Flat-panel TVs gave rise to a slew of new competitors, second-tier producers like Westinghouse and Olevia that once offered a significant discount to the big brands like Sony and Samsung. No more.
At least not in low-price, mainstream LCDs, report market analysts at WitsView. The typical price difference has shrunk to less than $50 between the two tiers, from what once was hundreds of dollars on HD sets of 42 inches or smaller.
As the overall market expanded, the older brands have diversified their offerings to go after the low end, as well. In more expensive 1080p "full HD" models, the Vizios and Sanyos might still have a $150 price advantage.
But that's maybe half the 30 percent gap they once enjoyed. I'm not sure that's enough for me to risk a lesser brand.