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September 18, 2008 | Author: sysadmindgs

Okay, I’m not shilling for Westinghouse (or any other manufacturer or retailer, for that matter), but I’ve just noticed another deal that I have to mention. Two weeks ago it was a Westinghouse 42″ 1080p model at Costco that staggered me. Now Buy.com is offering a different model at a price that risks causing double-take whiplash.

Consider this: the LTV46w1 46″ Wide XGA (1,366 by 768 pixels) 720p-class LCD TV. It has both analog and digital tuners, and fits both 75 mm and 100 mm VESA mounts. Yes, it’s last year’s model, and yes, it has only one HDMI connector; those are limitations that diminish its value a bit. But it’s new-in-box with a full one-year factory warranty (at least as far as I can tell from the Buy.com page); it’s not a refurb unit. So what is the price for this puppy? $799, and Buy.com will include free standard shipping.

Okay, that’s just $100 more than the Costco price on the 42″ model, and is about what I’d expect to pay for a name brand 37″ 720p LCD TV. Yes, I think that just about anyone will find notice that 46″ is significantly larger than 37″.

Now, I’m not bringing this up today because I think it’s such an incredible bargain that you should click over to buy it right now, before the limited supply runs out. No, my point is that there is inventory lying around in warehouses; in this case, it’s a quantity of a year old model. But I believe that it’s a sign of the surplus already in stock. And there are boatloads — literally — of new models on the way. Manufacturers and retailers are going to struggle to find ways to get some cash back out of this existing inventory to help pay for the new orders. The tricky part will be how to do that without depressing the price for the new products. When people get a taste of buying new 46″ LCD HDTVs for $799 — with free shipping — it’s going to be that much harder to try to get $1,500 out of them for a similar model in November.