By Louis Ramirez, dealnews Senior Feature Writer
So your decade-old HDTV is on the fritz and you're now forced to decide between making the jump to a 2013 model or purchasing an older, but cheaper, HDTV. We know it's a difficult decision to make, and with select HDTVs hitting all-time low prices, we can see why you'd want an "older" model.
But what if we told you that some 2013 models are already seeing solid discounts? And what if these TVs provided better picture quality than any of their predecessors? Maybe you'd consider the latest and greatest? Well, we took a long look at the first round of deals on 2013 TVs and found that the prices are lower than you might expect.
2013 HDTV Prices Have Dropped 40%CES 2013 may be a hazy memory at this point, but many of the TVs announced in Las Vegas in January are currently stocked at your local big box retailer. And the good news is that many of these sets are already seeing steep discounts, ranging from a minimum of 3% off the manufacturer's price to a surprising 40% off. These promotions include new sets from name-brand companies like Panasonic, Samsung, and LG. (We've yet to see noteworthy deals on major 2013 models from Toshiba and Sharp.)
What's especially surprising is that many of the discounts we're seeing are for premium or mainstream models. For instance, the highly-rated Panasonic VIERA S60 55" plasma dropped to $884 two weeks ago (still available for $799.91 with $84 s&h at P.C. Richard, a low by $65), which is 20% off the manufacturer's price. Likewise the mid-range LG 6900 55" 3D WiFi LCD TV dropped a whopping 40% off the manufacturer's price to an impressive $1,199 (currently $1,265 with free shipping at East Coast TVs, a low by $44). That's roughly $400 more than the cost of a 55" HDTV from 2012 or 2011, but not a bad price for a TV that's less than five months old and packed to the gills with features.
Even LG's affordable LN5300 series of TVs — including its 32" and 38.5" sets — have received discounts of 34% and 38% off, respectively. Moreover, the latter even won our coveted Editors' Choice award for being the least-expensive name-brand LED LCD HDTV in the 39" to 40" category, ever.
LG Leads the Pack in DiscountsOf the three major manufacturers we've listed so far, LG TVs are seeing the best price points, with discounts ranging from 28% to 40% off. These price cuts are present on various screen sizes and series, including the LA6200, LN5300, LN5400, and LA6900 series. In fact, we've seen deals on every 6200 series LG TV ranging from the 42" model to the 60" set.
2013 Samsung HDTVs are seeing the second-best discounts, ranging from 16% to 36% off, while Panasonic is seeing the most modest price cuts: deals range from 3% to 20% off. It's worth noting, however, that only two 2013 Panasonic models have seen sales, both the S60 and ST60, which CNET has named among 2013's best HDTVs.
If you can wait until the holidays, these and other 2013 HDTVs will see even better discounts, as November through January is typically the best time to shop for TVs. But if you haven't upgraded your set in over a decade and find yourself looking for a TV that offers better picture quality, a slimmer design, or more features — don't write off 2013 TVs just because they're more expensive. Depending on the model you're looking for, you might find the price difference isn't so big after all.
Want to buy one of these 2013 TVs? Make sure to sign up for an email alert so you know as soon as a price drops; often, the deals don't last for long.