TV Price Plunge

Reporter: David Richardson

You'd naturally expect sales people to claim now is the perfect time to buy a new TV and for once they might be telling the truth. "The first plasma's that arrived in Australia about nine years ago were $25,000 to $30,000 and they were monsters, they were really thick. No where near the quality available now. The same television today, about $1,500" say Pete Blasina is the "gadget guy". And he's never seen this much new technology available in this country for so little and it's all due to:

"Alot of competition in the market, we're seeing alot of different televisions in the market, the production costs have come down and also the Australian dollars has been really strong. They probably won't go back up but they will stabilise. We won't see them dropping. I would say we are at the peak of the low end of the market."A peak that is hitting around the world. Television sales have never been stronger but we're not the cheapest by any stretch. Take an average 40 inch Samsung, High Definition LCD TV, your run of the mill family set.

At a store in America it sells for $715 US. Converted today, that's $815 Aussie dollars. In Britain, exactly the same set sells for 565 pounds, that's $1,011 dollars here. While we sell that television for $1499, they're only cheaper overseas because companies sell more TV's there. "Big screen TV's have dropped substantially anywhere from $400 right up to a thousand dollars, depending on the brand, depending on the size" says Nick.

Good Guys store owner. Nick Nikas, admits the Australian dollar before Christmas is the biggest cause of low prices but companies are also pushing prices down. "I can't see the prices going up on televisions, I think most suppliers want their share of sales so I can't see them putting the prices up in the near future" says Nick. James Hutchinson has a dream job, watching TV all day comparing brands, price and quality for the "Good Gear Guide". He recommends some of the cheaper models:

"You're just not going to get that sharpness from the cheaper screens but they will definitely give you a picture at full resolution and alot of people once you have it in your living room might not even notice the difference" says James. Of course all the hype is 3D and Avatar in our lounge rooms. If you're waiting for this latest technology before buying, think again. "We're not going to see the quality of Avatar in our living rooms in a television panel until the next 4 to 5 years" says Pete.