updated 8/30/2005 5:19:24 PM ET 2005-08-30T21:19:24

It's the most-coveted of all the high-tech toys: The high-definition, flat-panel TV. Now that we're solidly in the age of HD, you can choose from a wide array of TV technologies, whether it's plasma, liquid-crystal display (LCD), or Digital Light Processing (DLP).

With so many competing technologies entering the fray, prices on high-tech sets are dropping fast. The average price of a 40- to 44-inch plasma TV fell by 34% in the second quarter vs. last year, to $2,240 from $3,513, according to iSuppli, a El Segundo (Calif.) research firm.

In the smaller-screen range, 30- to 34-inch LCDs plummeted by 34% as well, down to $1,759. Prices will keep falling, by roughly 30% a year until at least 2009, predicts iSuppli. And some low-end standard-definition flat-panels will be on sale for under $1,000 by yearend.

The wide range of makes, models, and technologies is a double-edged sword. While the crowded playing field forces down prices, it can be paralyzing for the consumer –- even one who can tell the difference between an LCD and a plasma in two seconds flat.

To help alleviate the confusion, BusinessWeek Online has put together a showcase of different kinds of high-definition sets along with reviews. Look closely, and you might find the perfect set. And if these still seem too pricey? Well, just wait another year.

Copyright © 2012 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved.


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