Black Friday: The Best (and Worst) Deals on HD

Just a few years ago, retailers were furious when their secret Black Friday ads leaked online before they hit he Thursday papers. Now, they can hardly wait for eager bargain hunters to fire up Acrobat and scour their flyers for deals. But, at the same time, this years deals are a little disappointing. There's no $500 42-inch 1080p LCD we all were crossing our fingers for, but if you have a little extra cash, there are still some sales worth noting.

BEST BUY Overall grade: C With Circuit City reeling, it seems like they could've used this as an opportunity to shove a stake in their hearts. Instead, they show up with some decent prices. Nothing to riot over. LG 47-inch 1080p 120Hz LCD HDTV for $1,500 They're calling it a $500 discount, but that's only because it comes with a free $200 set-up from the Geek Squad, something you don't need if you know your way around an HDMI cable. Various Blu-Rays including Cloverfield, Superbad, 300, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Rambo and more. $16.99 With other stores offering huge arrays of DVDs for as low as $2, $17 BDs still isn't that great of a deal. The magic number is $10 and almost no one hit it this year. Sony 7.1 Channel 735 Watt Home Theater Receiver $199 It's not a bad little receiver for only $200 and that's over $100 off the normal price. Circuit City has the same deal, too. Sony Blu-ray Player $250 This is a real stumbling point for big blue. Lots of other places are offering similar players for $200 or even less. CIRCUIT CITY Overall grade: B Their keeping the doors open on many of their stores long enough to deliver some decent bargains. They're probably your best for a TV, too if you're not yet sure what you want. Samsung 46-inch 1080p LCD HDTV $1099 It's not 120Hz and it's an inch smaller than Best Buy's LG, but the Samsung name draws a little more credibility when it comes to LCDs. Plus, it's a full $400 cheaper so you'll have enough money left over to buy yourself a new center channel to go along with it. Creative Zen 16GB $129 It doesn't do anything in HD, but $50 off of something that was only $179 to start is a pretty good deal, especially since you won't be finding any crazy discounts on iPods....ever. Many places offer you a free iTunes gift card when you buy an iPod, but I'd rather have the cash. Assorted Blu-Rays $11.99 Selection includes Reservoir Dogs, King of New York, The Shining, American Psycho, Terminator 2, First Blood and more. I think this is a better selection than Best Buy offers and at a cheaper price. The movies are older, though so you might already own some of these on DVD. 40-inch 1080p LCD Sony with a Blu-Ray player $1,200 If you're looking to upgrade your TV and get yourself into the Blu-ray game, this isn't a bad option. It's also not the cheapest option, but you might have to do less fighting if you just roll in and tell them you want the package. 42-inch Panasonic Viera Plasma $899 Deals on good plasmas seem to be pretty sparse this year. Everyone is opting to drop prices on mid-level LCDs and cheapo stuff. For less than a thousand including tax, this thing isn't a bad purchase, even if it's not for your main room.
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