December 19, 2014

Flat Screen Shopping? Read On…

Americans may be curbing spending across the board, but many are still willing to lay down their dollars for a certain kind of luxury – the high-tech kind that hangs on the wall of your family room and makes you feel like you’re right there on the field at your favorite sporting event.

Even though sales of flat-screen TVs have yo-yoed in the past year and a half, overall, analysts view the industry as healthy, and likely to remain so. In fact, a recent survey by PriceGrabber.com revealed that 20 percent of the men polled consider a flat-screen high-definition TV a necessity rather than a luxury.

In 2009, more than 53 percent of American households have at least one HDTV, according to the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing, the Web site ScreenSleuth.com reports. That’s an 18 percent increase over last year, the site points out.

Retailers haven’t missed the fact that flat-screen televisions are among the few big-ticket items Americans are still willing to buy. They’ve responded by lowering prices and offering deals and incentives. These deals, plus wider availability of products and services like designer wall mounts and HDTV programming make it a great time to upgrade your set to a flat screen.

Consider these compelling facts if you’re considering purchasing an HDTV:

* Some major discount chains are offering free shipping on flat screens if you purchase online and have the product shipped to a chain location near you. That means if the TV of your choice is out of stock in the store, you can buy it online and pick it up at your local store without spending anything on shipping and delivery.

* Manufacturers have started offering HDTVs with integrated Blu-ray players, so you can enjoy two of today’s hottest entertainment experiences in a single product.

* Most major cable companies now offer a variety of high definition channels – including movies and sports – so you can enjoy the full benefit of your HDTV.

* Online coupon Web sites offer coupon codes, discounts and deals on flat screens that will make you feel like you’re getting away with something. Finding an online discount is as easy as Googling the words “flat screen coupon codes.”

* Some manufacturers are offering extended warranties of five years or more on flat screens. That means your flat screen would likely be under warranty until the technology improves even more and you’re ready to upgrade to a new model.

* Increased competition, including a number of new manufacturers, has helped drive flat screen prices down faster than practically any other entertainment technology. Anyone remember how long it took for VCR prices to fall below $500? Or for video game consoles to cost less than $200? By comparison, flat-screen TV prices have fallen quickly and dramatically, with many quality options now costing less than $1,000.

* It’s easier and more visually appealing than ever to mount your flat screen on the wall. Clunky, intimidating hardware that held flat screens several inches away from the wall are giving way to sleek designer options like Super Slim Low-Profile Mounts from TV accessory maker Sanus Systems. Capable of supporting up to 65-inch flat screens weighing 150 pounds, the Super Slim mounts emphasize the sleek look of ultra-thin LCD, plasma and LED TVs by placing them less than an inch from the wall.

Pioneer Leaving the TV Business

While Pioneer will remain in the home electronics business, focusing on audio products, DJ equipment and cable TV set-top boxes, they have, as reported in Twice.com, announced their intention to quit the television market by March 2010. They plan to emphasize “‘sound’ as they take advantage of extensive audio technologies and expertise developed over the years.

Pioneer said in a statement it is exiting the TV business because “recent market conditions have changed far more than initially anticipated, and Pioneer has decided to withdraw…after concluding there are no prospects for improving profitability under current conditions.” The company said it will continue to provide after-sales services even after the withdrawal from the market.

As with other Japanese consumer electronics makers, the combination of the worldwide recession and the exchange rate between the yen and the U.S. dollar and euro drove losses deeper than expected.

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A Blonde Walked into an Appliance Store…

A blonde went to the appliance store sale and found a bargain.

“I would like to buy this TV,” she told the salesman.

“Sorry we don’t sell to blondes,” he replied.

She hurried home, dyed her hair, came back again and told the salesman, “I would like to buy this TV.”

“Sorry we don’t sell to blondes,” he replied.

“Darn, he recognized me,” she thought.

She went for a complete disguise this time. A new haircut and new color, a new outfit, and big sunglasses. Then she waited a few days before she again approached the salesman. “I would like to buy this TV,” she told the salesman.

“Sorry we don’t sell to blondes,” he replied.

Frustrated, she exclaimed, “How do you know I’m a blonde?”

“Because that’s a microwave,” he replied.

You can read more jokes at askmen.com

Consumers are Letting it be Known – They Want Green Electronics

If you’ve been searching for a greener television, help might soon be at hand.  The consumer electronics industry is listening to research from a September 2008 study:

Going Green: An Examination of the Green Trend and What it Means to Consumers and the CE (consumer electronics) Industry. This study  finds that 89 percent of households want their next television to be more energy efficient.

“Consumers are now beginning to associate terms like recycling and energy efficiency with consumer electronics products,” said Tim Herbert, the Consumer Electronic Association’s  senior director of market research. According to the study, price and features continue to be the primary purchase drivers for CE products, but green attributes will increasingly be a factor. In fact, 53 percent of consumers say they would be willing to pay some type of premium for televisions with green attributes.

Effectively communicating the green attributes of CE products continues to be an obstacle for manufacturers in particular. Though the study indicates high consumer awareness of logos like EPA’s ENERGY STAR®, the absence of a single indicator for other “green” attributes leads to consumer confusion. The study finds consumers desire an easy way to determine if a product meets environmental standards, such as logos and descriptions printed on the product packaging.

“With 74 percent of consumers saying that companies should do more to protect the environment, it’s critical that CE manufacturers and retailers clearly communicate with customers regarding the environmentally-friendly products and programs offered by the industry,” notes Parker Brugge, CEA’s vice president of environmental affairs and industry sustainability.

If the manufacturers are listening, we should soon be able to walk into our local electronics store and easily identify a hi-definition, flat screen, surround sound, environmentally friendly television right away.  But- will it be on sale?