Practical Technology

for practical people.

I’m dreaming of an HDTV Christmas

Some people are already saying it’s going to be a lousy holiday season for gadget lovers. Only the terminally brave–or is that stupid?–will be buying Intel Duo Core PCs knowing that installing Vista on them will be a horror show. You’ll also have a heck of a time finding a Sony PlayStation III. But, if you want to find an affordable HDTV, this may be a great holiday season.

Wal-Mart, which usually sets the low price boundary, is striking early this year. The company has said that it will be setting its best television prices to new lows. This includes a Panasonic 42″ HD plasma TV (was $1,794/now $1,294) a Polaroid 37″ LCD HDTV (now $1,297/will be $997) and the RCA 32″ LCD HDTV (was $997/now $847).

“We’ve lowered prices so that families can afford to get and give more of the best brands and technology in electronics this season,” said Gary Severson, senior VP and general merchandise manager Electronics for Wal-Mart Stores.

This move, in turn, is almost certain to make other retailers drop their HDTV prices before the holiday buying season gets into full swing. For us, it means that if you’ve been thinking about buying an HDTV, now is the time to start comparison shopping. In the next month or two, I expect to see prices drop across the board for HDTVs.

If you’re serious about getting the best deal possible, let me recommend Professor Poor’s Weekly Price Intelligence Report. At $9.95 an issue, it may not look cheap, but when you want to spend the least for the most HDTV-whether its plasma panels, LCD TVs, rear-projection DLP and LCD and LCoS, or LCD and DLP front-projectors-it’s well worth the money.

Finally let me add that for all the talk of plasma, LCD, DLP and all the rest of that fancy, new flat display hardware, I still think that for the best picture quality, albeit on a smaller screen, you still can’t beat a good HDTV console. In particular, if you watch a lot of sports, you’ll appreciate just how sharp an old fashioned tube renders even the fastest action. Since these are no longer very popular, if you can find one, like the Sony FD Trinitron WEGA KV-36HS510 36″ TV or the Sony FD Trinitron WEGA KD-34XBR970 34″ TV, you can often get a great deal.

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