The price of HDTVs is plummeting. The retail cost of a 40-inch 1080p liquid-crystal display set fell on average 12 percent in the third quarter of 2008; and 8 percent in September alone, according to a report cited by cnet.com. An executive with the research firm that came up with the number thought the current worldwide economic cave-in might have something to do with the price decline of HDTVs, a luxury item if there ever was one. The good news for holiday shoppers--the trend could continue to the point where the Consumer Electronics Association pays people to take home HDTV sets, boosting that lobby’s efforts to prove Americans have more HDTVs than Carter has pills. It is suspected that fewer Americans actually receive HDTV programming than have sets, however, which may explain why a 40-inched 1080p can be had for around $1,000.