HDTV Holiday Pricing: How Low Can It Go?

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An LCD TV that has a refresh rate of 60Hz is the easiest class of 1080p television to find, and there are lots of good buys to be had for these specs. But remember that motion blur problems could be more prominent on this type of HDTV. Even if you buy online, it may not be a bad idea to slip into a retailer and see a similar set in action before you commit to your purchase.

Wal-mart has a 52-inch RCA LCD TV for $898. You have your choice of 97-cent shipping to your home or free site-to-store (store pick-up) shipping. Depending on your location, this item will ship to your home on or before December 24.

Amazon also has a Samsung 46-inch set for $869 in this HDTV class that includes free shipping.

1080p, 120Hz LCD

Now we're getting serious, with a television refresh rate that should decrease motion blur and give you a better image overall. Again, you might want to experience the difference between a 60Hz and a 120Hz set in the retail showroom before buying.

Amazon is selling a 42-inch set for $838, but a third-party vendor not Amazon is selling this one so make sure you're comfortable with the retailer before buying. Best Buy is selling a Sony Bravia HDNA 52-inch for $1,300 that includes free shipping, and Target has a Philips 47-inch HDTV for $950. Finally, New Egg has a 55-inch 1080p, 120Hz wireless set for $1,700; 'wireless' means you connect all your devices to a connector box instead of directly to the television. This has its advantages if you can't keep your television and other home theater equipment together, or you want to achieve a cleaner look by keeping all your components out of sight.

1080p, 240Hz

This is where the prices start to really increase, but you can still find some good deals. Head over to Amazon for 40-inch Sony Bravia for $1,119. Wal-Mart has a Vizio 47-inch for just under $1,197. The best price you'll find at Best Buy is an LG 47-inch for $1,300.

1080p Plasmas

Plasma sets tend to be a bit cheaper than their LCD counterparts, and there are definitely some good deals to be had. Best Buy has a 50-inch Panasonic Viera 1080p for $900. Wal-Mart is offering two good prices on Panasonic Plasmas. You can get a 42-inch set for $778, or grab the 46-inch model for $788 (while supplies last).

Now, I know you're probably wondering why you should bother with a set for $800 or more, when you can just grab that 32-inch HDTV for $400. But think about what you're getting if you invest a little more: a set from a brand that's just as recognizable, a larger screen size and far better display resolution than 720p. Consider that many of these 1080p televisions are typically priced well over $1,000, and you're still saving at least a few hundred dollars or more on the higher-end 240Hz sets. So why not take advantage of the low prices, and invest a little bit more money in a television that can really show off that new set of Blu-ray discs you've got your eye on.

Do you know of any other great deals? Let us know in the comments.

Connect with Ian on Twitter (@ianpaul).

This story, "HDTV Holiday Pricing: How Low Can It Go?" was originally published by PCWorld.

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