CES 2008: Name brands add features to battle cheaper HDTVs

AP image

It’s Day Two of the Consumer Electronics Show—time to start analyzing, looking for trends, seeing what’s hot and what’s not. Right now, we’ll focus on HDTVs.

In case you hadn’t noticed, unknown companies from Asia (mostly China) are moving in on the HDTV space, which must frighten the “trusted” name brands like Sony, Samsung, Pioneer, etc. As the Associated Press points out this morning, if these unknown companies can successfully edge their way into the HDTV market, the big guys may have their business pulled out from under them. The reason being, of course, is price: if you could pay, say, $1,500 for a 40-plus inch HDTV, why would you pay nearly double that for the name brand?

The solution, as far as we can tell right now, is that the big guys are adding accoutrements to their HDTVs: extraordinarily thin panels, gigantic screens, new splashes of paint, etc. Samsung is luring people with its 3D technology that’s found on some of its sets.

And how do y’all feel about this? I gotta say, put me down in the “cheaper HDTV” camp. I’m currently tinkering with the idea of bumping up my TV size from a mere 26 inches—it worked fine in my dorm room last year, but it’s almost embarrassing in my new apartment—and money is most certainly an issue. My father, on the other hand, shows a blind allegiance to name brands and has no problem, somehow, paying through the nose for that Sony or Samsung (or whatever is his favorite brand this week) label.

HDTV makers struggle to stand out [AP/Yahoo!]