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Analyst: HDTV Prices Drop to Record Lows

Punctuating the end of a difficult year for TV makers, average U.S. street prices for many models of high-definition TVs are expected to fall to record lows in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to a new forecast from NPD DisplaySearch.

For example, all 32-inch TVs will be below $500 for the first time and all LCD high-definition television sizes up to 46 inches will be below $1,000, according to the research firm. While new features such as 3D still carry premiums in the category, price-sensitive consumers in North America have gravitated toward low-price models.

"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," DisplaySearch director of North America TV market research Paul Gagnon said in announcing the quarterly forecast. "Despite this, consumers still expect rapid continuous retail price reductions."

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