Fire sale: TVs selling for bargain prices as updates loom

The cut-price dumping of 2011 TVs signals that model refreshes are due soon

Group-buying deals site Catch Of The Day has an enticing deal today: a 55in Samsung Series 7 LED TV usually priced at $3799, on sale for only $1999.

Catch Of The Day Samsung Series 7 LED TV bargain

Apart from a low price for a high-quality TV — the same model is $2496 in JB Hi-Fi's online store and up to $3500 at other retailers — this Catch Of The Day offer heralds something larger: the start of the annual TV run-out period.

For the last few years, prices on LED and plasma televisions have dropped sharply in March and April as manufacturers try to sell as much stock as possible before mid-year model refreshes.

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New TV models will inevitably offer more features — updates to 3D and Internet video on demand are the trend du jour — but prices for brand-new models rarely fall more than a few hundred dollars year-on-year.

Anyone trying to choose between waiting a few months for an update or buying a run-out model can save thousands of dollars by opting for the latter, and can pick up a premium set for the price of a basic one.

The Samsung LED TV currently featured on Catch Of The Day is the company's second most expensive model, and features the full suite of Internet apps and video on demand services, as well as built-in Wi-Fi and a swathe of modern connectivity options.

Samsung is expected to announce new televisions and accompanying home entertainment products at a global conference in mid-March. Other retailers like Sony, Sharp, Panasonic and LG traditionally announce new models in April, and retail stores generally begin receiving stock from late April onwards.