Buy an HDTV Now or Wait for the 2013 models?

February 10th, 2013 · 3 Comments · 3D HDTV, Connected TVs, LED LCD Flat Panels, Plasma

Samsung 2013 evolution

The TV selling season ended on Super Bowl Sunday.  The next buying cycle wouldn’t begin until the football season starts up again in early September.  With the first 2013 models arriving in just a few weeks, TV manufacturers must provide large dealer incentives to clear out their remaining 2012s. The dealers then pass the savings on to you. Today we take a look at the best close-out deals on HDTVs. They’re from LG, Samsung and Panasonic.

The 2012s are reduced up to 51% off retail. Every year TV prices cycle with closeout deals in February on last year’s models and upon arrival, the 2013s will be their highest prices of the year, at or near full retail. Below we chart the HDTVs that will change the most and the ones to arrive in 2013 with nearly identical performance specs (according to our hands on evaluation at CES and company sources).

LG

Most of LG new models will be available in later this month or in March, with the more expensive models in April or later. Thinner bezels are the big change along with the a new voice remote or a built-in HD camera on the higher end models.

Unless you’re waiting for OLED (allegedly later this year), there are only marginal picture quality improvements. Go for a leftover 2012. Here are our top LG picks:

 

LG Cinema Screen 47LM8600 47-Inch Cinema 3D 1080p 240Hz Dual Core LED-LCD HDTV with Smart TV and Six Pairs of 3D Glasses Retail $2300 Now $1121.17-51% off Amazon direct

 

LG Cinema Screen 55LM9600 55-Inch Cinema 3D 1080p 480Hz Dual Core Nano LED HDTV with Smart TV and 6 Pairs of 3D Glasses Retail $3600 Now $1949.00 AV Center fulfilled by Amazon-46% off

 

LG Cinema Screen 55LM7600 55-Inch Cinema 3D 1080p 240Hz with Smart TV and 6 Pairs of 3D Glasses Retail $2550 Now $1322.43-48% off

 

LG Cinema Screen 47LM7600 47-Inch Cinema 3D 1080p 240Hz with Smart TV and 6 Pairs of 3D Glasses Retail $1950 Now 1067.99-45% off Exectronix Depot fulfilled by Amazon

 

LG Cinema Screen 55LM6700 55-Inch Cinema 3D 1080p 120Hz LED-LCD HDTV with Smart TV and Six Pairs of 3D Glasses Retail $2300 Now $1259.59-45% Electronix Depot fulfilled by Amazon

 

LG 55G2 55-Inch Cinema 3D 1080p 120Hz LED-LCD HDTV with Google TV and Six Pairs of 3D Glasses Retail $2300 Now $1141.05-50% off Amazon direct

 

LG 47CS570 47-Inch 1080p 120Hz LCD HDTV Retail $900 Now $598.00 Amazon direct

 

Amazon HDTV Deals

LED HDTVs for Under $500

Save On The Best Selling HDTVs

Best Selling Blu-ray Players

 

Samsung

2013 entry level 720p and 1080p plasmas are similar to the leftover 2012s except for the deep discounting now available. They will have no mid-end plasmas in 2012, so if you are looking for a 6000, 6500 or 7000 model, the 2012s are the way to go.

There will be great picture improvements to the top of the line 8000 (2012), called the F8500 plasma series for 2013, however the 2012 51-inch is now selling for 46% off its $2200 retail price. We expect the new F8500 models will be priced hundreds of dollars higher when shipped.

The thin 2013 F series edge-lit LED LCDs claim better black and light uniformity than the 2012 ES series, but at initial prices far higher then the heavily discounted close-out models you need to make the call if the 2012s are good enough for you. Samsung will add more Smart features and apps in 2013, however keep in mind the 8000 and 7500 series models with built-in cameras are upgradeable with it’s Intelligent Design Evolution Kit coming later in the year at a price to be announced.

The EH series backlit LED LCDs are not expected to have any major performance improvements.

 

Samsung PN64E8000 64-Inch 1080p 600Hz Ultra Slim Plasma 3D HDTV Retail $3950 Now $2597.99-34% off Amazon direct

 

Samsung PN51E7000 51-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Ultra Slim Plasma HDTV Retail $2530 Now $1597.99-40% off

 

Samsung UN65ES6500 65-Inch 1080p 120Hz 3D Slim LED HDTV Retail $3600 Now $2297.99-36% off

 

Samsung UN55ES8000 55-Inch 1080p 240Hz 3D Slim LED HDTV Retail $3420 Now $2197.99

 

Samsung UN60ES6500 60-Inch 1080p 120Hz 3D Slim LED HDTV Retail $2970 Now $1697.99 Amazon

 

Samsung UN65EH6000 65-Inch 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV Retail $2650 Now $1699.99

 

Panasonic

Unlike its competitors’ lines, Panasonics 2013 LEDs appear to have significant enhanced performance over the current models. In plasma the big improvements will be ones with the new panel technology known as the 2013 VT60 and ZT 60 series.

The 2012 ST50 and the GT50 series models offer the best price/performance ratio in the line at a very affordable price with a great image and the most popular features. The GT adds THX (link) and more shades  of grey. It’d well worth the $40 step-up over the 50-inch ST.

 

Panasonic VIERA TC-P55ST50 55-Inch 1080p 600Hz Full HD 3D Plasma TV Retail $1700 Now $1299.99 Amazon direct

 

Panasonic VIERA TC-P50ST50 55-Inch 1080p 600Hz Full HD 3D Plasma TV Retail $1400 Now $1099.99 Amazon direct

 

Panasonic VIERA TC-P65ST50 65-Inch 1080p 600Hz Full HD 3D Plasma TV Retail $3000 Now $2331.26 Amazon direct

 

Panasonic VIERA TC-P50GT50 50-Inch 1080p 600Hz Full HD 3D Plasma TVRetail $1800 Now $1139.98 Amazon direct

 

Conclusion

Similar to we said last year, unless you want the latest and greatest, now is an excellent time to buy a “new” TV. Many of last year’s models offer nearly identical performance and features in yet will be several hundred dollars less expensive (if not even less).

All listed HDTVs except as noted are sold by Amazon direct and include free shipping a 2% Back (via a credit) on Any HDTV $999 and Up from Amazon direct . Click the link for details

 HDTVs sold by Amazon direct offer a 14 day low price guarantee and 30 Day returns with free return freight on TVs. They stand behind their sales. Note: prices are correct as of posting and may change at any time, please verify with our links; Most states do not collect sales tax on Amazon orders with the exceptions of CA, TX,  KS, KY, NY, ND, PA & WA. You always must pay sales tax (in states that collect it) when buying at a brick and mortar store. Should you buy an HDTV from on-line or from a retail store? Learn all the pros and cons in our article here.

 

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Holland

    Well done. OK, so here’s a question: You’ve decided to go with a Panasonic 60″ 3D Plasma and you’re going to buy in the next 60 days. Would you purchase the TC-P60GT50 (2012 Model) or the TC-P60ST60 (2013 Model). Assume the price is the same for both.

  • Robert

    The alpha designation just before the model/series number is to identify the production year of the set, by Samsung. All TVs manufactured in 2012 had the letter “E” in the model identification sequence (e.g.: UN55ES8000). The 2013 models will have the “F” designation, and, presumably, the 2014 models will be identified as “G” units.

    The various series “6000,” “7000,” and “8000,” for example, indicate the levels of performance in the Samsung hierarchy. The last two digits indicate the features included in the set (Smart TV, 3D, deluxe remote, built-in webcam, etc.). The higher the model number, the better the TV. The LED models begin with “UN,” while the plasma units begin with “PN.”

    The units sold at Costco and Sam’s Club will have slightly different models than those sold at Best Buy, Amazon and Sears. These “derivative” models generally have a slightly different combination of features, such as the inclusion of more pairs of 3D glasses, or a different table-top pedestal, selected by the retailer, than those of the standard models, and will generally sell for less money than the standard units.

  • Richard

    Will Samsung’s ES line be replaced by the F series in 2013? Will this line see major upgrades, particularly the Smart Hub features? I am considering buying the UN60ES6100 but am wondering if I should wait for the equivalent 2013 models instead.

    To expand on our comments above: We were treated to a private demo of the 2013 F8000 at the CES and Samsung personnel explained the ES replacements have better uniformity. In the demo we did not see any light areas in the black bars of a 2:35 movie (sometimes referred to as flashlighting) nor did we see vertical bars with light content (sometimes referred to as jailbars). Note, these were hand selected pilot production pieces, not out of the box, so we’ll need to reserve final judgement until we can play with a normal production unit. However, the demo was impressive as Samsung acknowledged and may have finally conquered these picture quality issues.

    HD Guru

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