TV prices expected to slip to new lows for holidays, says NDP DisplaySearch

The holiday season appears to have offered shoppers looking for HDTV bargains an unprecedented opportunity to save money with the average street price in the United States for all LCD TVs up to 46in falling below $1000.

The prediction is part of NPD DisplaySearch's "Quarterly TV Cost and Price Forecast Model," which was announced Dec. 27, 2011. The forecast found a variety of other pricing milestones would be achieved for the 2011 holiday shopping season, including:

  • All high-frame-rate LED models would be priced below $500;
  • 40in and 42in CCFL 2-D LCD TVs would have average prices below $500 for the first time;
  • 40in active (shutter glasses) 3-D LCD TV would fall below $1000;
  • 47in passive (polarizer glasses) 3-D LCD TV would fall below $1000;
  • 60in LCD TV would fall below $1500, with some promotions for less than $1000;
  • 50in 1080p 3-D plasma TV would fall below $1000.

A variety of factors contributed to the lower prices, including slower than expected demand, excess production capacity and oversupply of inventory during the first half of 2011. The resulting bargains, however, will be a challenge to TV makers going forward, NDP DisplaySearch said.

"The flat-panel TV industry is now in a very advanced state of maturity, and the rapid cost reductions seen in the mid-2000s due to enormous investments in panel production capacity have slowed considerably. Despite this, consumers still expect rapid continuous retail price reductions." said Paul Gagnon, NPD DisplaySearch director of North America TV market research.

To encourage consumers to focus less on price and deliver greater value, manufacturers offered new technologies like LED backlights, higher frame rates and 3-D, he added. However, consumers, particularly price sensitive shoppers in North America, weren't overly enthusiastic.

According to the research firm, 3-D adoption has been slower than expected in North America, with just 2.4 million units, or 8 percent of units.