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.
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.