For the second year in a row, Home Theater Review's editors have chosen the absolute best of the best from the world of home theater
, audiophile components
, HDTV and beyond
. The winners are picked subjectively by our editorial staff and are based on reviews that posted during the year. For the best in home theater - this list covers both the highest performance cost-no-object products as well as value oriented home theater equipment.
Be sure to check in with our Home Theater Review 2009 Award winners as many of those products are still current and are still clearly award winning.
Best AV Preamp Winner: Krell Evolution 707
Put this AV preamp in the cost-no-object category, but with its audiophile preamp performance paired with all of today's best surround codecs, HDMI switching and smooth control - it's worth the steep asking price of $30,000 for those with the budgets to consider the best of the best in terms of performance.
Runner-up: Arcam FMJ AV888
Best AV Receiver: Onkyo TX-NR708
HDMI 1.4, 3D performance and all of the bells and whistles you could ever dream of, makes the Onkyo TX-NR708 this year's best receiver. Considering the amount of features you get for the money - your value is through the roof.
Runner-up: Sherwood R904
Best High Performance Blu-ray Player: Cambridge Audio Azur 650 BD
Oppo Digital made waves with affordable DVD-Audio/SACD-capable Blu-ray players and that's how they won last year's award. This year, this non-Oppo-based player from Cambridge is setting both the audiophile and home theater world on fire. Dollar for dollar - the Cambridge Audio Azur 650 BD is about as good as it gets in the Best Blu-ray Player category.
Runner-up: Oppo Digital BDP-83SE
Best Video Projector: SIM2 Mico 50 LED
In the world of front video HDTV projectors - LED is all the rage with SIM2 leading the way in high-end video performance. The race between Runco, SIM2 and Digital Projection was close. SIM2's stunning customer service and easy to calibrate image ultimately won out for best video projector of 2010. Runco and Digital Projection get kudos for their refreshingly honest video numbers in a world where more mainstream video companies boast otherworldly, unrealistic numbers.
Runner-up: Digital Projection M-Vision LED Front Projector
Best LED/LCD HDTV: LG 47LE8500
The 47-inch 47LE8500 serves up one of the best-looking pictures we've seen in the LCD category to date. LG's new Full LED Slim technology combines the best of both LED worlds: You get a full-array, local-dimming LED backlight system that produces excellent blacks and contrast in a very slim, attractively styled cabinet. In addition to great performance, this year's best LED/LCD TV has a comprehensive features list, including THX picture modes, WiFi-readiness, the option to add a wireless HDMI kit, and access to the NetCast entertainment platform, with VUDU, Netflix, Skype, and more.
Runner-up: Sony KDL-NX800
Best Plasma HDTV: Panasonic TC-P54VT25
Panasonic's 3D-capable TC-P54VT25 pretty much has it all. This 54-inch plasma has earned high marks for both its 2D and 3D performance. Our pick for the best plasma HDTV sports a THX picture mode, WiFi-readiness, RS-232, media playback through USB and SD Card, 600Hz Sub-field Drive to improve motion resolution, and the Infinite Black Panel Pro to reduce light reflections and improve black-level performance. The VIERA CAST Web platform offers access to Amazon VOD, Netflix, Pandora, YouTube, Skype, and more. Plus, Panasonic kindly includes one pair of the active-shutter glasses required for 3D viewing.
Runner-up: Samsung PN58C8000
Best Video Screens: dnp Supernova
This optical screen is king of the hill in light rejecting video screens. Recent demonstrations at the CEDIA tradeshow under brutal lighting showed a dark, theater-worthy video screen that is truly as good as it gets in its class of video screens.
Runner-up: Elite Osprey 16x9 - 2/35:1 roll-down video screen
Find more awards on Page 2.