Joe Paone is director of content for CTPG.

The “Godfather of Home Theater” Sam Runco, founder of Runco International, has received an Emmy Award for Pioneering Development and Deployment of Aspect Ratio Control Technologies and Systems For Letterbox Images within Consumer Devices. Runco was awarded the Emmy during the 64th Annual Technology and Engineering Emmy awards held Jan. 10 at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas during International CES.

Everyone knows that prices—and, more relevantly, margins—for flat panels went circling down the toilet in 2006, but what was the damage specifically? CR got two studied views from the research experts at DisplaySearch, part of the NPD Group. John F. Jacobs, director, notebook PC market research, keeps a close eye on the manufacturing of flat panels; he gives us the “supply side” view of the flat panel equation. Paul Gagnon, director of North America TV market research, keeps tabs on retail and reseller pricing trends; he summarizes the trends you experienced facing consumers last year. Let’s review just what happened in 2006. Where were

Among the blowout flat-panel pricing schemes we can expect to hit the market this Friday is this from HDTV manufacturer Vizio. All are HDTVs: A 20-inch LCD for $399.99 at Costco. A 32-inch LCD for $699.99 at Costco & Sam’s. A 37-inch LCD for $999.99 at Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s Warehouse. A one-day offer of a 42-inch plasma HDTV for $999.99 at Costco. A 42-inch LCD for $1,199.99 at Sam’s, and for $1,299.99 at Costco and BJ’s. A 46-inch LCD for $1,649.99 at Sam’s. And finally, a 50-inch plasma for $1,699.99 at Sam’s and BJ’s. DisplaySearch President Ross Young said Vizio already is

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