Everyone in the UK is preparing for high-definition TV, something that's been around for a while in the US and Japan, but has taken its time to reach these shores. High definition increases the resolution of the picture, meaning images are sharper and more detailed. There's going to be confusion over formats and connectivity as Sony and Toshiba release competing HD disc standards and Sky broadcasts its own service in early 2006. However, you can be guaranteed that all the screens below will not only be compatible with all the high-def loveliness, but also look great. Set your budget, choose from one of these, and get ready for the revolution.
Dell's high-definition-compatible LCD wonder is amazing for the money. It doesn't have the best picture, but it has probably the best set of connections we've ever seen, in addition to looking quite nice. If you plan on connecting a big AV collection up to a display, there's nothing out there that won't work with the Dell, and you can even upgrade it with a memory card reader.
If you're in the market for a premium LCD, then Philips' 32PF9986 is certainly the way to go. It has a great backlight that helps the eyes focus on the picture, but even with this feature turned off, it's a wonderful performer. Add to the package some ridiculously good NXT speakers, a beautifully designed exterior and full high-definition compatibility, and you have great package.
Sagem's HD-L27 aims more towards the budget end of the market, but is no less important. It has stacks of connections and a very admirable picture. Its design may look dated, and it doesn't have any advanced picture processing to help improve analogue sources, but full high-definition compatibility makes this a budget star.
Sharp is the Rolls Royce of LCD world. Its screens have received admiring glances for both picture performance and design, and the LC32GD1E manages to pull off some great features as well. Its separate media box means that not only does it have room for plenty of connections, but also it can offer integrated Freeview. It may not be on the cutting edge -- it doesn't support the Freeview seven-day EPG or have built-in recording -- but if it's a premium LCD you're after, it simply has to be a Sharp.