HDTV Price Drop

Whenever we run a poll on the SGHT Website asking what it will take to put HDTV in more homes, "lower prices" is the overwhelming response. Manufacturers have been responding, with recent price reductions from NEC, Fujitsu, and others.

We can now add Zenith Electronics to the list. The company announced last week a series of incentives, ranging from 0% financing to consumer rebates and price reductions, on a number of digital television (DTV) products including its 60" plasma HDTV.

According to Zenith, the "no-interest initiative" will run through February 28, 2002, giving consumers the opportunity to purchase Zenith's 60" DPDP60W widescreen plasma HDTV display with "no down payment, no payments, and no interest payments for a year." The company says it also dropped the suggested selling price on the display from $24,999 to $19,999. Zenith had previously cut the price of the DPDP60W back in August from $27,999 to $24,999.

Zenith says it is extending the 0% financing offer to its 15" LCD HDTV monitor as well as its 20" EDTV (enhanced-definition television) display. Zenith adds that the consumer rebate program ($50 to $150, depending on the model) also extends to the company's line of direct-view CRT HDTV monitors including two 27", two 32" and two 36" displays.

Widescreen rear-projection HDTV monitors also received a haircut, with Zenith trimming prices down from $3000 to $2799 for the D56W25 56" set, from $3500 to $3199 for the 61" D61W25, and from $4000 to $3499 for the 65" D65W25.

Explaining the move, Zenith's Rick Powers says, "While we chose to unveil our new financing program just prior to Christmas, this aggressive consumer promotion is part of Zenith's 2002 program to drive the digital television market by offering a broad array of HDTV products at increasingly attractive prices. We expect 2002 to be a breakthrough year in terms of digital programming and, as we'll demonstrate at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Zenith intends to be an aggressive player in the growing HDTV market."