The Best Time to Buy an HDTV

Kiplinger

Forget what you've heard: The weeks leading up to the Super Bowl are not always the best time to buy a big-screen TV. True, retailers have splashy sales to entice you to splurge on a plasma or LCD model, but savvy shoppers wait until March or April to score the best deals.

More from Kiplinger.com:

The Best Buys of Winter

8 Ways to Save on Phone, Internet and TV Services

What You Need to Know About Big-Box Retailers

More from Y! Shopping

Check out the new Yahoo! Deals

Simply put, the laws of supply and demand are working against you. "If you're a retailer, you should not have your best deals in January and February, when people want TVs the most," says Daniel de Grandpre, chief executive of Dealnews.com, a bargain-hunting site. Look for a dip in prices in early spring, says de Grandpre, when manufacturers close out older models to make room for new sets they launched at the Consumer Electronics Show, in January.

The Post-Holiday Factor 

Holiday sales also play a role in pre-Super Bowl bargains. If retailers sell a lot of sets for Christmas, their January specials aren't so hot. If they didn't, however, "that's when you tend to see a lot of spectacular deals," says analyst Paul Gagnon, of DisplaySearch. This year? The specials aren't as great as last year's because holiday sales were better.

If you really, really want a TV now, the sweet spot for brand-name sets is just under $1,000. You'll find 46- and 47-inch LCD sets, as well as 50-inch plasmas, from such top vendors as Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp and Sony in that range. Still too pricey? Top-tier 42-inch TVs are going for $700 to $800. Other possibilities: Target is selling a Magnavox 42-inch LCD HDTV for $499, which is $180 off the regular price. And Wal-Mart has a 55-inch Vizio LCD for $1,298, which is about $200 cheaper than competing prices.

"I recommend the 46- to 47-inch range," says de Grandpre. "That's the most bang for your buck. As a rule of thumb, you should buy a TV that's bigger than you think you need. You never regret a big TV. You always regret buying one that's too small."

What's New

HDTVs keep getting better. The latest LCD models are stunningly thin, including the Samsung LED 9000, a 55-inch set with the thickness of a pencil (0.3 inch). But before buying an LCD TV, make sure its refresh rate is at least 120 hertz or higher. Basically, 120Hz sets do a better job of displaying fast motion, such as sporting events, than the older, 60Hz LCD TVs.

Another trend is LED backlighting on LCD sets, which conserves energy and reduces bulk. (It's LEDs that make those incredibly thin sets possible.) And Internet-ready TVs, which offer wired or wireless connections to home broadband routers, are becoming popular. They allow you to watch movies from Netflix or other online video services on your TV and also provide access to popular Web services, such as Facebook. Plus, you won't pay a lot for these upgrades. A $900 47-inch LCD TV is likely to refresh at 120 Hz, says de Grandpre.

Say No to 3-D

De Grandpre strongly advises against buying a 3-D TV, "unless you're very rich or would be very dissatisfied not having the absolute newest gadget available." There's little programming available in the format, and the technology will likely add hundreds of dollars to the cost of an HDTV, especially if you factor in the cost of 3-D glasses, which can run $200 to $300 a pair.

Although 3-D at home may seem like a novelty now, don't count it out. The popularity of 3-D movies, specifically Avatar, may soon whet consumers' appetites for 3-D in the living room, says Paul Gagnon.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Everything Aaron and Jordan Rodgers Have Said About Their Family Feud

      Quarterback Aaron Rodgers may have led the Green Bay Packers to a narrow victory during Sunday night’s playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys, but his family did not share in the celebration. According to a new interview with The New York Times published Sunday, Ed Rodgers confirmed that he’s not on speaking terms with his son following the 32-year-old NFL star’s rise in popularity. Word of the family’s rift became public knowledge last spring when the quarterback’s younger brother Jordan appeared on JoJo Fletcher‘s season of The Bachelorette.

      People
    • NBD, just a massive alligator out for a stroll

      Nothing to see here, just a ginormous alligator casually sauntering across your path. Kim Joiner, a visitor to Circle B Bar Reserve near Lakeland, Florida, took the video over the weekend, according to Storyful. She described the encounter as "very exciting." SEE ALSO: Alligator seems to go for a little ride on a manatee Joiner said the alligator was about 12 feel long and that while she took the photos from a safe distance, she was "close enough." According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the state record for an alligator is 14 feet 3.5 inches. Video credit: Kim Joiner via Storyful UPDATE: Jan. 16, 2017, 3:21 p.m. EST This post was updated to include information from the photographer.

      Mashable q
    • Peta Murgatroyd Bra Selfie Reminds Us Post-Baby Body Expectations Are Ridiculous

      The “post-baby body” obsession has, unfortunately, seemingly taken over our culture. Instead of marveling at the fact that women bring forth life from…

      Hello Giggles
    • 5 Totally Brilliant Netflix Series You Should Be Watching (5 photos)

      You're all queued up for a Netflix-and-chill night, but what to watch? You could turn on Friends for the 10943284th time. Or you could (gasp!) watch something new. There are, of course, the Netflix gold-standard series: House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Crown. But assuming you've already watched all those, we have you covered: These five series gems will make you glad you have a Netflix account/your roommate's password. VIDEO: The 20 Best TV Shows of 2016 Happy streaming!

      InStyle
    • Katie Holmes and Mini-me Daughter Suri Cruise Are All Smiles at Lakers Game

      Katie Holmes and her 10-year-old daughter Suri Cruise were all smiles on Sunday as they watched the Detroit Pistons take on the Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles. Holmes, 38, wore a black, sheer top with blue jeans. This isn’t the first time Holmes and Suri’s similar looks have been on full display.

      People
    • Texas teacher who had sex almost daily with 13-year-old student gets 10 years in prison

      A former Texas middle-school teacher who was impregnated by a 13-year-old student has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Alexandria Vera, 25, was facing up to 30 years behind bars after pleading guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child in November. She admitted to police that a relationship that started with Instagram messages between her and the boy blossomed into a romance — one that the boy’s family approved of. A judge in the 209th District Court in Houston said during Vera’s sentencing hearing on Friday that he does not believe the former English teacher is a danger to children or a classic pedophile, the Houston Chronicle reported. But Judge Michael McSpadden said he wants to send

      Washington Post q
    • Jimmer Fredette is a dominant ‘god’ in China

      The cult of Jimmer Fredette was never embraced by the NBA. In China, each launch from beyond the arc gains a believer. The high-scoring college talent out of BYU, whose polarizing game yo-yo’ed him between the NBA to the D-League since being a first-round pick in 2011, has found a niche in the Chinese Basketball Association as himself: an unrepentant bomber. The 27-year-old Fredette, whose love of the 3-pointer and aversion to defense always made him seem more useful in video games than real games, is putting up video-game numbers. He’s averaging 37.3 points a game, the best in the league. (Next up? Former Providence star and Nets flameout MarShon Brooks.) Fredette is shooting 49 percent from

      New York Post q
    • Massive Alligator Strolls Casually Past Florida Tourists

      Video shows the gator without a care in the world.

      Inside Edition
    • Chiefs fans were so sad after playoff loss they left their grills in the parking lot

      Arrowhead Stadium became a hellscape. .@AbbyClopton10 It wasn't! If you look closely in this pic you'll actually see two grills and half a bottle of Jack. Look, they up and left their grills and everything.

      SB Nation q
    • ‘Fame Can Change Things’: Aaron Rodgers’ Family Opens Up About Their Rift

      NFL star Aaron Rodgers’ father Ed Rodgers has opened up in a new interview with The New York Times about his family’s strained relationship with the Green Bay Packers quarterback. “With all the craziness that comes along with the media and the show, it would have been much harder to do it not living together,” Jordan said of moving in together.

      People
    • Adriana Lima Hits Patriots Game ... Joins Insanely Hot Group of Wives & GFs (PHOTOS)

      Julian Edelman's quasi-girlfriend, Adriana Lima, attended her first Patriots playoffs game this weekend ... and fit right in with the ridiculously good lookin' group of W.A.G.s.  First, the Edelman-Lima situation (or EdeLima) ... our sources tell us they're still dating but it's more casual than serious.  As one source put, "When they can see each other, they do. But it's not very often." Still, they're tight enough that she went to the Pats vs. Texans game at Foxborough this weekend ... joining other wives and girlfriends like Kristen Rorie (Tyler Gaffney's GF), Ciera Liguori (D.J. Foster's GF), Camille Kostek (Gronk's GF) and Siggi Bennett (Martellus Bennett's wife).  And that doesn't even

      TMZ q
    • Teen slain in 'rape-murder fantasy' was friend to the lonely

      GLENSIDE, Pa. (AP) — The smiles radiate from photos posted online by friends: Grace Packer sporting an impish grin as a toddler, floating happily in a pool as a young teen, leaning in to talk to a friend at her school lunch table.

      Associated Press
    • People are showing off photos of their scratched up Jet Black iPhone 7 handsets

      Look, we're just going to go ahead and say it: the Jet Black iPhone 7 and the Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus are the most gorgeous smartphones that have ever been created. This is not open to debate. It's a fact. There's simply nothing else like the sleek glossy finish of Apple's Jet Black iPhones, which reflects just the right amount of light to appear as though the glass face of the phone wraps straight around to the back of the device. It's stunning, but there's a pretty big caveat to that bold statement we made. The Jet Black iPhone 7 and the Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus are the most gorgeous smartphones that have ever been created... for about 3 minutes after you first remove one from the box. After that, Apple's Jet Black finish starts to scratch and scuff like crazy, and it's also a magnet for grease and grime. Apple didn't exactly admit how delicate its Jet Black finish is when it unveiled the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus last September, but it did post a disclaimer on its website. Here's that disclaimer in full: The high-gloss finish of the jet black iPhone 7 is achieved through a precision nine-step anodization and polishing process. Its surface is equally as hard as other anodized Apple products; however, its high shine may show fine micro-abrasions with use. If you are concerned about this, we suggest you use one of the many cases available to protect your iPhone. Translation: the Jet Black finish on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is going to scratch. A lot. We've shown you what happens to the Jet Black iPhone finish in a couple of different posts. One showed a Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus after three months , and another showed a Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus after just two months . Both of those posts were scary for potential Jet Black iPhone owners, and now there are even more examples of what Apple's sleek new iPhone finish looks like with normal wear and tear. A post on Reddit from over the weekend asked people to share what their Jet Black iPhones look like now that they've been used. Several people complied, and the photos they shared give us a good idea of what happens to Jet Black iPhones when they're in your hands as opposed to being featured in photos on Apple's website. Reddit user KateWalls shared the highest-quality photos in the thread, and you can see plenty of fine scratching on her Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus — which is only two weeks old. She does note that in person, the scratches are more visible on the antenna bands than they are on the aluminum housing. Here are a couple of examples from her post: There's definitely plenty of scratching there but as you can see, it's much more visible at certain angles to the light. Another user named ctsikh posted one photo of his Jet Black iPhone 7, and you can clearly see some scratching. You can also see how much grease and dirt the Jet Black finish picks up — remember my tweet showing a Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus that had been handled by customers in an Apple store? Yeah. https://twitter.com/zacharye/status/778223454935982080 If those photos don't scare you, this one from Redditor polygonarsenal definitely will: He used a filter to accentuate the scratches, which look downright terrible. This is pretty much the stuff nightmares are made of. There are a bunch more photos in the thread on Reddit , so definitely check them out.

      BGR News
    • Jessica Alba threw a pajama party with a bunch of celebrity friends, and everyone’s PJ game was on point

      If there’s one thing we love, it’s celebs. And if there’s two things we love, it’s pajama parties. Needless to say, a…

      Hello Giggles
    • Dax Shepard Shares Cute Throwback Pic with Kristen Bell: ‘Thanks for Being an Optimist, Honey’

      The pic features a smiling Bell, 36, sitting on Shepard’s lap — though Shepard himself isn’t smiling. Shepard and Bell began dating in late 2007, before tying the knot in October 2013. Shepard said he was taken aback by Bell’s “unbridled happiness” when they first met in 2007 at a birthday dinner for mutual friends.

      People
    • How to enable the ‘dark mode’ feature hiding in your iPhone browser right now

      Apple's iOS 10 software is packed full of new features. In fact, there are so many new features that it's impossible to remember them all, which is why we often publish collections of lesser-known tips and tricks. A perfect example is this collection of 5 iPhone features only power users know about  — we always want to help people get the most out of their smartphones. When iOS 10 was first released as a closed beta last summer during WWDC 2016, developers instantly began picking it apart. In doing so, they stumbled upon a fantastic looking "dark mode" feature hiding inside iOS . The good news is it was there. The bad news, as we all know, is that it wasn't enabled when iOS 10 was finally released in September. Rumors suggest that a new " theater mode " might be introduced in iOS 10.3, but nothing has been confirmed at this point. What you might not know, however, is that there's already a dark mode feature hidden inside your iPhone browser. Night Shift is a nifty new feature Apple introduced in iOS 10 that reduces the amount of blue light emitted by an iPhone or iPad display at night. It theoretically helps users sleep better, but it doesn't do anything to make text more visible in low light situations. For that, you need "dark mode," which switches things up and makes the background black with light colored text. Dark mode is available in many third-party iOS apps and even a handful of first-party apps. Sadly, however, there's no system-wide dark mode feature for the time being. That said, there's actually a special dark mode in Safari that most people don't know about, and it'll let you read just about any article on the web in light text on a black background. Here's how to enable it: 1) First, load any article in Safari (if you're reading this Safari on an iPhone or iPad, you're good to go). 2) Tap the reader mode icon in the left corner of the URL bar. You'll then see something that looks like this: 3) Tap the "aA" icon in the right corner of the URL bar and you'll get a drop down menu that looks like this: 4) Tap the black circle all the way to the right in the top row of the drop down menu. Presto — you've just enabled dark mode in Safari: Here's what your screen will look like once you start scrolling around: In-line pictures will still display normally, but the rest of the page will be dark, as pictured above. It's not the system-wide dark mode we've all been waiting for, but people spend a tremendous amount of time reading in Safari, so this should be a big improvement at night.

      BGR News
    • Georgia constituent pens open letter to Rep. John Lewis

      Woman shares her message on 'Fox & Friends'

      FOX News Videos
    • Tom Brady Responded To Antonio Brown Posting Mike Tomlin's 'A**holes' Speech On Facebook

      Only historians will ever be able to properly place Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live video into proper context. Well, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was the victim of Brown’s odd choice, and now the world knows his secret — he doesn’t like the Patriots, who are the Steelers’ opponent in the AFC Championship Game this Sunday.

      UPROXX
    • Aaron Rodgers' Father Gets Candid About Their Estrangement: 'Fame Can Change Things'

      Ed Rodgers spoke with the 'New York Times' about his son's rift with the family.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • Gerald Levin To Donald Trump On Rep. John Lewis: Have You No Sense Of Decency, Sir?

      Former AOL-Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin writes guest columns for Deadline when the spirit moves him. Like it has today, on MLK Day, on the eve of the inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. president, and the controversy over his reaction to comments made by iconic Civil Rights reformer and Georgia congressman John Lewis. Rep Lewis was in attendance in 2001 when Levin received the MLK Award from Coretta Scott King and her son, Dexter Scott King. An open letter to…

      Deadline