No matter what budget you have to play with, you'll want a TV set that offers not only the best picture quality, but also the widest range of features for your money. Today's TVs are nothing if not feature rich. But this makes choosing a new telly trickier than tracking down a fan of bankers.
The latest goggle boxes offer Internet features such as access to the BBC's iPlayer video-on-demand service. At the mid and higher end of the market you'll now find 3D support included. And picture quality on some TVs is boosted by up to 200Hz processing technology.
The specs we could delve into are endless, so to make things easier for you, we've selected what we believe are the best three TVs across a range of prices.
Low wallet damage: £350
If your budget is modest but you don't want to compromise on features then the 32-inch Sony KDL-32CX523 is a great option. Sony has managed to keep the price down by using traditional CCFL rather than LED technology for its backlighting.
This means that the chassis is deeper than LED TVs of a similar screen size, but what you lose in aesthetics you gain in overall performance. Picture quality is very good considering the price. Colours are rich and refined, while contrast performance is strong. Sony's X-Reality Picture Engine does a great job of upscaling standard-definition sources, while high-definition material is crisper than a packet of Walkers.
Add in excellent support for online TV services like iPlayer, plus good digital media playback via its USB or Ethernet ports, and you've got a budget set that's hard to beat.
Medium credit card abuse: £700
LG has produced some great TVs this year but one of the best, both in terms of value for money and overall performance, is the LG 42LW550T. It offers pretty much everything you could want from a big screen telly for the lounge.
It is blessed with LG's colourful and friendly menu system and includes support for the company's Smart TV platform. As well as accessing online video services like BBC iPlayer, ITN and Acetrax, it can also be used to check Facebook and Twitter feeds.
Thanks to its use of LED backlighting, it's slimmer than an After Eight mint. It produces wonderfully bright and vivid pictures, with deep black levels and sharp detail -- even on standard-definition pictures. Families will also love the LG's passive 3D technology as the 3D glasses are as cheap as chips -- seven pairs are included as standard.
High mortgage arrears risk: £2,400
The Viera TX-P55VT30B sits right at the top of Panasonic's current line-up of plasma TVs. As such, it boasts a boat-load of features, including both Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners, excellent active 3D support as well as a bundled Wi-Fi adaptor.
The set comes with Panasonic's Viera Connect Internet TV platform so you can use it to access services like BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Acetrax, Facebook, Twitter and Skype. Many big screen tellies do a fine job of showing HD pictures, but they may not be so hot with standard-definition feeds, which, let's face it, the majority of us spend most of our time watching.
The TX-P55VT30B delivers fantastically rich and detailed images right across the board. Over two grand may be a lot of money to spend on a TV. But when it comes to picture quality, the TX-P55VT30B is currently the best set on the market. We'd go as far as to say that it's the gold standard against which all other TVs are judged.