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Will the FCC be causing a HDTV price drop in March?

Old 12-19-05, 09:18 AM
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Will the FCC be causing a HDTV price drop in March?

I've been thinking about taking the plunge and getting an HDTV. I rarely watch television, so it'd mostly be for DVDs and the new generation of video games. As such, I'm not seeing much of a downside to getting an HD Ready TV instead of one with the tuner built in.

While doing a little research, I stumbled across a statement on Sony's website saying that the FCC will require all 25" - 36" HDTVs to include a built-in tuner by March 1, 2006. So I'm assuming this means that models of HD Ready TVs without the tuner will be discontinued by this time. Here's my question, is this expected to cause a price drop in those models? I've searched around and not really been able to find any info or speculation either way. To me, it really seems like the HD Ready models would drop in price around the time they went out of production. Is that expected or am I overlooking something?

Also, if anyone has any reasons I've overlooked about why to get an HDTV with the built-in tuner, I'd appreciate hearing them.
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Old 12-19-05, 01:03 PM
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New models come out so fast, there are always price drops to close out the old ones. I don't think there will be anything special about that particular time period. Plus, each generation is typically somewhat cheaper than the last. Sometimes the new gen is cheaper than the old one, even after they are discounted. I'd just go start shopping to see what prices do. It's December, good time for sales before and after the 25th.

If you don't need the tuner, it's worthless. It means you need an antenna. If you get TV from cable or satellite, eventually the built-in ATSC tuners will be fairly pointless for a large percentage of people, just like NTSC tuners have been for many years.
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Old 12-19-05, 02:41 PM
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Usually the week before the Super Bowl is a good week to see what sales are going on. Big sales week for the CE industry.
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Old 12-19-05, 04:30 PM
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Not likely since the date has changed again

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10532431/

and I frankly doubt that this date is realistic either
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Old 12-19-05, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Shannon
Not likely since the date has changed again

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10532431/

and I frankly doubt that this date is realistic either
If my understanding is correct, that deadline is only referring to broadcast standards. From what I've found online, it seems +36" sets have been required to have built-in ATSC tuners since last July. As of March 1, 2006, sets from 25" to 36" will be required to have them. So, at that point, we'll cease to see HD-Ready sets of that size. Unless I'm missing something, which is entirely possible.
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Old 12-19-05, 06:09 PM
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The rules pertain to date of manufacture, not sales. There are still "HD ready" large sets kicking around.

Also, if you plan to watch OTA, set top boxes that are JUST for OTA have virtually disappeared. You can still get satellite and cable boxes that also include an OTA tuner, but not a box that is only an OTA tuner.
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Old 12-20-05, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
The rules pertain to date of manufacture, not sales. There are still "HD ready" large sets kicking around.

Also, if you plan to watch OTA, set top boxes that are JUST for OTA have virtually disappeared. You can still get satellite and cable boxes that also include an OTA tuner, but not a box that is only an OTA tuner.
Tho if you feel like doing some homework, I'm very happy with my Voom box I bought on e-bay! Even tho Voom is out of business, the boxes can still pick up OTA HD. I ended up going through two (but now I'm thinking it was my user error on the 1st one). But both cost less then $135 shipping and I even got a decent antenna/mount with one which is what I'm using to pick up all major local HD signals.

I say you have to do some homework as you want to make sure you know what you are buying, and make sure if will work for you.
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Old 12-20-05, 01:50 PM
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I'm not sure that "virtually disappeared" is accurate. They are available everywhere, just not as many models. They won't totally disappear until DVDRs (possibly even VCRs) start having them built in, IMO.
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Old 12-23-05, 09:54 AM
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I think that the tuner requirement will keep the new HDTV models from being cheaper than the old models. I expect the new models to be at about the same MSRP as last year's models, or possible a little higher.

Now, as for a price drop on last year's models, that always happens when new models are released. And that's going to depend on when a particular manufacturer releases its new models.
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Old 12-28-05, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct
Tho if you feel like doing some homework, I'm very happy with my Voom box I bought on e-bay! Even tho Voom is out of business, the boxes can still pick up OTA HD.
Be VERY careful if going the Voom route. They do work IF:
1. The receiver was activated while Voom was still in business.
2. The owner did not cancel Voom before they went "dark". If they cancelled, the receiver would have been deactivated by Voom.

If that's the case, they will make a great inexpensive OTA receiver. I gave one to my boss when I switched to D*, and he's had no troubles with it.
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Old 12-29-05, 05:23 PM
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Please remember that the FCC is mandating digital transmissions, not HD. Not all digital is HD. If you're already receiving signal via cable or sat, it won't matter at all, just for OTA reception.
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