HDTV for Any Budget
Being the lazy oaf that I am, I have copied and pasted below the article. This year is a stellant year for HD-TVs, so if you want one, now is the time to open that pocketbook and buy that TV you have been eyeing for years.
“If a high-definition TV is on your holiday shopping list, here’s news that could have you smiling all the way to the store: Thanks to continuing price cuts, you’re going to get more TV for the money than you would have last year.
Prices are expected to be about 30 percent lower on average than during the 2006 holiday season, with even steeper drops on some TV types and screen sizes.
Experts predict that plasma TV prices will shrink the most. The average price for a 42-inch plasma set with 720p resolution could fall below $1,000 by year’s end, with 50-inch models going for less than $1,500, says Ross Young of DisplaySearch, a research firm in Austin, Texas. Even the new breed of plasma TVs with 1080p resolution, or full HD, will approach mainstream prices. Such TVs with 50-inch screens, which averaged a sky-high $6,700 last year, should sell for less than $2,400.
Early-bird shoppers might find even lower plasma prices over the Thanksgiving weekend, says Tamaryn Pratt of Quixel Research, in Portland, Ore. She predicts that 720p plasmas from some brands could temporarily dip to $800 or less for 42-inch sets and $1,400 for 50-inchers before bouncing up slightly in December.
Big-screen LCD TVs will also sell for less than they did last year. The average 42-inch 720p LCD set should sell for below $1,100, according to DisplaySearch, while 1080p TVs of that size will go for about $1,400. You might find still lower prices on 1080p models from lesser-known brands, including 42-inchers priced at less than $1,000, Quixel Research projects.
Pratt expects to see deals around $1,000 on 50-inch rear-projection sets, with 70-inch sets selling well at $3,000 to $3,400, a size where flat panels still can’t compete.
Don’t worry that manufacturers have skimped on quality to trim prices. Overall, HDTVs are better than ever, and our Ratings of plasma TVs, LCD TVs, and rear-projections TVs (available to subscribers) include more models with excellent picture quality than in the past. You can attribute lower prices in part to more competition and production capacity.
To get the most value and best performance, determine your budget and check this HDTV review to see what we recommend at that price. We don’t think you’ll save much by waiting until January. Last year, Super Bowl promotions were no better than holiday deals. Aside from clearance prices on specific TVs, we might not see prices in general drop significantly until next fall. Check our Electronics Blog throughout the holiday season for up-to-the-minute price news. ”