02.16.2005 12:00 AM
More Low-Priced Flat Screens Hit the Market
The New York Times reports that bargain LCD and PDP flat panel television displays, including some with HDTV resolution, are appearing in Internet stores, regional electronics stores, and specialty stores. Some of these sets have names that are not exactly household words, like BenQ, Norcent, and Olevia, while some have old familiar names that are licensed from their owners, such as Westinghouse and Polaroid.
An example of the price competition is a 42-inch no-name plasma HDTV set selling at Costco for $2500, while its brand-name size mates sell for $4000-4500.
The merits of the second-tier brands are of course disputed by the manufacturers of the first-tier brands, but the price tags on the second-tier brands are bound to put more downward pressure on flat panel TV prices across the entire industry. And, to alleviate customer fears about second-tier brand names, at least one of these companies is offering in-home service for its LCD TVs for the first year at no extra charge.