By Darrin Meyer

Pick the right TV carefully.
i Jochen Sand/Digital Vision/Getty Images

In any major electronics store, the average consumer can be a bit overwhelmed by the options available for HDTVs. A number of manufacturers have models lining the shelves, some well-known and some less so, with different screen sizes and different price levels. Two manufacturers that may not have the name recognition of others are Vizio and LG, and before making the big-ticket purchase of an HDTV it can be helpful to know how they measure up, both to each other and to the competition in general.

HDTV Resolution

Every HDTV sold in stores is designed with a maximum native resolution, which is the highest possible picture quality available, measured in the lines of pixels contained within the screen. Resolution is marketed in terms of vertical lines available and the TV's ability to display both the progressive-scan and interlaced formats that images are displayed in. This is the basis for shorthand terms for high-definition video such as 720p, 1080i and 1080p. As of 2011, nearly every HDTV in stores, including those produced by Vizio and LG, allows for full 1080p video.


The price of an HDTV will always depend on the exact model, the specific retailer and any current specials offered. However, according to the websites for Vizio and LG, Vizio's LCD HDTVs start at a slightly lower price than those of LG for models of comparable screen sizes and features, as of 2011. This holds true both for basic LCD TVs and for more advanced models featuring an LED backlight, which allows for thinner screens, higher picture quality and increased energy efficiency.


Though the overall quality of a TV is subjective, both Vizio and LG were well represented in electronics review publication CNET's 2011 "Best of" HDTV ratings. Among respected competitors including Sony, Samsung and Panasonic, two LG models and one Vizio TV landed among the higest-rated in categories including "Best LCD TV," "Best LED TV" and "Best HDTVs Overall." When reviewer Television Info compared a similar LG and Vizio LCD TV face to face, both were rated as a good value with a good picture, though it said the LG model handled motion better and had a slightly higher contrast ratio than the Vizio.


One thing that separates LG from Vizio in the HDTV market is that while Vizio concentrates solely on LCD and LED models, LG also offers plasma screen HDTVs, including models with 3-D capability; some LG and Vizio LCDs and LEDs also offer 3-D. Plasma screen TVs are on the higher end of HDTV screen sizes -- LGs are either 42 or 50 inches -- due to the technology used, which allows the TV to have a higher image quality, viewing angle and contrast ratio than LCDs.