Given the importance and popularity of TVs in today"s technology landscape, you"d be forgiven for reasoning we"ve been experimentation them since the magazine began back in 1976.

You are watching: Pioneer flat screen tvs


But our first tests of CRT TVs didn"t begin until the 80s. And also it wasn"t until 2001 that we handed the end our first TV Award... To a 28-inch Philips set.

Over the years we"ve seen screen sizes increase, price fluctuate, and designs get sleeker and also smarter. Display screen technologies have actually improved together well, with 480p and 576p resolutions giving way to full HD, Ultra HD 4K and even 8K, and also plasma technology falling through the wayside in favour of LCD and OLED displays.

As through all What Hi-Fi? reviews, these TVs to be judged top top a strictly performance-per-pound basis. There may have actually been better-performing sets the year, yet the Product that the Year winners displayed here stood for the finest TV power for the given price.


2001



Philips 28PW6305 experiment at £530


We handed the end our very first TV Product of the Year award to this 28in Philips in 2001. We praised its "plug and also play" lull of use and excellent picture.

What was surprising was our apparent satisfaction through the TV"s speakers. Although, the CRT architecture certainly enabled for an ext breathing room than today"s wafer-thin screens.

2002



Toshiba 32ZD26P tested at £1300


There were two TV category in 2002, one because that widescreen TVs (how futuristic) and one because that plasma TVs. The widescreen winner to be this Toshiba, i m sorry wowed us v its 100Hz scanning and progressive-scan setting for NTSC video signals, i beg your pardon "greatly enhances the photo quality native imported DVDs".

The range of connections on sell was likewise impressive at the time, many notably the inclusion of a component video input. And, naturally, we appreciated the picture.



Pioneer PDP-433HDE tested at £5995

The other 2002 winner will definitely pique interest. Pioneer was one of the huge names in plasma modern technology at the time, yet this was its first plasma range to it is in "true TVs fairly than just displays". Previously, many Pioneer plasmas had lacked TV tuners and were aimed in ~ the deluxe market.

This 43in model was praised because that its intuitive user interface and features, however it was yes, really all about the performance, which available "fine black an interpretation and detail".

But that top quality came in ~ a hefty price - nearly six cool for a 43in TV. We claimed in the review, "...with interest-free credit deals and also cheap loans aplenty top top offer, you might be enjoying a great flatscreen sooner 보다 you think. Go on..."

In hindsight, a cheap loan for a brand-new TV may not be the best financial advice we"ve given.

2003



Panasonic TX-36PD30 Tested at £1700

This 36in Panasonic to be the flagship TV of the 2003 range. We explained it as having "monstrous proportions" - it sweet 81kg, ten time heavier than the mean 40in TV now. It featured an ext pixels per line than most TVs ago then, "giving the near computer system monitor resolution". Apparently, the was a an excellent thing.

"When it concerns the picture, prepare to get in a new dimension", we said, praising its terrific contrast levels and deep blacks.



Sony KE-32TS2 Tested at £3400

2003 additionally saw 2 TV Award-winners, and the one for best plasma screen went to this 32in Sony. It was among the first plasma screens to "dispel our lingering doubts around plasma"s performance potential" - yes, plasma wasn"t constantly held in together high regard. This Sony was able to serve outstanding levels the detail, something that had previously been "one the plasma"s main failings", we noted.

It was additionally quite a looker for its time, through Sony even regulating to incorporate the TV tuner right into the chassis - other still fairly rare at a time of separate TV boxes.

2004


Panasonic TH-42PE30B Tested at £3300

2004 marked the very first time the 2 TV categories to be integrated, and also it to be Panasonic that took the single Award. This time it to be the turn of that 42in plasma screen, giving us very early indication of just how the brand would conquer this category in the year to come.

Its arsenal of picture-enhancing innovations was absolutely effective, and also its DVD playback power cemented its place in What Hi-Fi? history. It appears absurd that Finding Nemo was released way back in 2004, yet the color the Panasonic presented when we provided it as a test disc were exemplary. The screen resolution? 852 x 480.

2005


Philips 32PF9830 Tested in ~ £2000

The televisions classification was carried to the prior of the Awards pages in 2005, a sign of TV"s enhancing importance in the AV world.

Philips reclaimed the Product of the Year title v this 32in HD-ready set. We acknowledged that other displays were simply as commendable for less money, yet the "future-proof" nature that this Philips observed it reign supreme. That said, it only had an analogue TV tuner...

2006


Sony KDL-40W2000 Tested at £2000

"How long earlier is it that £2000 would just buy friend a decidedly ho-hum flatscreen TV, most likely from one obscure brand the you"d never ever heard of?" A solid opening gambit for this Sony Award-winner, which was taken into consideration a real bargain in regards to inch-per-pound.

Sony"s win significant the very first time that a big-screen LCD TV (yes, 40in to be considered large at the time) could complete with plasma technology.

It featured built-in analogue and also digital TV tuners as well as a 1920 x 1080 full HD resolution. The snapshot served up from those tuners to be impressive, yet again we highlighted the fantastic performance v DVDs.

2007


Pioneer PDP-428XD experiment at £2000

The Pioneer Kuro. It"s among the many enduring names in TV history, offering better black level than any type of other display at the time.

What"s more, 2007"s Awards significant the an initial mention that Blu-ray discs - which expected the photo quality was jaw-dropping.

The complete HD change was under way, also if this Pioneer Kuro rather controversially settled for HD-ready fairly than complete HD resolution.

2008


Sony KDL-40W4500 experiment at £1190

Sony to be on top kind again in 2008, thefts the Product the the Year crown ago from Pioneer. Although Pioneer’s 50in Kuro LX5090 did success an Award, this Sony proved to it is in the ultimate champion.

The display screen excelled v HD pictures, through blacks inky deep and also whites at sight bright. Upscaling abilities were exceptional too, as was that standard-def performance. The was additionally noteworthy because that boasting "a movement processing mode that most of the review team in reality likes".

"Sony has reinvented the LCD TV", us boldly declared.

2009


Philips 42PFL9664 tested at £1500

Philips showed once again it might party v the huge boys. This 42in LCD collection had a fairly sleek design and thin bezel, and also included attributes such as 5 HDMI inputs, wi-fi (finally!) and also Ambilight modern technology (which us still love). Coupled v a highly thorough HD picture, picking the all at once winner in 2009 to be easy.

The Philips TV even managed to impress us in the sound department. Although we recommended adding a speaker package (Monitor Audio’s RX6 AV12) because that a ideal home cinema set-up, the integrated speakers listed a more than adequate listen.

2010


Sony KDL-40EX503 experiment at £660

The 40EX503 marked a triumphant return because that Sony after failing to success a solitary Award in 2009, in part due to backlighting issues. This £660 TV yielded a organic colour palette, but had the capability to be vibrant and punchy when needed. The 100Hz Motionflow handling technology noted solid, smooth images, both from Blu-ray discs and also the built-in Freeview HD tuner.

The Sony likewise came with Smart TV capabilities, and also offered instant access to LoveFilm.com (RIP) and BBC iPlayer. Considering the price of vault winners, this one to be an absolute bargain. The TV market"s gyeongju to the bottom had actually started...

2011


Panasonic TX-P42GT30 experiment at £900

This Panasonic observed the brief rise that plasma come the peak of the charts - because that a much an ext wallet-friendly price.

Panasonic equipment the 42GT30 with two high-def tuners in the form of Freesat and Freeview HD, and also both detailed deep, detailed blacks and also barely any picture noise.

The 2D and 3D performances native a Blu-ray disc were likewise well received, and also the sound quality was weighty and also substantial.

2012


Sony KDL-40HX853 tested at £1000

Sony’s HX collection of TVs were optimal performers, however none an ext so than this 40in HX853. Clarity and detail were among its best strengths, and the speaker system housed within the plinth was impressive, too.

3D pictures noted a fully immersive experience and also the smart attributes worked well - you can stream HD contents over wi-fi - do this a great all-rounder.

2013


Panasonic TX-P42GT60B experiment at £1000

Panasonic was determined to win its crown earlier in 2013, and it did therefore with another extraordinary plasma screen. The list of features was endless, with virtually every possible need catered for. But ultimately it to be the snapshot quality, which to be nothing brief of stunning, stole the show.

Panasonic stopped manufacturing of the plasma displays at the end of 2013, making the GT60 series its swan song.

2014


Samsung UE48H6400 tested at £700

With plasma screens no more, complete HD and 4K would come to be the battleground because that TV supremacy. Samsung was the huge winner that the 2014 Awards through its very first 4K TVs, but this 48in full HD collection offered among the finest performance-per-pound ratios we’ve seen.

Featuring every the major catch-up TV services, it yielded a stellar snapshot performance no matter the source, offer up a balanced, clean and also stable snapshot with excellent contrast levels.

Picture noise top top standard-def images was tackled well, and motion didn’t take a hit either. 4K TVs may have been grabbing the headlines, yet Samsung proved that there’s still plenty of life left in complete HD screens.

2015


Samsung UE48J6300 Tested at £700

Samsung continued its gong-winning means with this 48in full HD TV. This bent screen ceded a an excellent picture high quality for the money, with herbal colours and lashings of information on display.

Samsung"s 4K TVs dominated the remainder of the Award category this year (along with a an initial OLED victory for LG), however the price was still too high a barrier for the coveted Product of the Year crown.

It was only a matter of time, however...

2016


Samsung UE49KS8000 tested at £1400

And sure enough, 2016"s Awards saw a 4K TV to win the Product that the Year title. The price may be dual that of its former Full HD sibling, however this 49in Samsung ceded a "stunning all-round performance". That consisted of a vibrant and also subtle snapshot that took advantage of the new HDR tech, and also offering many of features including Netflix and also Amazon"s 4K streaming services.

Samsung"s LCD and also LG"s OLED screens took turns winning in ~ the greater price ranges, however it was now clear the Ultra HD 4K resolution was in full reach the the mainstream.

2017


LG OLED55B7V experiment at £3000

The year OLED came of age? This wasn"t the first What Hi-Fi? Award for an OLED but it to be the an initial time one OLED TV had actually won Product the the Year. The 2017 TV sector was all about OLED vs QLED and LG, associated with OLED because that so long, take it the spoils.

This wasn"t the flagship OLED in LG"s selection nor was it the cheapest model. Instead it uncovered the sweetspot, corresponding price and performance because that a superb value picture. In other places there were Awards for Samsung QLEDs and a Sony OLED but it was the B series LG the took residence the top prize.

2018


LG OLED55C8PLA Tested in ~ £2000

Another LG, an additional OLED, with this 55in model ultimately coming closer to affordable realms.

2018 saw 4K OLED TVs get incrementally far better than before, through this superb all-rounder native LG giving brighter, punchier and sharper images than last year"s sets. Its wonderfully organic images and gorgeous deep blacks rival the of Sony"s class-leading A1 sets, too.

A stylish, talented set, through stunning picture quality and also a an ext wallet-friendly price tags - this LG OLED55C8PLA is a wonderful telly.


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2019


(Image credit: Future)

LG OLED55C9PLA experiment at £1999

The C9 provides it three succeeding Product the the Year wins for LG. You might think the competition simply isn"t trying, however that couldn"t be further from the truth. This is a year in i m sorry LG has challenged its toughest challenge yet, v every manufacturer, especially Samsung, massively raising its game. It"s simply that LG has actually raised it also further.

Despite having much more or much less the same panel as last year"s C8, the C9 supplies a brand-new processor and also some exceptionally innovative software to filter the photo to new levels. Black color depth remains flawless, yet there"s more dark detail. Colour still have a pleasing richness, but they"re even more nuanced and also subtle.

It"s the best made better, and LG"s wild pricing way it"s already available for much much less than its launch price.


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