Overshadowed by LCD, DLP, and plasma, today's direct view (tube) televisions perform with the consistency and excellence of a champion. Perhaps we don't see mass ad campaigns for them because they lack the flair of the sleeker, more expensive larger screen models. After all, you won't be the cat's meow by hanging a 30" tube over your fireplace, and you can't build a home theater around one. But, they're the best money can buy. Here's a look at some of the better 30" models in stores.
This isn't Samsung's top of the line model, but it would be hard to find a better TV for the price. This 16:9 DynaFlat monitor is SD and HD compatible, which means it needs an external tuner to watch digital and high definition programming. Most of the inputs are on the back, including two component and one DVI/HDCP connection. There are also composite, stereo audio, and S-Video inputs on the side. The only downside is it weighs 123 lbs.
Featuring a 20W speaker system on the front panel, the 30HF84 is a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio television with plenty of connections on the back panel, including HDMI. It also has front A/V inputs, which are convenient for those who want an easy way to connect a camcorder to the television. It also has a technology called CrystalScan HDSC, which is Toshiba's way of maximizing the picture quality. It weighs approximately 120 lbs.
Zenith stands behind its good name by offering a HD-compatible television big enough for the family room, but won't make you dip into your kid's college fund. It is compatible in all three digital formats - standard, enhanced, and high definition - and comes equipped the standard connections, except HDMI or DVI, but has A/V inputs on the side. What sets this television apart from the rest is the warranty - one year parts, 90 days labor, and two years for the picture tube.
A little more expensive than most 30" digital televions, the KD-30XS955 differs slightly from the other models in this list because it has an integrated tuner, CableCARD slot, and slot for your digital media. The integrated tuner means an external tuner or receiver is not required to watch HD-programming. The CableCARD slots makes it possible to get digital cable without the need of a set-top box, and the media slot is good for viewing pictures from a digital camera.