NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Flat screen televisions are wildly popular, and they keep getting better. If you love watching your flat screen now, wait until you see what’s coming next – and just in time for the holidays, with prices so low, they’re too good to be true.
One of the things shoppers are most excited about is the newest technology in televisions: three-dimensional picture.
“It is one of the most exciting innovations in HDTV,” Lance Ulanoff of PC Magazine told CBS 2’s Chris Wragge.
The experience is much like going to see a 3-D movie, glasses and all, but in the comfort of your own home. That’s not the only new feature in flat screen TVs this holiday season.
From Wi-Fi capability to streaming movies and even touch screen remote controls, watching TV has come a long way.
“Essentially, you now have control over your television programming way beyond what the networks ever gave you,” Ulanoff said.
“New and exciting this year is definitely going to be Google TV,” Best Buy’s Robert Sanders said.
Google TV combines the ability to surf the Internet and watch TV, all on your flat screen, Sanders said. The set-top box provides the Internet connection, and the keyboard remote let you search any site, much like you would on your computer.
“Say you have a subscription to the New York Times – you can pull that up and browse as you watch TV,” Sanders said.
Google isn’t the only brand to come out with a set-top box. Sony, Apple and Roku have similar models that provide Internet access, with prices ranging from $90 to $400. Even remote controls are now going high-tech.
“You don’t have to miss any part of the game or any part of your show,” Sanders said. “You can actually hit a button and actually have it on the screen with audio.”
That’s right – you can now watch TV on a remote control.
For about $300, Samsung’s touch screen remote lets you bring your favorite program with you, so you don’t miss a thing if you get up to grab a snack.
If a flat screen TV is at the top of your gift-giving list this year, you’re in luck – prices have dropped by as much as $600.
“First of all, they’ve gotten easier to manufacture; second of all, there’s a tremendous amount of competition,” Ulanoff said.
With so many to choose from, though, how do you know which one is right for you? Plasma TV technology is a little older but very affordable. Sanders said you can get a 42-inch plasma for less than $400 this holiday season.
If you’re looking for an upgrade in your picture quality at the cheapest price, though, experts say you should go the route of the LCD television.
The thinnest technology, though, is the LED TV, “which you can hang on the wall looking like a mirror,” Sanders said. The cost of 3-D televisions ranges from $2,000 to $4,000.
When you’re planning to purchase a new TV, be sure to consider the cost to hang it on the wall or the substantial piece of furniture you need to stand it on.
For more information on TV technology and prices for the upcoming holiday shopping season, please click here.