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Three killer HDTV deals

For as little as $299, you can grab a 40-inch LCD HDTV. But if your budget can stretch a bit, so can your screen size--all the way up to 55 inches.

It's hard to tell from the photo, but the Viore LC55VFZ61 is a whopping 55 inches diagonally.
It's hard to tell from the photo, but the Viore LC55VFZ61 is a whopping 55 inches diagonally. Viore

The fall TV season is upon us (welcome back, "Community," and please don't suck, "Terra Nova"), and that means it's time to start thinking about a bigger tube--er, panel. Don't think your budget can accommodate an upgrade? Wait till you get a load of today's three HDTV deals.

Let me preface this by saying I'm not a videophile, meaning I don't require a lot of fancy settings or insist on the ultimate image quality (subjective though that may be). As long as the screen is large, the picture looks sharp, and the colors aren't noticeably out of whack, I'm happy.

In other words, these are lower-end TVs--but if you're anything like me, you should find them perfectly acceptable. Better than acceptable, even, given the bargain-basement price you paid.

1. While supplies last (which may not be long), TigerDirect has what I believe is the least-expensive 40-inch TV I've ever seen: the refurbished Element ELDTW402 40-inch LCD HDTV for $299.99, plus around $20 for shipping. This is a full 1080p TV with three HDMI inputs. But as with most refurbished TVs, the warranty lasts only 90 days. And there are no reviews to be found anywhere. Still, remember when it was a big deal to find a 32-incher for $299?

2. Want something even bigger? Also at TigerDirect, the refurbished Element ELGFW551 55-inch LCD HDTV is $599.99 shipped. Again, no user reviews and a 90-day warranty, but here you get four HDMI inputs and a 120Hz refresh rate. Plus, did I mention this sucker is 55 inches? That's pretty much unheard of at this price point. I paid $1,200 for a 52-inch TV just two years ago. D'oh!

3. If you like that size but just aren't comfortable going the refurb route, Wal-Mart has the 55-inch Viore LC55VFZ61 120Hz LCD HDTV for $699, with free site-to-store shipping (plus sales tax in most states). This model's new, of course, meaning it comes with a one-year warranty. And the 50-odd user reviews are mostly of the four- and five-star variety. Even though it's the priciest TV of the three, it's still an amazing deal on a 55-inch set.


Bonus deal: Big Fish Games offers some great casual games--adventure, puzzle, strategy, action, and so on. Right now, you can buy any Big Fish Games game for $5.99 when you use coupon code FAN599--and you'll get a free Fandango movie ticket (which has a retail value of up to $14.50).