How fast are LCD prices falling?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Rob White, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. Rob White

    Rob White Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Folks,

    *****YOU DON'T HAVE TO READ THE FIRST PARAGRAPH*****
    Long story short, the right HD set for me is a 40in LCD (based on usage and space constraints). I had hoped for the Samsung 42in DLP, but it doesn't fit. So that means paying $1000 more for a comparable LCD (Samsung's 40in LCD). I just can't see paying that much more for a set that is actually smaller. I understand that it's a better set, but I can't justify it financially (family, wife, etc.).

    So my question is, how long will it take for a set like Samsung's 40in LCD ($2799 at Circuit City now) to drop a bunch? Just how fast are they dropping? Is it realistic to say that it could drop $800 in a year?

    Thanks,
    Rob

    p.s. Is there a best time of year to buy?
     
  2. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    How about a Panasonic 37" ED Plasma? They're available online around $1500 and are a very good panel. Over 8ft viewing distance there's no visible gain by using an HD panel.
     
  3. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    HDNet has an series called something like Industry Insiders that covers the HD biz. They recently covered a trade event on LCD that included presentations from an investment anaylst who covers the industry for wall street and someone from either Samsung or Sharp on LCD panels. The bottom line from both is that we can expect to see prices decline on LCDs as more production capacity comes on line in 2006 and 2007 and both producction costs and yields improve. The same period will see both technological improvements in things like response times (they're looking ahead to 8ms and 6ms panels.) According to the projections presented in this show, LCD panels will move further into the large screen area, challenging plasma on cost in the flat-panel area and DLP in the picture quality arena. Black levels are also expected improve.

    Unfortunately, none of this is expected to happen in the immediate future. You might see prices drops over the next six months that are nothing to sneeze at, and in the next year that are substantial. But if you're looking to buy within the next six weeks it is going to be mostly a matter of catching really good sales, discontinued items and models being superceded by more advanced ones from the same manufacturer.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  4. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    BTW, if you're going to look at a 37", why not consider this Syntax Olevia from Radio Shack?. Same price as the ED set Stephen mentioned, lower power consumption, no burn-in.

    The big problem with LCDs right now is that prices jump as soon as you get up over 37". At 40", 42" and up they really aren't competitive with with plasma, mostly because of the current state of the art in fabs and the difficulty in making near-perfect panels in those sizes. There are too many bad panels that have to be junked, whereas a number of smaller panels could be produced from the same materials even with the same number of dead pixels or what-have-you. Conversely it is too expensive to build a plasma screen much below 40" for what you'd have to sell them for. Hence the market split - LCDs dominating in the 15" to 37" arena for price and performance, plasma taking the over 40" for flat panels.

    BTW, that TV show I mentioned suggested that many of the LCD TV makers are currently just breaking even or losing money, fighting for market share now so that they can make money later when the production costs drop.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  5. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I'm sorry, but I must say I find this to be an extraordinary blanket statement to make. I've stood a lot more than 8 feet away from display TVs in various stores, and even allowing for the fact that they're all badly adjusted, I can tell the difference between an HD and non-HD set.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  6. Rob White

    Rob White Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks to Stephen and Joseph for their advice.

    I'm not going to go with plasma, partly because a very large amount of my usage will be sports games on an Xbox. And I don't want to settle for a 37in screen {right now the space has a 36in 4:3 tube and I don't want the new screen to be shorter for my wife when she watches non-hd shows.

    A 42in would be great, but I'd settle for a 40in if it wasn't so darn expensive.

    Perhaps there is a 40in HD LCD that's in the $2000 range. If there was and it was a good set, then I'd probably grab it..... Actually, it'd also have to be able to fit into a cantilever wall mount that I'd need to use.

    Thanks,
    Rob
     

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