One undeniable trend in TVs is bigger screens for less money, and 2012's crop of LCD and plasma models goes bigger than ever.
For example, I reviewed a 60-inch Smart LED TV from Vizio that clocked in right beneath the magic $1,000 barrier, and its picture was better than that of many spendier LED sets. Even better is the same-size, same-price U50 plasma from Panasonic that trades smarts for improved picture quality. Meanwhile, one of the most popular TVs around is LG's own 60-inch, $999 PA6500 plasma, and while it can't beat either of those in a picture quality race, it's still a pretty good deal.
Below you'll find in-depth reviews of all three of these TVs, as well as two other sub-$1,000 sets that also qualify as "very good" values in my book (a 7 or higher in the Value subcategory) and still make the "big-screen" cut -- larger than 50 inches in this case. I've arranged them in descending order of overall CNET rating.