Best Buy Plasma TV Prices Crash Below $400

Attention morons who’ve smashed their TVs by using the Xbox Kinect in a room with a ceiling fan: Best Buy is offering a 42-inch plasma TV for under $400 as part of its Black Friday sale. Just find another room to put it in before hooking up your 360.

According to Consumer Reports, this one actually seems like a good buy (we still can’t bring ourselves to say it’s the best):

Earlier this year, we saw Best Buy offer a 42-inch 720p plasma–from Insignia, Best Buy’s house brand–for $400. For Black Friday, the store will have a similar Insignia TV (NS-32P650A11) for even less: $370, down from its current price of $470. We’ve already reported on a $400 Zenith-brand 42-inch plasma for $400 at Sears.

In addition, Best Buy wlll offer Panasonic’s 46-inch 720p Viera plasma TV (TC-P46C2) for $500, down from $600 currently, and a 50-inch 1080p Viera plasma (TC-P50U2) f $700, $200 less than its current price.

Oh, one more thing: Consumer Reports warns against using the Kinect in a room with ceiling fans.

Best Buy’s Black Friday ad: Say hello to the sub-$400 plasma TV [Consumer Reports]


Edit Your Comment

  1. KyBash says:

    I guess this advice is appropriate — if you’re stupid enough to smash your tv, you’re probably also stupid enough to shop at Best Buy.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I’m pretty sure our TV came from Best Buy. It was a gift, so we weren’t going to gripe, but I would have preferred that it came from Costco. Costco’s service is top notch, IMO.

      • Snoofin says:

        But Costco only has a selection of like 8 TVs, at least at the one near me. Also they are often crappy off brands like Vizio instead of quality like Samsung and Mitsubishi

        • Phil Villakeepinitrreal says:

          Your Costco sucks. The only one in my town has literally dozens of Plasma and LCD TVs, from all kinds of brands. Anything from Vizio to Sony, Samsung, Toshiba, Panasonic, etc.

        • meltingcube says:

          Have you ever owned a Vizio? I personally own two, a 37″ and a 26″. My boss owns a 26″ and a 50″, my friend, a 50″, and my sister, a 55″. All of them have been owned for years, and still work great. Not a single issue with any of them. Vizio’s are great quality for a low price. You really need to shop with your eyes, not your wallet. An expensive TV does not mean it is better.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          The Costco near me has at least a dozen TVs from Sony, Samsung, LG, etc. Maybe a few Vizios, but the name brands are there as well.

        • pdj79 says:

          Uh…your Costco sucks. We have 2 in the Indianapolis area and both easily have 30+ TVs to choose from. And, not for nothing, but Vizio has been a major brand for some time now. Just because you’re not familiar doesn’t mean it’s “off-brand”.

    • Chaosium says:

      I believe Phil bought his TV as a house brand from BB, so appropriate!

    • Griking says:

      So where should we purchase out television sets from then oh wise one? Don’t call us stupid for buying at Best Buy if you aren’t going to recommend a significantly better option.

      • KyBash says:

        It obviously varies according to where you live. I’m in a small town (less than 80,000) and there are two local appliance retailers who also handle televisions (Sony, Toshiba, etc.). Prices at both are equivalent to big retailers when you factor in the free delivery and set-up by people who actually know what they’re doing. If something ever goes wrong, they’ll repair/replace it promptly, and they’ll go through all the hassles of dealing with the manufacturer’s warranty people.

        Surely there are similar stores everywhere.

      • IntheKnow says:

        Any warehouse club. Amazon. No hassles. No Black Tie Protection Plan (extended service contract) nonsense.

    • veritybrown says:

      Our TV was smashed by a child doing something she had been told repeatedly not to do, specifically because it might result in an accident that would cause said damage to the TV. However, the TV was not bought at Best Buy. How does that fit into your “clever” little rubric?

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      I like BB and I’ve purchase many great products from them. I find that their prices are very competitive and I also like their customer service. Sorry, I don’t agree with you. I’ve done my time with online shopping and I have noticed that many online stores have learned how to rip you off very well with junk being sold. I’d rather have a face-to-face conversation with someone that deal with online discussions. BB isn’t my only choice but when I buy from them, I never have a problem.

  2. KyBash says:

    I guess this advice is appropriate — if you’re stupid enough to smash your tv, you’re probably also stupid enough to shop at Best Buy.

  3. Derv says:

    Meh not that good. I got basically the same Panasonic TV for $500 at Best Buy. Granted, it was open box (but still factory sealed) and already on sale, but they can do much better.

  4. photoguy622 says:

    I get it, sometimes you want to buy something at the absolute lowest price, but I think it’s better to save a little more and get a 1080p set that is by a big name manufacturer. When I worked at Sears people would scoop up $50 DVD players by some off name brand and a week later most of them would be back returning it because it broke. I’d rather spend more money up front and get technology that’s not already obsolete and a well make product I can keep for years.

    By the way, RCA, Zenith, Polaroid, and Magnavox, are not the same as they once were. The names were sold off to crappy manufacturers with shoddy products.

    • Roger Wilco says:

      “Pfft. I know a genuine Panaphonics when I see it. And look, there’s Magnetbox and Sorny.”

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Everyone knows Somys are better deals.

        • IT-Princess: I work in IT, you owe me $1 says:

          I can tell you from experience that I see just as many broken Sony & Samsung televisions as I do Insignia & Dynex.

          Though I do agree with your point, in general, you pay for what you get though it doesn’t mean just because you pay more that your stuff won’t break.

      • JonStewartMill says:

        A friend of a friend bought a fancy-looking watch from some guy at a gas station. “Look, it’s a genuine Bulova!” My friend took a look and said “That doesn’t say Bulova, it says Bolivia.” FoaF was not to be dissuaded. “I’ve heard of them,” was his response.

      • photoguy622 says:

        Haha, that’s great. I loved that episode too!

      • SunnyLea says:

        I don’t think I’ve ever called Magnavox anything else ever since that episode.

        But I don’t buy ’em. I buy stuff like “Apex” and “Colby,” and I’ll be darned if they aren’t all still chugging away a decade later.

    • macoan says:

      I got 2 nice DVD players in my home – and neither of them will play DVD’s that I burn onto DVD. Now the cheap “Big Lot” special DVD players… now they work like a charm.

      Sometimes cheap works better!

      • ShadowFalls says:

        If you have those issues with players playing discs, setting the bitsetting in the software to DVD-Rom usually does the trick. Had an old player that did similar.

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      Not really. As a previous reply to your post noted, cheaper is sometimes better. Example: Sony DVD player that says right on the front “DVD/VCD player” It would only play commercially produced DVD and VCDs. My Coby (under $30) will play ANYTHING I throw at it: DVD, VCD, CD+G, even DVDs FULL of MP3 files.

      Almost all TV brands are pretty reliable these days. The big difference is customer service – or lack thereof – and buying a known brand won’t protect you either. My neighbor’s Sony went on the fritz just out of warranty: Sony shipped him a brand new replacement. The old one? A $100 repair and it was given to his Dad. I have several wonderful Samsung products the died and Samsung refused to help. Nice stuff, but when it dies, SAMSUCKS, you’re on your own.

      The point about “1080p” needs looking at, too. Put 50 inch 1080p at 20 feet and a 50 inch 480i at the same distance, and they will look the same – your eyes can’t tell the difference. Just because 1080p is the highest resolution doesn’t make it any better. The only reason I have a 52″ 1080p LCD rather than a 50″ 720p plasma right now is I was able to get the 52″ for the same price (Sam’s, after Christmas) I have a chart that shows this, but, alas, I cannot post images here. Here’s a link:

      YEs, some of the brands we know from the “Golden age of TV” have been sold off, and not made by who you think. But that wonderful LG TV you’re looking at is made by a company that a few short years ago was a contract factory, and their name is really “Lucky Goldstar” Sounds classy, huh? Some of those brands (RCA, Zenith, Polaroid, Sylvania, Philips, etc) are made by Funai now. Yea, it sounds classy too, but did you know that when Philips decided to get out of the TV manufacturing business, they chose Funai, and along with the brand went their manufacturing facilities and most of their employees? Granted, Philips is not as “cutting edge” but they still are solid and reliable TVs.

      • photoguy622 says:

        All good points, and I agree that LG, and even Samsung to a degree, were considered “no-name” brands until just a few years ago. Personally I feel Sony is overpriced for what you get and have always had good luck with Panasonic.

        I sit a lot closer to my set than 20′, about 7.5′, so I do notice the difference in resolution on the 1080p set. Besides, if the price spread is not that extreme, and it generally isn’t, stick with the better spec’d TV.

  5. iggy21 says:

    I prefer my 42″ plywood wrapped in electrical tape. Only $250!

  6. GenXCub says:

    In before “lol720p” I suppose.

  7. ShruggingGalt says:

    But an LCD is more green than a plasma. I don’t think Phil would want to replace his LCD with a plasma!

    • Skankingmike says:

      pfft more green? compared how?

      • Julia789 says:

        I heard plasma TVs use quite a bit more electricity than LCDs.

        Was planning on researching it before we buy a new TV – I am concerned about our electric bill going up. :-)

        • dolemite says:

          I’m pretty sure Plasmas do use a lot more electricity than LCD.

        • photoguy622 says:

          The differences are not that extreme. I just bought a 50″ energy star plasma set and according to CNet the energy usage for a year for a 50 ” Panasonic plasma is $46.55 and a 52″ Sony LED uses $20.96.

          Compared to my LCD TV I find that the plasma has a much smoother more film like picture.

          • Phil Villakeepinitrreal says:

            Uh. Not that extreme? The numbers you just quoted alone show that the plasma uses more than twice as much power as the LED-backlit LCD. That’s a pretty damn extreme difference in power consumption.

            • photoguy622 says:

              Granted the numbers are double, but that’s for the whole year. Also, it’s only doubling ~$20 not $500, then I would agree with you.

          • CBenji says:

            I have to agree that LCD’s do use less power, but I still think that most plasma’s with HDMI do beat LCD for picture quality. If you are only talking about $25 more in power usage is that really all that much? I guess you would have to compare each and every set, but still. I know I couldn’t tell the difference between an a BluRay & a DVD in my plasma, but in my LCD there is a big difference.

        • Skankingmike says:

          Les see according to Consumer reports the top rated 46in plasma Panasonic Viera is $37 per yr and the top LCD 46in is Sony Bravia KDL – 42 per yr.

          Yep wayyyy extreme!!!

          Sure the 60 in plasma can have a $100 per year costs. but you know.. ITS 60 fucking inches

          • Julia789 says:

            Thanks for the fast research :-) You saved me a few minutes. Now I’m not as concerned about the electric bill going up. We can choose our TV based on price and picture quality alone, without so much concern over the electric bill.

  8. DanRydell says:

    So earlier this year you could have paid $30 more and avoided waiting in Black Friday lines? I’d wait for it to be $400 again. I’d need to save a lot more than $30 to deal with the hassle of buying a TV on Black Friday.

  9. dolemite says:

    Sometimes it’s better to spend a bit more and get something nicer.

  10. Smiley Massacre says:

    Target’s got a 42″ 1080P Westinghouse HDTV for BF for only $300 this year. Gonna pick that up for my future mother-in-law.

    Now it may be a Westinghouse, but I have had one of their first HDTV’s for 4 years now, and it still works perfectly to this day. Then again, you’re taking a chance with anything nowadays.

    • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

      I have a Westinghouse too. Two years old, no real problems except some artifacts when there’s a ton of motion in the scene. A really good “starter” HDTV (which it was, for me).

    • ShadowFalls says:

      This is probably the same model they had on-sale last year. Westinghouse is actually a pretty decent in-house brand. Though the speakers on the TVs tend to leave much to be desired.

    • Kid U says:

      Shhh, don’t tell the rest of them about the Westinghouse. 40″, 1080p, only $298? That might be the first Black Friday deal in years that would get me to wait in a line. As a side-note, I’ve had a Westinghouse LCD for 4 years, and I have had no problems with it whatsoever.

  11. jessjj347 says:

    Kind of off topic…but this post brought it up:
    Where is the cheapest place to buy a Kinect? Will it be on sale anywhere on BF?

    • Smiley Massacre says:

      Just check online for deals. It’s originally $150, but you’ll be able to find it for less when the time is right.

      Someone was having it for $129 if you preordered on their site, but that since expired.

      Check out sites like and They post up-to-date deals every day.

    • wrjohnston91283 says:

      Costco has the 250GB bundle for $389.99. It’s a hot ticket item right now.

      Amazon can’t keep them in stock, and is selling them for MSRP.

    • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

      Check sites like for the circulars. The BB Black Friday ad is there but I don’t recall seeing the Kinect in it, sorry.

  12. IT-Princess: I work in IT, you owe me $1 says:

    I have this one, not a bad little TV. Not the best, but it gets the job done and has a good picture.

  13. Snoofin says:

    It should be illegal to sell a TV with only 720p resolution. People think they are getting a good deal on a HD TV never knowing they arent watching true HD. Its a shame

    • photoguy622 says:

      Then those people need to do more research before they buy a TV. This isn’t a $20 purchase after all.

      Heck I’m sure the salespeople will be more than happy to show them some of the more advanced TVs, but then there will always be people who buy on price only.

    • Phil Villakeepinitrreal says:

      Oh, bullshit. “True HD” is a marketing term used to make people feel like their electronic penis analogue isn’t big enough compared to the higher priced one.

      HD is HD. There’s nothing more “true” about 1080p than 720p as HD, they’re simply different degrees of HD.

    • dolemite says:

      Kind of depends on your viewing distance. At a certain distance, it doesn’t matter if you have 720 or 1080.

    • jason in boston says:

      What is broadcast in 1080p again? Live sports? Nope. Live News? Nope. A couple of movies through DirecTv which is really just HD-lite? Ding Ding Ding.

      If you have a blu-ray player then you will see the difference, or have a proper HTPC. Over the air or compressed cable? Garbage in, garbage out.

    • babyruthless says:

      We knowingly bought a 720p tv recently. We don’t have a Blu-ray player, and don’t feel like paying extra to get HD satellite feed. We do stream some things and download in high def, but it depends on the quality of the feed/file/our current bandwidth abilities for how good the picture will be. So given our current consumption of media, why should we have paid more for a higher high def TV when we don’t really consume high def media? Or should we have bought a “true” high def TV and then also spent more money purchasing a Blu-ray player, upgrading our Netflix and satellite accounts? No thanks.

    • dreamsneverend says:

      Snoofin, c’mon man? really?

  14. smarty-pants44 says:

    I wouldn’t use an Xbox on a plasma….plasmas are susceptible to burn-in, especially on games were certain info stays on the screen all the time

    • Jamie All Over says:

      Not really. This isn’t 2004 any more.

    • s0s has a chewy nougat center says:

      The new ones are nowhere near as bad as the old ones were, but they still carry the bad rap. Mostly you have to deal with image retention on those, and it goes away in fairly short order (a couple minutes or less). I use my 1080p plasma as a monitor for gaming off my computer, and haven’t had any issues thus far, nor has anyone I know.

      That said, it’s still smart to turn any anti-burn/retention features on and run a screen wipe every couple of hours, maybe while you go to the bathroom and eat something. At least if you play games that have gauges and menus and so on, that are perpetually visible.

  15. dosdelon says:

    I just bought a 42″ plasma tv by Samsung, a brand I would trust a lot more than Insignia, from Amazon for $454 with free shipping & no tax, so I think it’s a better deal.

  16. davidsco says:

    I’ll give you $2 for every piece of Insignia equipment ever produced, and you’d till owe me $200 to be even

  17. Groanan says:

    People who are stupid enough to smash their tvs are likely stupid enough to kill each other while stampeding into BestBuy all at once.

    Protect your loved ones! Get them Amazon Prime!

  18. TVGenius says:

    They had a 40″ LCD for $399 this morning at Best Buy… got the email on that a few days ago.

  19. sven.kirk says:

    I don’t know why everybody is dumping on this deal today. It looked really good. Panasonic,1080p, 40″.
    I tried to get it but sold out at checkout. Oh well.

  20. The Queen of Everything says:

    Where’s the byline on this?

  21. dg says:

    It could be FREE and I still wouldn’t go to WorstBuy. Chances are the box will be empty, filled with some other model TV, some bricks, some wood, some other boxes, some cable will be missing, the screen will be cracked, the sound won’t work, the remote will be missing, or some other issue will occur and WorstBuy will disclaim all knowledge and responsibility. And for this you want to go stand in line with the rest of the ‘tards early on Turkey day when you should be sleeping in a nice warm, dry bed?

    Order online. Have it shipped in – probably for free. No problems, no traffic, and it comes right to your front door…



    Bueler… bueler?

    • gman863 says:

      Remember the old American Tourister TV ad where the ape was throwing a suitcase around his cage?

      The ape now has a job with UPS on the route serving my house. In addition to box tossing, he is not literate enough to read “signature required”. As such, I’ve found packages with up to $800 in electronics sitting on my porch in the rain when I got home from work.

      Complaints to UPS have fallen on deaf ears. As such, attempting to have a TV shipped to my house is a damage and returns nightmare waiting to happen – I’ll pass and buy it locally.

      • dg says:

        Have it shipped by FedEx… I’m not going to tell you that I’ve NEVER had a problem with getting something shipped. Sometimes it gets damaged in transit, sometimes it’s left outside when it shouldn’t be.

        But I can count those instances on one hand – and 99.9% of the time the company made good – the 0.1% that they didn’t – I filed a claim with the carrier and they handled it. All in all, it’s still less of a PITA than dealing with traffic, parking lots, nitwits in the store who can’t figure out what they want, stores that are out of stock, finding someone to assist you in getting the product you want out of the locked cage it’s in, one open cash register out of 15 – with a LINE TO THE MOON, people who can’t find their credit card/money (or have expired coupons), don’t forget the receipt checking goon at the front door, and don’t forget that the box may not have in it what it’s supposed to…

        So no thanks… I’ll order online. Worst case – I call the credit card company and chargeback. All from the comfort of my chair in my house :-)

    • DrRonster says:

      Please be advised that it will be optimized.

  22. gman863 says:


    Fry’s has been running “name brand” (LG, Panasonic or Samsung) 42″ plasmas @ $399 and 50″ plasmas @ $499 in their Houston newspaper ads for at least 4 weeks now.

    What’s really scary is the number of people falling for the “free plasma TV” scam Rooms To Go and other furniture retailers are running. A room group that would normally go for about $1300 is jacked up to $1999 (a $699 jump) with a “free” 50″ ($499) plasma TV.

  23. LucasM says:

    Costco has a better deal online… Hannspree, 42″ LCD HDTV with Full HD (1080p not 720)
    and a refresh rate of 120Hz (instead of 60Hz which can cause action scenes to look jittery) and it has a USB 2.0 Flash Drive Input… all for 500.00

  24. Extractor says:

    Forget about the Plasmas, they’re energy wasters. I got my uncle a Toshiba 55″ LCD for $1300 a year ago thru Got a Toshiba 46″ LCD for my parents in Florida but due to time had to cancel and got it thru Got 2 free round trips and $100 voucher from Spirit for screwing up the flights to hook it up. When I returned in January, I unloaded my 2 CRT’s 32″ & 36″ and replaced the wife’s with a 47″ LG from and for myself, a 37″ Vizio from a B&M Costco. All have been trouble free and I believe the reason is that all are plugged into battery backups. The 2 crt’s that were over 13 years old have had soome trouble since they were plugged directly into the wall outlets. 1 blew up and the other still works. I never had a problem with them. I feel that if the power is conditioned properly, you shouldnt have a problem with certain appliances. My homebuilt PCs last until I rebuild them into the latest and greatest, although Ill wait till the intel socket 1155 boards and processors are available supposedly next year. Obviously all my PCs are plugged into battery backups. Anyways I gotta go to work and tomorrow fly to FL for the first of my 2 free RT’s. Homestead next weekend and home. And all the Black Friday deals I have have seen so far, Ive done much better.

    • john says:

      I doubt you will see anywhere near 13 years of service out of the flat panel TVs. They don’t seem to be economically feasible to repair. If a power supply goes out, etc., it is cheaper to replace the whole TV. My 16 year old tube TV was repaired once because I was stupid and set the TV on its power cord. Cost me $100 to have it fixed and the guy came to my house. The tube TV still works great and the picture is far better than an HD TV with a SD signal from Comcast.

      I would probably be the guy 100 years ago who was lamenting the reliability of motorized cars vs. horses.

  25. jaredwilliams says:

    my store has a 50 plasma by LG 720p 600hz for 649.00 and thats a real fucking brand. the panasonic viera is a good deal though.

    people always think the big box stores have the best deals on tv’s so they dont bother going anywhere else…retards.

  26. pete says:

    No no no to 42inch “720p” plasmas.
    The resolution on these is 1024×768 (not 1280×720 which is what 720p is supposed to be), and therefore the tv’s have to do a LOT of processing of 720p, 1080i, and 1080p signals to get down to that weird 1024×768 native resolution.
    It can be done, but to be done right without losing significant picture information, takes some beefy high-end scaling hardware that these cheap sets most likely do not have.

  27. HDTVTECH says:

    God help you if you’re looking for reliability and buying a plasma. It’s not a matter of IF it’s going to break, it’s a matter of WHEN. And Insignia? In case you haven’t guessed, mostly Chinese made and not engineered for reliability. And I know I will get replies from plasma loving owners saying their set has been running for 5 years without a problem. Good for you and just wait. Especially with the ROHS directive and lead free solder. As I said, only a matter of time. Buy from a reliable, well known manufacturer and BUY AN EXTENDED WARRANTY. And, DON’T BUY PLASMA. If you must, buy Panasonic plasma, as they survive better than most.

    • frank64 says:

      This Insignia is a Samsung TV and is very good for the price.

      • wrjohnston91283 says:

        Often, a manufacturer will rebadge lower quality parts with a less premium brand name. Just because a TV is made by Samsung doesn’t mean it’s going to be EXACTLY the same as any given Samsung. Even within Samsung there is a wide range of quality. They currently have 17 different 46″ models to choose from, with MSRP of $950 to $5000.

  28. HDTVTECH says:

    Heaven help you if you buy a plasma and expect reliability. And an Insignia plasma? not the picture of reliability. Chinese made (mostly) and not made to last. For most plasma TV’s, it’s not a matter of IF it’s going to break, it’s a matter of WHEN. Buy LCD and buy an extended warranty to cover all of the lead free solder failures.

  29. RS says:

    Today’s plasmas draw much less than earlier generations — about the same power as LCDs, on average (all other things being equal) — tho it does vary model-to-model. And you can choose pump up or ratchet down the brightness, in either case, which greatly affects the power draw.

    -from one of the guys who analyzes this data

  30. tanyaandkarl says:

    Geez, a lot of BB apologists here today.
    I guess they’re hoping to convince themselves grabbing that oh so shiny BF deal is a good idea even at BB.

  31. MrEvil says:

    Totally agree with consumer reports on the dangers of using Kinect in a room with a ceiling fan. I’m 6′ 4″ tall. In a room with an 8′ ceiling My hands can easily get clocked by the ceiling fan, and have on several occasions.