For all the side items surrounding the Super Bowl -- the ads, the food, the betting -- in the end, it all comes down to the game. And while tickets are still available, most of us will be watching the action on TV.
There are lots of great deals on TVs right now, and there's always a frenzy in the days before the Super Bowl as armchair quarterbacks everywhere aim for the best viewing experience. According to the National Retail Federation, 7.5 million households will buy a new TV for this year's Super Bowl, up nearly 50% from last year.
But for every deal, there's a potential land mine waiting to trip you up.
Our friends at TechBargains.com offer these tips for saving on a new high-definition TV.
- Skip the extended warranty. It's perhaps the surest Super Bowl bet -- if you buy a TV at a brick-and-mortar store, the salesperson will try to sell you an in-store service plan. Don't do it. TVs already come with a warranty from the manufacturer. And if you want added coverage, pay with a credit card. Your card may extend the manufacturer's warranty.
- Don't pay shipping or sales tax. Buying online can save you up to 20% over buying in a store. And if the online merchant doesn't have physical operations in your state, you don't have to pay sales tax. Many online retailers will offer free shipping with coupon codes or cash-back rebates.
- Buy now! Besides many retailers offering deep discounts, we're just a few weeks removed from the Consumer Electronics Show, where manufacturers showed off their new models. Retailers want to clear their shelves to make room for the latest products.
- Don't buy HDMI cords in the store. If you shop in store, a salesperson may try to sell you an overpriced HDMI cable for as much as $40. A quick online search will reveal prices starting at just $3.
- Adjust your settings. Most TVs on display in stores are set with high brightness and contrast levels to entice potential buyers. Once you get your new TV set up at home, adjust to optimal picture settings. If you use Movie or Standard mode, you can cut your TV's energy output almost in half.
Happy hunting, and enjoy the big game!