HDTVs are designed for HD playback, but there are often problems in picture reproduction when playing back media in standard definition (SD), such as from traditional DVDs. HDTVs usually display in either 720p, 768p or 1080p. DVDs, TVs and VCRs usually come in at 480i. The image would thus need to be converted to be represented accurately and this is the primary reason for poor SD reproduction on HDTVs. The video processor, or scaler, is responsible for converting the images. A poor scaler will lead to flicker and rough edges. Hit the link to see which HDTVs the guys at Exteme Tech declared to be kings of SD reproduction. The Pioneer Elite PRO-940HD plasma television took home the best rating in the test with 9/10. The HDTV was the best in its class with regards to overall picture display in SD, but comes at a price of $1475 - $1974 depending on the retailer.
The Vizio VP42 gained an 8/10 rating. The wide viewing angle, excellent colour and contrast production as well as the cheaper price point of $900, secured this set as a favourite.
Finally, in joint second place was the Sony KDS-55A2020. Also scoring 8/10, the UI and picture quality were both note worthy. This RPTV was considered to be comparable to higher end 1080p plasmas and crystal flat panels. For the performance, the $1799 price tag was considered very reasonable.
Hit the link to get more information on SD playback, including how you can set your own HDTV to better display standard definition content. [Extreme Tech]