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Best big flat-screen TV
Best big flat-screen TV
Panasonic TH-42PZ700U

Unless you're masochistic enough to keep the thing on all day to stare at the scrolling stock market ticker - in which case "burn-in" might become an issue - go plasma. Among 40-inch-plus sets, plasma models perform as well as LCDs and cost about 10% less.

Consider investing in a "full high definition" 1080p model, which will not only make the most of HDTV programming but also render movies played on Blu-ray and HDDVD players with fluid, film-like clarity.

Panasonic's new 42-inch model gets uniformly high marks from reviewers and costs a little under $1,500 at most discount retailers. That's a whopping $1,000 or so less than a year ago.

- Adam Bluestein, Money Magazine contributing writer

NEXT: Best defense against airline angst

Last updated April 15 2008: 3:50 PM ET