Now that the Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2017 shopping period is just over a month away, we’ve been thinking about the types of TVs consumers are likely to see during this annual days of deals.

There’s always a fair amount of guesswork with any Black Friday predictions, but one thing that seems certain is that we’ll see new low prices for TVs at various screen sizes, especially 4K models with high dynamic range (HDR) capability. That could be a real bonus for TV fans: When done right, HDR boosts a TV’s brightness, contrast, and color, making the pictures on the screen look more like real life.


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More on Black Friday TV Sales

“As in past years, we expect stores to lure in shoppers with plenty of off-brand 4K TV doorbusters,” says Stephen Slaybaugh, consumer analyst with DealNews, a deal-tracking website that offers its own Black Friday predictions. “At this point, if you are in the market for a new TV, you should seriously consider a 4K set. We’re expecting the prices on 4K TVs to approach—and in some instances match—those of the same-size 1080p sets.” 

While the very low prices of doorbuster specials can be enticing, they’re typically available in limited quantities, and sometimes only for a short time period. And most of the time they’re from lesser-known brands. As we’ve previously noted, really cheap TVs aren’t always a great deal.

This year, though, we also expect rock-bottom deals on TVs from major brands, including LG, Samsung, and Vizio.

Here’s a breakdown of what we think you’ll see during the 2017 Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping period.

Smaller TVs

TVs in this size tend to be popular Black Friday doorbuster promotions, offered at below-$100 prices. While these TVs are usually from lesser-known brands that Consumer Reports hasn’t tested, they can be decent choices for secondary rooms of the house, such as a kid’s bedroom.

32-inch TVs: Last year, thanks to Amazon, prices in the 32-inch category fell to as low as $70, which turned TVs into an impulse purchase. In addition to Amazon, Target had a 720p Polaroid set for $85, and Best Buy offered a TCL Roku TV for $100. Those prices will be hard to beat, but we think you’ll see a wider choice of sets in the $70 to $85 range from more retailers. Possible entries into the mix: Roku TVs from brands such Hitachi, Insignia, TCL, or Element; or Westinghouse Amazon Fire TV Edition sets. All of these are smart TVs with low regular prices.

40- to 43-inch TVs: This category could get more interesting this year because this is the screen size where 4K resolution starts to take hold. With more 4K TVs available this year, there should be added price pressure on 1080p models, which could hit new lows.

“Smaller name-brand 4K sets, particularly 40-inch TVs, will hit record lows, so it’s a good time to pick up a second TV for the bedroom,” Slaybaugh predicts. 

Last year Walmart had a choice of 40-inch HD TVs for $125, and HHGregg—now out of business—had a 40-inch ProScan TV as a Black Friday special for $130. This year a few retailers could beat this price, though not by much. Last year some lucky Target shoppers took home a 43-inch Element TV for less than $200.

Right now the cheapest 40-inch 4K TVs are selling for $250 to $350, and the lowest price for a 43-inch 4K set is about $280. So don’t be surprised to see prices fall to $200 for a 40-inch 4K model, and maybe $225 for a 43-inch set.

Midsized TVs

49- and 50-inch TVs: We expect this size category to be especially hot this year, as the action moves from regular HD TVs to 4K models, in a screen size that’s large enough to be a main TV for many people. Last year the best deals hovered around $200, the price at Best Buy for a 49-inch Toshiba 4K smart TV. This year we think you’ll see more deals at that price, plus some off-brand sets that could be $20 or $25 cheaper.

55-inch TVs: One of the best deals on a 55-inch set last year was a 55-inch Sharp 1080p set for $250 at Best Buy. Walmart had a 55-inch Philips 4K set for $298. Because Best Buy has a few exclusives on Sharp-branded models—Hisense now controls the Sharp TV brand in the U.S.—we expect the retailer to be aggressive with the brand again this year. 

As a result, you may see a few 55-inch 4K TV deals in the $225 to $250 range during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday time frame. This year the mix could include low-priced models from newer lesser-known brands, such as Atyme and Avera.

Larger TVs

60-inch TVs: Last year we saw prices for 60-inch and larger 1080p sets drop significantly; one of the better deals was Walmart’s $398 price on a 60-inch Vizio 1080p smart TV. We also saw a Vizio 4K smart TV on sale for $548 at Sam’s Club.

So how low could prices for 60-inch 4K TVs go? Don’t be surprised to see 4K sets move to the $400 to $425 level, with prices possibly dropping as low as $300 for a 1080p set from some of the lesser-known brands.

65-inch TVs: Just a year ago, a 65-inch set still seemed like a giant TV to a lot of people. But that screen size has become more common during the past 12 months. That’s why we're expecting to see a lot of action on 4K models with HDR this year, with the category possibly getting the biggest year-over-year percentage price drops.

Last year HHGregg was offering a 65-inch 4K smart TV from Haier for just $550, which was one of the lowest prices we saw. But we thought that the $598 Hisense 4K smart TV sold by Sam’s Club was actually a better deal because the Hisense TVs we tested did better in our ratings. There was also a 65-inch Hitachi 4K TV at Walmart for $598.

This year we think that $500 will be the floor for a new 4K smart TV, and those sets may include HDR technology. Be cautious, though, if HDR is important to you. Our lab tests of cheaper TVs with HDR showed that most couldn’t provide the brightness needed to do deliver effective HDR performance.

70-inch and larger TVs: Once you move beyond a 65-inch screen, you’re paying a premium for the larger screen size. Last year the best deals we saw on 70-inch 4K TVs were from Vizio. Sam’s Club had one for just under $930, and Best Buy’s was about $1,000.

For 2017 we expect sales on Vizio sets to once again be aggressive, with prices falling as low as $800 for a 4K smart TV with HDR. There may also be a few 1080p sets for even less, though now most TVs this big are 4K models.