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Plasma, LCD in Screen-to-Screen Pricing Duel

It's probably been going on for quite awhile in some parts of the U.S. and elsewhere, and just becoming a bit more obvious in the just-concluded holiday selling season, but an increasing number of local and regional mass media publications are reporting dueling price wars at local retailers among LCD and plasma makers (as production costs for substrate cutting and other raw materials for both technologies continue to fall).

This is a good thing for consumers, of course, who may have been extremely tempted to make the HD plunge this season but hesitated at the very last moment, perhaps waiting for at least one more decline in price points (or for inevitable post-holiday retail sales).

Plasma makers still dominate the market for larger screens (starting at 42 inches) and some manufacturers recently dropped prices of their large screens below the price points of smaller LCD screens. LCD dominates sales of HD-SD sets for 37 inches and smaller, and is retaliating by making larger LCD screens at prices competitive with plasma. Again, good news for HD consumers, according to the Hartford Courant in Connecticut and other publications.

For example, Sharp's new Aquos 37-inch HD LVD (LC-37D4U) has dropped in SRP by about $500 in recent months. Still, Panasonic's 37-inch plasma (TH-37PX50) now boasts an SRP about $500 less than the Aquos, and some reviewers actually tell of brighter images with some of the newer LCDs, compared to some of the comparably-sized plasmas, despite conventional wisdom.