3DTVs Get Cheaper By the Week

CYBERSPACE: Consumer electronics manufacturers looking for a major boost from 3DTV may be in for a let-down. Prices for the primary piece of equipment continue to fall fast. A savvy shopper can now snag a 3DTV set for less money than a comparable non-3D set.

Amazon today sent out an e-mailer offering a 46-inch 1080p LCD 3DTV set, the LN46C750, for $1,292. By comparison, a new Samsung UN40B7000 40-inch 1080p LED non-3D set is priced at $1,255. So for $37 more, buyers can get a 3D set with a bigger screen.

For about $250 less, a TV shopper can get a 60-inch 1080p Mitsubishi DLP 3DTV set, now priced at $999.99 on Amazon.

A new 40-inch 1080p, 240 Hz Samsung UN40C7000 LED 3DTV is $1,599, down from $1,656 in June and $2,000 at introduction. Two used units in “very good” condition at Amazon Warehouse Deals are going for $1,212--$43 lessthan the new 40-inch non-3DTV.

Panasonic’s largest Viera 3DTV plasma set is holding its June intro price, but the smaller models are getting cheaper. The 65-inch TC-P65VT25 is still $5,000. The 58-inch Viera 3DTV is now advertised on Amazon at $3,400, down $200 from June. Two third-party sellers are offering the same model for $3,000. A “like new” used one is priced at $2,700. The 50-inch Viera 3D set has dropped the most, Amazon priced at $1,065--less than half of its May intro price of $2,600.

Sony’s 3D Bravias, offered for pre-sale in June, are following the market. The 60-inch, introduced at $4,999, is now $4,499 at SonyStyle.com. The 55-inch is now $2,699 compared to $3,399. The 52-inch Bravia 3D set is now $3,599 compared to $3,999. Prices for the 46-inch models and the 40-incher have likewise dropped.

Manufacturers started to push 3DTVs in the wake of the success of “Avatar,” James Cameron’s 3D wonder. The hope was that the advanced technology would replace the revenue wave generated digital and high-definition TVs and peripherals. However, 3D comes with inherent barriers. It makes some people sick for one thing. All current 3DTV sets also require some type of eyewear. That may not be the case for long, since manufacturers are already racing toward glasses-free 3DTV. Reports emerged this week that Toshiba plans to introduce glasses-free 3DTV sets later this year.
-- Deborah D. McAdams