Black Friday TV Deal Guide

tvAre you looking to purchase a new HDTV this Black Friday? Have you been looking through a few ads and feeling a little overwhelmed? Well then, you have come to the right spot! Below you’ll find some helpful tips and information on HDTVS along with the hot 2012 picks to get your hands on!

As most people are aware, Black Friday is renown for its outrageous sales and deals. Its certainly one of those days where consumers can score with savings. With ads being leaked, its hard not to drool while scanning through the pages of all the deeply-discounted items. As stated in the FatWallet infographic, the average shopper spent $398.62 on Black Friday in 2011. That may seem like a lot of dough, but considering all the items that consumers leave with – it is a steal! One of the most frequent items that lands itself on shoppers receipts is a new HDTV. Often, HDTVs are the cherry on top of the shopping adventure. It is the driving factor that leads many consumers out of their warm homes, and into the abysses of the Black Friday craziness. 

This year, I was planning on being one of those people. Our Viore 32″ flat screen is just not cutting it anymore. We have more space, and some extra wedding money so my husband and I felt the time was right. I wouldn’t consider myself a techie master, but I do spend time researching products and reading reviews on something big that I’ll be purchasing. Hence, our new HDTV was on the forefront of my research. However, just taking that plunge into the research can be overwhelming. There are so many makes and models that even the most educated buyer can have a hard time deciding which components are necessary, and which ones are minor. 

Some Basic Things to Remember::

  • Measure the space you’d like to fill with a HDTV. Worst case scenario is that you see a hot deal for a 50″ flat screen, but your TV stand will only hold a 42″. It may seem obvious for some, but it never hurts to bust out the tape measure. In addition, take into consideration the room set-up where you will place your new HDTV. How far away are you sitting from the screen? According to the chart below, your viewing distance becomes critical when you are looking to find that perfect resolution.


  • Research your display type. Many HDTV’s come in a couple of different platforms: LCD, LED, and Plasma. 
    • LCD tv’s are the cheapest of the three, and are usually the easiest to manufacture. It consumes less power than plasmas, and is best for screens 42 inches and below.
    • LED tv’s are just a form of LCD tvs. They are the most energy efficient out there, but tend to be on the pricier end. They have better overall picture quality with their lighting. Some LED models have edge-lit which is extremely light weight, and easy to mount and maintain. On the other hand, backlit is a bit thicker in width, and does offer a higher picture quality. A back-lit LED HDTV is one of the best types you can choose.
    • Plasmas are the heaviest of the three, but it does feature high picture quality. It tends to have the best viewing angles, and contrast ratio. They are usually recommended for 46″ or higher.
  • Read the product specs. A TV with many HDMI inports is your best option, because you can easily connect multiple external devices like a video game or DVD player. Also, make sure not to skip over the screen size. A bigger screen will give you the most powerful benefit in terms of resolution. Resolution is an important factor when it comes to picture quality. Most HDTVs offer 720p or 1080p. 1080p is the the best resolution size on the market, but some viewers van barely see a difference between the two. It also depends on your HDTV size. The bigger the tv, the higher resolution you might want to take into consideration. Lastly, check the refresh rate in the product details. Refresh rate describes how often the screen image is updated. It is measured in hertz, with 60-Hz being the standard. While some people do not notice a difference, a higher refresh rate is nice if you are into certain things like gaming.
  • Determine what extra features you would like. Some HDTV’s come equipped with 3D technology or internet capability which is nice if you are a Netflix or Hulu user. However, that shouldn’t be your leading factor. According to the tech guru, Carlton Bale,”The streaming services built into the TV shouldn’t be a major consideration. You’ll likely keep the TV much longer than the manufacturer will keep the software updated. Additionally, companies like Panasonic and LG are now including ads in their menu/apps pages. It’s better to put the extra $50-$100 towards an external streamer that you can upgrade every couple of years than on integrated services that may become obsolete.”
  • Lastly, do you homework! Read reviews. Its always good to reference what other people have written about a product. The reviews are extremely helpful, and can give you a better idea of what to expect rather than just an advertisement. Websites like Amazon and Newegg offer a consumer a wealth of information from other buyers. If you still have some doubt left in the store, ask questions! Black Friday shopping in the electronics department can be chaotic, but its better to find a sales associate, than go mum. They sell HDTVs daily, so they often are the best advocates for certain brands or hot models.

After reviewing all the HDTVs in the Black Friday Ads, I found some really awesome deals. Whether you need a small 24″ for your kid’s bedroom or a massive 60″ to finalize your basement theater, there are certainly deals to be snagged. I would make sure to check out some online retailers as well. Most likely, they’ll have the same price listed as a doorbuster deal, or even lower in certain cases. For example, Amazon is offering the same Toshiba 40″ LCD HDTV at $179 that Best Buy is offering at $179.99 in-store. That works out great for people who can’t make it out to the stores on Black Friday, but can still grab the hot deals. For those who are planning to hit the stores on Black Friday, make sure to get there early. Stores hold only a limited amount of HDTVs so I’d make sure to hit up the electronics department first. 

So without further ado, here are FatWallet’s picks for the best Black Friday TV Deals that I feel many consumers will be antsy to get their hands on this Black Friday: 

32 inches and below:


FatWallet Pick
Emerson 32″ LCD HDTV – $148.00

Available: 10PM Thankgiving
Features of the Emerson 32″ Class LCD HDTV include 720p resolution, 60Hz, 2,500:1 dynamic contrast ration and three HDMI ports. The $148 TV will go on sale at 10pm on Thanksgiving Day. The cool thing about this one hour doorbuster is that Walmart is guaranteeing that you will get this deal no matter what. If they run out in-store, you will receive a ticket allowing you to claim the product before Christmas.


FatWallet Runner Up
Panasonic 32″ LCD HDTV – $189

Available: 12AM Black Friday
Although this is an all-time low for any 32″ Panasonic LCD HDTV I’ve seen to date, I chose it as the runner up, because I have a feeling 32″ HDTVs will average around $160 price range. Either way, this Panasonic features 720p resolution for crisp, clear visuals, 60Hz, and 2 HDMI inputs. In addition, it features a PC connect for your computers. This is a doorbuster deal, so be prepared.


FatWallet Honorable Mention
Seiki 24″ LED HDTV – $88

Available: 8PM Thankgiving
I am going to give Kmart’s Seiki 24″ 1080p HDTV as my honorable mention. Marked down from $189, the price is a great value for a smaller TV. It features a higher resolution of 1080p, a refresh rate of 60Hz, 1000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 1 HDMI input, and its completely energy efficient.


33 inches to 54 inches:


FatWallet Pick
Toshiba 40″ LCD HDTV – $179.99

Available: 12AM Black Friday
Best Buy’s deal on the 40″ Toshiba is without a doubt the best offer. The TV is $169 under the best price I’ve seen for that model and the least-expensive 40″ 1080p, 60Hz LCD HDTV ever. Be warned though – this is a doorbuster, so make sure you are lined up outside Best Buy by midnight. These will be going fast.


FatWallet Runner Up
Toshiba 50″ LED/LCD HDTV – $299.99

Available: 8PM Thanksgiving
My runner up goes to Toshiba’s older sister, the 50″ LED LCD HDTV. It features 60Hz, and a top picture quality. Experts say once you pass the 50″ mark, you’ll need the higher resolution so the 1080p will do just that. It has lots of inputs – 3 HDMI inputs; a PC port for sharing stuff from your laptop, and a USB port for enjoying slideshows, photos and music from a USB stick.


FatWallet Honorable Mention
Westinghouse 50″ LCD HDTV – $349

Available: 9PM Thanksgiving
My honorable mention was an easy choice. Target’s Westinghouse 50″ 1080p LCD HDTV for $349 has been creating quite the buzz. Some may be weary of buying a Westinghouse with it being an off-brand name, but this is probably one of Target’s best doorbusters of the year. It states limited quantities, so expect to see this HDTV being snatched up quick.


55 inches or higher:


FatWallet Pick
Vizio 60″ LED HDTV – $688

Available: 10PM Thanksgiving
The larger available televisions offer plenty of savings so its pretty clear to not pass this deal up from Walmart. The Vizio 60″ 1080p features an edge LED backlight, 120Hz technology, built-in Wi-Fi, and access to online content. Its currently selling for $988, making for a not-so-shabby $300 price cut.


FatWallet Runner Up
Panasonic 55″ Class LED HDTV – $899.99

Available: 5AM Black Friday
Beyond the door busters, there are still some great deals to be snatched up. This Panasonic 55″ features 3D technology for awesome visuals, and numerous inputs (1 PC, 4 HDMI, 1 component video, 1 composite and 1 RF). The HDTV also includes 4 pairs of 3D glasses which is nice if you are looking to invite friends over to few some 3D movies.


FatWallet Honorable Mention
Sharp 70″ LED/LCD HDTV – $1,798

Available: 5AM Black Friday
This 70″ Sharp TV is being offered in Walmart’s Black Friday event #3 starting at 5am. I’ve found the lowest price today for this specific model is over $2,100. So, you can save quite the penny with this big screen deal. It features 1080p, 60Hz, and 3 HDMI inputs. Plus, Walmart offers a delivery service so you don’t have to lug this beastly thing around in the department store.

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