Buying guide: LCD TVs, plasma screens -- end of year TV bargain round-up

When is the best time to buy a new LCD TV or plasma screen? What bargains are around if you're planning to buy a TV before the Christmas sales?

Best pre-Christmas buys

LCD, LED and plasma television prices are at the lowest they have been this year — for example, the cost of the Panasonic TH-P46S10A plasma TV has dropped from its recommended retail price of $2899 at launch to a more affordable $2299. (Read our review of the 42in version, the Panasonic TH-P42S10A.) According to Paul Reid, Panasonic’s director of consumer electronics, now is a great time to buy. "We definitely think now is the best time to buy [a new TV] with the double whammy of lower prices from the high exchange rate, and consumer bonuses.” Panasonic is using a combination of the lowest ever prices and bonus gifts to entice TV buyers to take the plunge before Christmas.

In addition to wide-sweeping price cuts, big-name manufacturers, including Sharp, Panasonic, Sony and LG, are offering free gifts for anyone buying a TV before Christmas — with some of the extras on offer worth over $1000. Note most of these deals end at Christmas, so if you wait for the Boxing Day sales you might miss out on a great deal! Read on for a round-up of the bonus offers.

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