As we made abundantly clear already, catching the Super Bowl live is an expense that many of us unfortunately can't begin to afford. However, an appropriate in-home viewing experience may be financially within reach since big-screen HDTVs are no longer priced just to accommodate the 1%.
With prices as low as $688 for brand name 60" HDTVs, our deal archives show that many of us can upgrade to a giant-size TV in time for the big game. So whether you're gearing up for the Super Bowl or quietly awaiting the Oscars, we've combed through a year's worth of TV deals to bring you the ultimate big-screen HDTV buying guide.
60" LCD HDTV Prices Plummet in Latter Half of 2012A few years ago, owning a 60" 1080p LCD HDTV was something most of us could only dream about. Today, that dream has become a reality as prices on these once prohibitively-expensive sets came crashing down in the latter half of 2012.
In fact, during Black Friday 2012 we saw brand-name 60" 1080p LCD HDTVs dip as low as $688. And while we noticed a small uptick in price in December, if you opt for third-tier models (our chart to the right is for brand-name sets only), we've seen deals fall to as low as $700 since.
Brand Name vs. Generic: The overwhelming majority of 60" LCD HDTVs deals we post are for brand-name TVs. However, this month we noticed a Seiki and a Westinghouse 60" LCD HDTV come in at $748 and $700, respectively. As a result, we recommend keeping your search broad and if you're not loyal to any brand, checking out deals on third-tier sets.
Price to Buy: The chances of seeing a 60" LCD HDTV at $688 again aren't as slim as you may think. However, for brand-name sets, deals seem to be stabilizing around the $900 mark, so we recommend shoppers look for prices at or below $900. If you opt for a third-tier brand, look for deals below $750.
3D is No Longer a Premium for 55" SetsThis year's Consumer Electronics Show ousted 3D as the pinnacle of HDTV technology. Instead, the market will make the case for Ultra HD, or 4K HDTVs, which boast four times the resolution of today's displays.
While many of those TVs are expected to debut with equally high price tags, last year's 3D models will see aggressive price cuts as 3D technology takes the back seat to Ultra HD. This is great news for consumers because it means for once we'll see solid deals on 3D HDTVs.
Brand Name vs. Generic: The price difference between a 3D 55" HDTV and a non-3D version (both brand-name) is slowly narrowing and will continue to do so in the coming months. However, opting for a standard definition third-tier 55" HDTV can save you as much as $150, making them a viable alternative if you want a television of this size and are on a stricter budget.
Price to Buy: For the past three months, deals on brand-name 55" 3D HDTVs have bottomed out at $800 — the lowest price ever. So if 3D is in your future, look for deals at or below $800. A non-3D 55" brand-name HDTV may cost you roughly $100 less at $700, but the real savings will be found on standard third-tier 55" HDTVs, which are coming in between $547 and $649.
HDTV Prices for 2013 & What Size Category You Should Buy TodayAs far as deals are concerned, 55" and 60" LCDs are where the action is at. However, that's not to say other size categories are doing poorly deal-wise. 32" 1080p HDTVs, for instance, have been holding off at $200 for the past year. For roughly $100 more you can upgrade to a 42" name-brand HDTV. Again, another $100 investment will get you into the 46" and 47" category, the latter of which are currently at all-time lows. However, the upgrade from 42" to 46" isn't as dramatic as upgrading to say a 55" or 60" HDTV. And it's those latter categories that are enjoying the biggest price lows.
And with this year's aggressive push for Ultra HD, we're predicting we'll see deeper discounts on 55" and 60" LCD HDTVs in the coming months, especially when 2013's models begin to enter the market. So forget 46" and bypass 50", the moment is right for a big-screen HDTV.
Need more assistance? Check out our buying guide for tips on what specifications to look for while shopping, and set up an email alert to receive notification as soon as we see the TV of your choice.