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Is it time to buy that flat-screen TV?

Q. Hi Kim. I can't believe the prices I'm seeing on flat-screen TVs this year - in stores and online. Is this a good time to buy, or do you think prices will drop even more? Thanks. Love the show!
- Ryan of Tucson, AZ, listens to my national radio show on KNST 790 AM/97.1 FM


A. Thanks for the great question, Ryan, and for being a fan of the show. Those crazy prices you're seeing are the reason why TVs are top sellers this Christmas.

It's a big surprise for everyone from Santa's elves to retail analysts because TV sales have been so lackluster the past couple of years. I suspect there may have been a lot of pent-up demand in families that bought HDTVs several years ago and are hankering for bigger screens and the newest features.

The old wisdom said that Christmas was the time to buy a smaller TV to use as a spare; wait until the Super Bowl specials to buy the best-quality sets. All bets are off this year, as you will see discounts of up to 50 percent on excellent brand-name TVs.

The biggest discounts are appearing on the large LCD flat-screens. For example, Amazon last week offered a 42-inch, 1080p LCD TV from LG for $500 - with free shipping. That model doesn't have Internet connectivity built-in, but that's still a great deal for a set that includes LED backlighting, a 120Hz refresh rate and three HDMI ports.

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