Like supermodels can tell you, it pays to be thin. Market research firm Pacific Media Associates (PMA) is reporting that the street price for 40-44 inch flat panel screens dropped an average of 13 percent from the fourth quarter of 2004 to the first quarter of 2005. Prices for 40-42 inch flat panel LCD televisions had the most dramatic decline, falling 18 percent during the same period. Prices for 42-inch enhanced-definition (ED) plasma sets fell more than 12 percent, and 42-43 HD plasma price points dropped more than 8.5 percent.
Typical retail prices for ED plasma is now nearly equivalent to similarly sized rear projection (RP) sets, according to PMA. For approximately $2,000, consumers can now choose between a micro-display HD RPTV and a flat panel ED plasma set, according to the Menlo Park, Calif.,-based company. Therefore, at those price points the question seems to be: What does the consumer prefer--thinness or HD?
A noticeable price gap remains between RPTV and HD flat panels, with about $4,500 on the lower end for HD plasma, and about $5,000 for HD LCD sets.
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