Fortunately for everyone, televisions and the technology behind them get better every year. In response, our scoring process will soon be changing for the better. We're tweaking the weights of performance areas, based on advances and trends in current TVs. Expect to see the ratings shift.
We don't make this kind of change lightly. For the sake of comparison, we can only refresh our scoring methodology after enough data has been collected and enough TVs have been tested. This current update will become the norm for the next few years.
For many years, we rated color purity and color integrity higher than other performance areas—for good reason. Yet we're always working to learn even more about what makes a TV objectively good or bad, and this time, we studied the workings of the human eye. The results were fascinating, in a geeky way.
Our highest-rated test category is now Black Level. In fact, any and all scores related to light output—Black Level, Peak Brightness, Contrast Ratio—are now weighed more heavily than scores related to color performance.
Black Level, the keystone of good TV performance, is relevant to almost every aspect of what you see on screen. A deeper black allows less light pollution within colors. Black Level is also an extremely important factor when determining Contrast Ratio. Essentially, pure black levels are to a TV what a blank canvas is to a painter.
What To Expect
For this reason, you'll see the ratings shift to favor TVs with better black levels—plasma displays are going to benefit, but they've already taken our top spots for a number of years. We will continue to analyze the key elements of objectively perfect video per international standards, and going forward our testing and rating process will reflect those standards with even more accuracy than before.
Categories like 3D, smart platform, and any "extra" features are still weighed very lightly, to ensure that performance is our top priority when evaluating a product. Reviewed.com aims to continue a long tradition of quality and quantity, so please feel free to contact us directly if you have any questions about our testing or rating procedure.