Editor’s Pick

LG 60" 1080p Plasma Smart HDTV @ hhgreg
This 60″ LG HDTV from hhgregg might not be “smart,” but Brad’s Deals tech editor Mike says that at $488, it’s still a great buy.

Ever since they became mainstream in the mid-2000s, HDTVs have been selling like hotcakes every Black Friday. As the years pass, the Black Friday deals keep getting better and the TVs keep getting fancier, and this year is no exception.

Top Black Friday TV Deals for 2014:

  • 50″ Class LED 1080p 60Hz HDTV, unknown brand — $218 at Walmart: We’re recommending this TV based on price not specs. As Brad’s Deals tech editor Mike says, “an ‘unknown brand’ means a terrible brand,” but if you want a 50″ TV at the lowest possible price, this is it.
  •  55″ Samsung LED 2160p Smart 4K Ultra HDTV — $899.99 at Best Buy: “Of all the 4K options, this is the obvious winner,” said Mike. “It’s a good brand at a great price for its size and specs!”
  • 60″ LG 1080p HDTV — $488 at hhgregg: This 60-inch TV is going for less than a lot of the smaller TV doorbusters we’re seeing, and Mike likes this TV depsite it’s lack of smarts. “I like ‘dumb’ TVs because there are so many set-top box options available, as well as the tried and true HDMI cord + PC method,” he said. “LG is a good brand and this is an awesome price. No one should have any qualms over snatching up this TV over an equally appealing, yet more expensive Black Friday offer on an HDTV.”
  • 65″ Sharp Aquos 1080p 120Hz LED Roku Smart TV — $688 at hhgregg: This is the best Smart TV option we’ve seen this year, as the built-in Roku user interface is far more user-friendly and intuitive than those offered by most other Smart TVs. Roku started off as software, so its main focus has always been making the user experience as seamless as possible. While Brad does note that you could get an equally good “dumb” TV and hook it up to a Roku for about $200 less, if you want a Smart TV, this is a great price for such a large screen. 
  • 32″ HDTV — $98 at Walmart: Is this a top quality TV? No. But if you’re looking for an inexpensive TV to put in the kitchen or give to your rowdy kids, it’s hard to pass up a deal under $100.

As always, if you want to get the best possible deal on these items without camping out in the cold, shopping online is your best bet; you can beat mall prices from the comfort of your own couch at sites like Amazon and Tiger Direct. Stores with Black Friday doorbusters often have a limited stock of HDTVs 55″ and over, and there’s nothing worse than waiting hours in line only to be sent away empty-handed. When you buy online, you don’t have to worry about the retailer not having the items you want, and you get the added bonus of not having to lug a 60″ HDTV home all by yourself.

We told you in our 2014 Black Friday Predictions that anyone who wants a basic, 32″ HDTV will be in luck this year. As technology rapidly improves, once-impressive HDTVs sporting 720p and 60Hz are now dirt-cheap. At this point, any TV that’s not at least 1080p and 120Hz is considered a relic of the past, and as a result, we saw doorbuster pricing on these lower-quality HDTVs last Black Friday at places like Walmart and Shopko. Technology isn’t slowing down, so we predict we’ll see even lower prices on these models this year, and even better sales on higher-quality TVs.

Smart TVs, which connect to wireless, allow you to browse the web and feature built-in streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu, had a lot of big Black Friday discounts last year. It’s likely we’ll see more deals under $500 this year on these TVs, like last year’s 32″ Samsung LED Smart TV, which went for $299.99 at Sears.

But before you shell out the big bucks on a Smart TV, remember the technology inside them is relatively young. The apps can be buggy and some don’t offer automatic software updates, so the apps you see are the apps you get — forever. If you like the TV you have but are still lusting over a Smart TV, buying a streaming device, like the Apple TV, the Chromecast, or the Amazon Fire might be a better bet. These devices are lightweight and low-cost, and we predict to see Black Friday sales on them as low as $19.99 for the Chromecast. You’ll get essentially the same features for a much lower price, and unlike a lot of Smart TVs, most of these devices wirelessly update their software.

Last year we saw prices as high as $9,999 for new-generation 4K and OLED 55″ HDTVs, so you have good reason if you think these, new, ultra-high resolution models are out of your price range. However, the prices have already dropped significantly: Amazon and Walmart both had a 50″ Seiki 4K TV for just $449 in early September. That’s a difference of five inches and $8,500, oh how times change. We predict Black Friday pricing on these TVs to go as low as $399 for a 50” and maybe even $299 for smaller models. However you might still want to wait on these, as most stations don’t even broadcast in 4K yet.