While 2011's best HDTVs have yet to make their debut you still have your pick of the finest technology 2010 had to offer. The Pioneer Elite line will return from hiatus later this year, at least in name, but for image quality the current top dog is Panasonic's VT25 line of plasmas. The bad news? High demand has drained most retailers of their supply in many sizes, but the 54-inch TC-P54VT25 seems to be widely available and currently can be had from Amazon for $2,160. Like most of the high end sets these days it also does 3D so our roundup of those sets isn't a bad place to start looking either. Totally committed to not dropping a single dime on anything 3D? Sony's edge LED lit KDL55EX710 can satisfy for the environmentally-conscious buyer and will be found practically anywhere this week for around $1,500, but what if your price range is a little lower? In previous years we've singled out Panasonic's lower end plasmas (S2, G2) but the budget conscious might do well to check out Samsung's PN50C550 which can be had for less than a grand and still offers impressive image quality at a large size.
Just for today, Amazon has Vizio's 42-inch pre-VIA era SV421XVT LED-backlit HDTV on sale for only $599 in its Gold Box deal, a healthy $115 off the regular price. Best Buy, Sam's Club, Wal-mart and others are also running promotions but price-wise we haven't found to many breaks over what they may have cost around Christmas, although shrewd shopping could yield extras like free 3D glasses or a throw in Blu-ray player. Other potential deals for the budget conscious? Dell is selling Mitsubishi's 3D-ready WD-60C10 60-inch DLP for $700 while 6ave.com has an Onkyo 3D-ready 7.1 receiver for $228 shipped. Be sure to let us know of any deals you see in the comments.
The split/second screen
Of course, if you want nothing but the game itself on your flatscreen, one should make sure your cellphone or tablet are properly outfitted for the festivities. The aforementioned ScoreCenter app is available for most platforms, while the NFL also gets into the action with its existing GameCenter apps. New for this week are The Official Mobile Guide (available on iOS and Android) which comes in handy at home or in the stadium if you have a ticket, or even if you don't, The Official Game Program on iPad to get that at the stadium feel.
The Pre-Game Game and the Payback
Why wait until game time to pull out the tablet? Madden NFL 11 by EA on the iPad ($12.99) means you can keep the game going without switching back and forth on the TV, and even has an option to take it really oldschool and play Electric football vibrating table-style. As far as the payback? You're holding it, put your portable where your mouth is and assert your dominance over all comers. Upside, if you lose, there ought to be an upgrade due right around the corner. Win/win.
Obviously, we wouldn't be shocked to find that your favorite wares weren't listed here, so be our guest and shout out your recommendations in comments below!
See just how far we've come: