LCD's for Smaller Spaces

11/15/2008 Consumer Watch No matter what he's doing in the kitchen, Tim Riley keeps an eye on the small LCD television on his counter. "I'm always watching the weather channel or the business channel or ESPN."

You'll see a lot of the smaller size LCD's in stores and in Consumer Reports' test labs. The smaller TV's cost a lot less than the big ones. This 52-inch set is $2,700. This 26-inch set is $600.

Caroline Somera, who's tested hundreds of sets, says a small screen doesn't mean an inferior picture. "Many of the 32- and 26-inch sets we've tested can deliver excellent high-definition picture quality."

Some of the smaller sets consumer reports tested are 1080p, which can display all the details in a High-definition signal. But they tend to be pricey. Somera says, "Unless you're going to use the set as a computer monitor also, 1080p is not important with the smaller sets."

When all the testing was done, among 26-inch sets Consumer Reports top-rated this Panasonic. It costs 600 dollars. It has a wider viewing angle than many other LCD's so it's easy to see from the side. That's good for a guy like Tim Riley, who likes to watch the TV out of the corner of his eye.

Once you buy a flat-screen TV, what are the odds you'll need repairs anytime soon? Consumer Reports says the news here is good. Its research center's survey covering more than 168-thousand LCD and plasma TV's bought in the last three years shows they've required very few repairs.


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