Buying guide: LCD TVs, plasma screens -- end of year TV bargain round-up

When is the best time to buy a new LCD TV or plasma screen? What bargains are around if you're planning to buy a TV before the Christmas sales?

  • Kogan: sign up to Kogan to get LCD discount codes

    Budget retailer Kogan Electronics is trying to draw in customers before Christmas as well. The online-only shop has always boasted consistently low prices for its LCD television range — its $1699 [[artnid:279282|Kogan 1080P-47 LCD television|Review: Kogan 1080P-47 LCD television]] impressed us in our tests — and there are further discounts on selected models. The catch? To get the details on these offers, you have to be a subscriber to Kogan’s mailing list. It’s free to join — sign up on the front page of [[xref:|the Kogan Web site|]].
  • Best pre-Christmas buys

    LCD, LED and plasma television prices are at the lowest they have been this year — for example, the cost of the Panasonic TH-P46S10A plasma TV has dropped from its recommended retail price of $2899 at launch to a more affordable $2299. (Read our review of the 42in version, the [[artnid:311577|Panasonic TH-P42S10A|Review: Panasonic TH-P42S10A plasma television]].) According to Paul Reid, Panasonic’s director of consumer electronics, now is a great time to buy. "We definitely think now is the best time to buy [a new TV] with the double whammy of lower prices from the high exchange rate, and consumer bonuses.” Panasonic is using a combination of the lowest ever prices and bonus gifts to entice TV buyers to take the plunge before Christmas.

    In addition to wide-sweeping price cuts, big-name manufacturers, including Sharp, Panasonic, Sony and LG, are offering free gifts for anyone buying a TV before Christmas — with some of the extras on offer worth over $1000. Note most of these deals end at Christmas, so if you wait for the Boxing Day sales you might miss out on a great deal! Read on for a round-up of the bonus offers.
  • Sharp: Free Xbox 360 Elite with new LCD TVs

    [[artnid:320484|Sharp|Sharp offers free Xbox 360 Elite with new LCD TVs]] is offering a free [[artnid:192975|Microsoft Xbox 360 Elite|Review: Microsoft Xbox 360 Elite games console]] and four games — worth $749 — with the purchase of selected LCD televisions. The cheapest television you can buy to claim this deal is Sharp’s [[artnid:307843|42in LC42D77X LCD television|Review: Sharp LC42D77X LCD television]], which normally retails for $2199. We found it for $1800 [[xref:|at JB Hi-Fi|JB Hi-Fi: Sharp LC42D77X]]. This means you can save an impressive $1148 — the games, the TV and the games console would normally set you back $2948.
  • Sony: Buy a Sony TV, score a free PS3 Slim

    [[artnid:323047|Sony|Buy a Sony TV, score a free PS3 Slim]] is also offering a free games console with a select LCD televisions, but it’s keeping the giveaways all in-house — [[artnid:325856|the first 35,000|Sony unleashes more free PS3s for Bravia TV buyers]] customers will score a free [[artnid:317126|Sony PlayStation 3 Slim games console|Review: Sony Playstation 3 games console]].

    [[xref:|Eligible models|Bravia PS3 promotion qualifying models]] start with Sony’s 40in [[artnid:317611|W5500|Review: Sony Bravia KDL32W5500 LCD television]] (which costs $2199). Normally this TV and a PS3 would cost you $2698, but you can get it for [[xref:|$1540 at Webprice| Sony KDL40W5500 LCD television]] — saving you $1158.
  • Samsung’s buy a TV, get one free deal

    If you purchase a selected Samsung LCD, LED or plasma television in the lead-up to Christmas you are eligible a free 22in or 26in LCD television. This offer is running until 5pm, 24 December, 2009, and it gives Samsung customers a free second TV that’s the perfect size for a bedroom or study. If you buy one of the Series 5, Series 6 or [[artnid:305901|Series 8|Review: Samsung PS50B850 plasma television]] plasma televisions — or a [[artnid:323635|Series 6|Review: Samsung LA40B650 LCD television]] and [[artnid:323631|Series 7|Review: Samsung LA46B750 LCD television]] LCD TV — you’re eligible for a free 22in Samsung Series 4 LCD television worth $699.

    If you purchase one of the more expensive Samsung LED television — such as the Series 6, [[artnid:304879|Series 7|Review: Samsung UA46B7100 (Series 7) LED television]] or [[artnid:313693| Series 8|Review: Samsung UA46B8000 (Series 8) LED television]] LED TVs you can enter the barcode on Samsung’s Web site to redeem your free 26in Series 4 LCD television worth $899.

    If, for example, you purchased the Samsung UA46B8000 (Series 8) LED television and the 26in Series 4 LCD television in normal circumstances it would set you back $5598. But you can pick the Samsung UA46B8000 (Series 8) LED TV up for $4496 in store at JB Hi-Fi and get a free 26in Series 4 LCD TV, saving yourself $1102.

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  • Toshiba netbook giveaway

    Rather than offering another home entertainment product, Toshiba has elected to give away 5000 of its [[xref: |NB200 netbooks|Toshiba NB200/007 netbook]] as an incentive to purchase an LCD television from [[artnid:321927|its XV600A or ZV600A|Toshiba launches 200Hz LCD TV]] ranges. The [[artnid: |NB200| Review: Toshiba NB200 (PLL25A-00D002) netbook laptop is usually $699 and combined with the cheapest eligible television (the 42in 42XV600A is $1999), the bundle's retail price is $2698. Even if you can't find a discount at Harvey Norman or Myer where Toshiba panels are sold, you'll still score a free netbook.
  • LG free TV promotion

    LG's free gift offer is a little simpler: buy a TV and get a bonus one. This is ideal if you need a second TV for your study or the kids’ room. If you buy one of [[xref:|LG's selected LCD or plasma televisions|LG Free TV promotion qualifying models]] you're eligible to receive [[xref:|a free 23in LCD television|LG Free TV bonus model]] valued at $849. The cheapest eligible television is the $2999 42in [[artnid:310188|LG 42LH50YD LCD television|Review: LG 42LH50YD LCD television]]. We spotted it online for $1940 [[xref:|at JB Hi-Fi|JB Hi-Fi: LG 42LH50YD LCD television]]. This offers a big saving of $1908 off the $3848 combined RRP for both TVs.
  • Panasonic’s TV and gift giveaway

    Panasonic's free gift offer is the most complicated we've come across so far. If you buy any Panasonic Full HD plasma television (starting with the $1899 [[artnid:311577|Panasonic TH-P42S10A|Review: Panasonic TH-P42S10A plasma television]]), you're able to choose between three gifts — the $549 [[artnid:301229|Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 digital camera|Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1 digital camera]], the $1099 Panasonic SC-BT200 home theatre system or the $1099 Panasonic DMR-XW350 DVD digital television recorder. Considering you can find the TH-P42S10A television for the low price of $1595 at [[xref:|Webprice's online store| Panasonic TH-P42S10A plasma television]], you'll be saving $1403 off the combined $2998 RRP (if you choose one of the $1099 gifts).
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