A recent study from the University of Maryland found that unhappy people spend more time watching television than happy ones [source: Rabin]. Perhaps those sourpusses would turn their frowns upside down if they got a fancy flat-panel, plasma screen or high-definition set for Christmas. When it comes to holiday presents, televisions are the old faithfuls. Samsung sells the most flat-panel televisions in the United States, and the most popular sizes are 30- and 34-inch (76- and 86-centimeter) models [source: Taub].
So why might you end up waiting in line for a TV? First, the United States switches to a digital television broadcast signal starting in February 2009. That means people with analog TVs must either purchase a digital converter box or buy a whole new digital television. Electronics companies, of course, have their fingers crossed that customers will choose the latter option.
Stores are also offering deep discounts and financing for flat-screen and plasma sets in particular. You can be sure that eager Black Friday shoppers snagged a well-sized television for a merry price. But the deals aren't over yet: Some stores are offering bundled packages as well, such as a TV/Blu-ray player combo.