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There are many varying ratings scales used to measure the quality of LCD TVs. Some measure on a very limited 1 to 5 scale. Some measure different aspects of products on an excellent to poor basis and give no background information to even let you know how thoroughly they have tested the products. They just give them a cursory glance and assign some filled in circles and an overall number with little basis. I'm sorry (Consumer Reports) but we're not buying the 1 paragraph write up aligning with all those little circles.

Then again many magazines reviewing the LCD TVs just give the upside and downside of the often very thorough reviews with no ratings associated. This is the thumbs up thumbs down approach and often leaves you feeling, well, undecided about what to think. Then there's the editors pick scenario that often leaves you asking, what about the products that did not receive the illustrious the editors pick. How well did they rate.

So here at Consumer Electronics Advisory we developed the following TV ratings scale designed to be very clear in helping you determine the quality and value of the TVs.

"Any score in the 60's represents a failure in that rating category"

Our rating scale follows the reasoning that there is upward bias in all ratings scales. And we want the ratings to be as clear as possible. So we developed what is essentially a 30 point scale from 70 to 100. Any score in the 60's represents a failure in that rating category. Sound familiar? Like grade school. This gives you an easy to understand grading scale. The categories for these ratings follow:

First there is the Picture Quality Rating. This rating covers all variables related to picture such as video up conversion, calibration, HD picture signal, Benchmark testing with both film and video loss resolution testing, black levels, contrast ratio, dark shadow detailing and other picture exceptions. There are obviously a lot of variables which go into consideration in each of these categories. We comment on each variable and come up with a final rating for picture quality. Since we consider the picture quality of televisions the most important category we count the Picture Quality Rating twice in our Overall Rating for the TV.

Second, there is the Other Considerations Rating which takes into account all of the other aspects of the TV that do not deal with Picture Quality and Price. This testing includes audio output quality and level, menu functionality thoroughness and ease of navigation, remote control, input selection, aesthetics, among others.

"If an LCD has a very low price but the Picture Quality is poor, the value rating cannot be high"

Next there is the Value Rating for the LCD TV. Here we compare the TV against other available products in the marketplace based on features, quality and price. For example if an LCD has a very low price but the Picture Quality is poor compared to other lower priced products, the value rating cannot be high. Picture quality and other considerations ratings go hand in hand with price in comparing other products against the reviewed product.

Finally, the Overall Rating is comprised of the first three by taking 2 X the Picture Quality Rating + the Other Considerations Rating + the Value Rating = Total divided by 4 = Overall Rating for the LCD TV.

To see a complete listing of all LCD TV reviews click here.

To see our TV review comparison chart click here.

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