Vizio is proud that its low prices helped it grab the top spot

Along with computer companies, one of the other products facing hard times in the current economy is large-screen TVs. When consumers have less money to spend, they don’t go shopping for luxury items like HDTVs.

Engadget reports that budget LCD TV maker Vizio has announced that it was the top LCD TV firm in American for Q1 2009. Vizio isn’t ashamed to tout the fact that put it in the top spot is that its sets are cheap. The company was able to grow its portion of the LCD TV segment in the U.S. to 21.6%, up from the 13.8% that it held in Q4 2008 reports iSuppli. Samsung lost the top spot to Vizio due to the aggressive price points Vizio offered.

ISuppli analyst Riddhi Patel said, "Due to its aggressive pricing, Vizio for some time has maintained its position as North America's top-selling LCD-TV value brand. However, since the onset of the economic downturn, Vizio's share has risen dramatically. With budgets becoming increasingly tight, consumers are finding the company's inexpensive sets more alluring."

During Q1 2009, the average selling price for a Vizio 60Hz 42-inch 1080p LCD HDTV was $850. By comparison, a similar Samsung or Sony 40-inch LCD HDTV was around $1,000 to $1,090. Stepping up the 120Hz variety of HDTVs, Vizio products in the 40 to 42-inch range were selling for an average of $400 less than similar offerings from Sony and Samsung.

Vizio was able to gain ground back that it lost in Q4 2008 to Samsung and Sony by adding in new features to its products like 120Hz refresh rates while still keeping the low price points. Overall shipments of LCD TVs in America for Q1 2009 were 6.3 million units. That number was down from the 8.1 million units shipped in Q4 2008. Vizio posted the largest market share increase among the top five LCD TV brands in America.

In February Vizio sought assistance from the FCC against what it called excessive licensing fee demands from Funai.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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Vizio Seeks FCC Help Against Funai
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