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TV Sales Slump Translates to Cheaper TVs This Holiday

Stocks in this article: BBY SNE P NFLX

That's a conservative prediction. Some analysts, she added, are "expecting set price reduction for 32-inch to be even more aggressive than that this year" -- to as low as $100 for a 32-inch LCD TV.

Last decade brought astonishing technology changes to the TV industry, as people upgraded en masse to flat and larger screens. The U.S. switched to digital broadcasts in June 2009. High-definition TVs became mainstream.

But this decade has so far seen lackluster TV sales. The hype of 3D has been relegated to a feature -- not a reason to buy a new TV.

"The major features we've seen in the past five years have not necessarily been movers of the market," Arnold said. "3D definitely was not. Even though we saw sales of 3D TVs grow, people weren't buying 3D TVs per se, but only because the feature was attached to TVs. The same is partially true with Smart TVs, when you get (Internet-) connected TVs with Hulu, Netflix (NFLX) and Pandora (P). But a lot of consumers have that feature on four other devices in the house."

It's been a rough year for TV makers.

In May, Sony (SNE), said its TV sales for the year had declined 30.8% from the prior year, and it later revised its 2013 forecast of LCD TV sales downward.

In July, Japan's Toshiba blamed slumping TV sales in North America and Europe for missing analyst estimates. Best Buy (BBY), meanwhile, mentioned in a July conference call that TV sales have flattened after a period of declines.

Overall, TV-set sales worldwide are expected to fall about 2% this year, down to 234.1 million, according to IHS Television Market Tracker. Within that group however, LCD TV sales are still rising and expected to grow 3% to 216.7 million.

"Demand for plasma TVs is going down. CRTs is down. Even though LCD is growing, it's not growing to the extent of taking over the loss of plasma and CRT," Dash said.

This decade isn't without some high-tech buzz. Ultra-high-definition TVs, also called 4k technology, is akin to the difference between watching standard-definition and high-definition TV, says Dash. "It looks fantastic," she adds. "My own personal experience is I was standing two feet away from it and looking at a concert. I felt like I was there."

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