HDTV Football Season

Some believe spring to be the best time of year to buy an HDTV. Why? Because new HDTVs are released in the late spring or summer, and stores want to clear their inventory of old TVs beforehand. That usually means a sale.

The truth is, there are sales throughout the year. There are sales on Black Friday. Post-Christmas. Pre-Super Bowl. And Post Super Bowl. In fact, HDTV prices fall slowly throughout the year. If you’re waiting for the lowest price, you may never actually purchase the television.

Clearance Sale on HDTVs?Over the past few years, the average price of HDTVs has fallen pretty quickly. In 2005, a 40-inch Samsung LCD had a retail price of $5,000. Now you can get one for $1,200. But it appears the days of dramatic price drops are dwindling. Consumer Reports is reporting a deceleration in falling prices for the 2008 Holiday season:

In midsized to larger LCD TVs, price cuts will range from 5 percent to 19 percent, according to industry experts at the recent DisplaySearch Flat-Panel TV Conference….

• a 32-inch 720p set will sell for $647, down 7 percent from December 2007
• a 37-inch 720p LCD TV will cost $782, down 5 percent
• a 40- or 42-inch 720p LCD TV will sell for $944, down 5 percent
• a 40- or 42-inch 1080p set will sell for $1,123, down 19 percent
• a 46- or 47-inch 1080p set will sell for $1,528, down 17 percent
• a 52-inch 1080p LCD TV will sell for $2,243, down 19 percent”

Other predictions are an increase in interest of 120 hz displays (despite a 30 percent penalty in cost); Costco, Wal-Mart, and other discount clubs becoming bigger players in HDTV sales thanks to year-round low prices and sales; and a focus on selling HDTV bundles (with Blu-ray players, cable packages, etc) in an attempt to increase profit margins that have been shrinking.

The deceleration in price drops may be comforting news to those who pride themselves in always getting the lowest price. They’re now more likely to pay close to what the television will sell for months from now. However, for those who are still waiting for that 55 incher to fall another 50%, they may waiting be a long time.

Black Friday Crowd 1So, when is the best time to buy an HDTV? Well, if you can afford the TV you want, and you have access to HD content, it’s likely that today is as good as time as any. Except maybe for Black Friday. But do you want to deal with the crowds, or do you want to be watching the crowds on your 50-inch HDTV with a cup of hot cocoa in your hand?

Read Consumer Reports: Link 1. Link 2.

Read TV Predictions: Link.