levels really can make all the difference to image quality. You even get 100Hz processing to help deal with judder on slow pans.
At around £630, the TH-42PX80 is well under the £1,000 limit for this category, which only goes to enhance its credentials even more, making it a deserved award winner.
2nd Place: Samsung LE40A656
If you absolutely, positively must have a Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, then the Samsung LE40A656 is worth a look. This is a 40in LCD TV that cost nearly £1,200 when we reviewed it back in April, but can now be had for as little as £730 - that makes it a real bargain, and goes some way to explain its second place ranking in this category.
As well as Full HD resolution, you get 100Hz processing to help produce smooth motion, a 50,000:1 contrast ratio (thanks to dynamic backlighting) and 1080p 24Hz support using a 5:5 pulldown method for a 120Hz image. Black levels are also impressive for such an affordable LCD screen, which also leads to rich and vivid colours. This is also a great looking TV, incorporating Samsung's trademark red accent for a little extra style.
3rd Place: Philips Cineos 32PFL9603D/10
It may seem odd that this 32in LCD TV costs more than the 40in LCD and 42in plasma sets above, but that's often the way with Philips. Philips doesn't make TVs that can be judged purely on their size and resolution, because they generally come stacked full of technology not seen anywhere else, and the 32PFL9603 is no exception.
First up, this set looks absolutely stunning. Second, once you enable its Ambilight feature, it just looks even better. If you're one of the many out there who think that Ambilight is just a gimmick, let us assure you that you're completely and utterly wrong. Once you've had an Abilight screen in your living room for a week, you'll wonder how you ever watched TV without it.
You also get amazing connectivity, and not just AV stuff either. There's a USB port that will stream audio and video from a memory key, while the built-in Ethernet port even allows you to watch content from any PC on your home network. Add to this an incredibly sharp and detailed image, and it's clear that this is no ordinary 32in LCD TV.