Though videophiles might not be impressed, those looking for as much TV screen as they can get for as little as they can spend just might find themselves lining up at Target in the wee hours on Black Friday (the store opens at 4 a.m.). That's because the 40-inch Westinghouse 1080p LCD TV for $298 that the store is offering as a Black Friday special just might be the killer TV deal of the season -- at least thus far. And, if you buy the TV before 10 a.m, Target is throwing in a $10 gift card as well. You can see the deal in the leaked Target Black Friday circular posted at BFads.net, and elsewhere on the Internet.
A true budget buy
We've yet to spot a 40-inch 1080p priced as low as the Westinghouse VR-4085DF that Target is offering. The Black Friday price is nearly half of the $582.99 current price posted at Target.com, though the ad itself claims more modest everyday price of $549.99. Either way, this is a hefty discount for a 40-inch screen -- and probably one of the best deals you'll see for any TV this holiday season.
But what about the TV itself? Westinghouse Digital isn't exactly a top-tier brand, but it has an above-average track record when it comes to producing budget TVs. Some of its sets have been champs, some have been chumps, but most provide decent picture quality for their class (at least if you don't look too closely). As far as features, don't bother looking for them, as this TV is as bare bones as it gets. Resolution is 1080p, so at least there's that, and the three HDMI inputs make it easy to integrate the TV into a modern, if modest, home theater setup. Professional reviewers are silent, but we spotted one user review and it is completely positive. If you want to find out more about the VR-4085DF, it's listed on the Westinghouse Digital site, where you can find specifications and even the owner's manual.
The bottom line? This is a sub-$300 40-inch 1080p HDTV. To get a notably better performer, you likely will need to spend a lot more. If you measure the Westinghouse VR-4085DF by that yardstick, and can accept that trade-off, it's hard to see where you could go wrong.
If you do happen to drop into Target on Black Friday and want a Blu-ray player, the store is offering the Sony BDP-S370 for $99.99; Sears is also offering that Blu-ray Disc player at the same price. We do expect to see some Blu-ray players even cheaper than that -- maybe by a good margin -- by the time Black Friday arrives. However, unless you really need or want to spend less, we think that this might wind up being the best Blu-ray player deal anyway. Most reviewers have been very impressed with value and performance of the Sony BDP-S370, which is why we named it the best value among Blu-ray players in our full report. And remember, that's at its normal selling price of $140.