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Buying a TV on Black Friday? The price predictions are in

Vizio's 55-inch
Vizio's 55-inchVizio

By Gary Merson
HD Guru 

This year continues to be slow for TV sales. Not only do economic conditions remain sour, but the roll-out of 3-D technology has been poor — lacking necessary programming — and so-called "smart TVs" have been marketed confusingly, or in some cases not demonstrated at all. This has led to high inventory levels. The holiday season is the last chance for retailers and set makers to improve their fiscal year.

HD Guru consulted industry contacts, surveyed the best current deals and analyzed pricing trends to come up with our Black Friday price predictions. Come Nov. 25, the biggest shopping day of the year, these are the costs of models — grouped by size, features and brand reputation — that you're likely to see.

If you're thinking about buy a TV anytime soon, consult this list first, so you don't unwittingly pay too much.

This year all sizes are affected. The glut of sets has already produced the lowest prices of the year and we know the holidays will mean "loss-leader" models that stores can offer in outstanding deals. In fact, the areas where we'll see the greatest price drops are in the category of TVs measuring 55 inches and above.

That segment is more competitive than ever, with more new models from brands you probably never heard of (what we're calling "no name"). The no-name models exert downward price pressure from the market leaders. Add in the competitively priced Vizio’s recent drop in market position, along with their own leftover 2010 models, and you have a perfect recipe for crazy closeouts.

As in recent years, the online e-tailers will be leading the charge with the hottest deals and will follow Black Friday TV deals with Cyber Monday specials.

For those of you considering a Vizio or a no-name TV, please read our disposable TV article, where we make the case for purchasing an extended warranty.

Now, on to our predictions:

Smallest LCDs

  • 32-in. 720p no name LCD - $169
  • 32-in. 720p brand name LCD - $249

Mid-size LCD and plasma

  • 40-in. 720p no name LCD - $288
  • 42-in. 720p brand name Plasma - $399
  • 42-in. 720p brand name 3-D Plasma - $529
  • 40-in. 1080p no name LCD - $339
  • 40-in. 1080p brand name 3-D LED LCD - $689

  • 46-in. to 47-in. 1080p no name LCD  $399
  • 46-in. to 47-in. 1080p brand name LCD - $499
  • 46-in. to 47-in. 1080p brand name LED LCD - $599

  • 50-in. 720p brand name plasma $539
  • 50-in. 1080p brand name plasma $639

Large LCD and plasma

  • 55-in. 1080p no name LCD - $639
  • 55-in. 1080p brand name 3-D LCD - $799

  • 60-in. 1080p brand name LED LCD - $1099
  • 60-in. 1080p brand name plasma - $999
  • 60-in. 1080p brand name 3-D plasma - $1099

  • 70-in. 1080p brand name LED LCD - $2399

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