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TV Sales Rise as Couch Replaces Car in Travel Plans

Aug 28, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Add an economy-related cutback in U.S. travel as another reason that high-definition television makers and retailers are celebrating while other industries suffer, according to a report released this week.
Annual global digital TV factory shipments will more than double to 253 million units in 2012 from 118 million units last year, electronics analyst iSuppli said this week. This year’s shipments will jump 18% to almost 140 million units, despite the sales boost of the Beijing Summer Olympics being less than some analysts expected.
“Although many consumers may not understand what high definition really is from a technical perspective, they definitely know that they want it,” iSuppli said in a statement.
In addition to customers using funds earmarked for travel to buy TVs, iSuppli cited falling prices due to declining flat-panel costs, the U.S.’ switchover to all-digital broadcasts in February, an expanding inventory of HD and Blu-ray content and the buzz surrounding HD as additional reasons for the surge in demand for digital TVs.
More of those digital TV owners will be using them to play video games, as first-quarter game-console sales jumped 19% from a year earlier, while shipments will rise about 5% annually through 2012, iSuppli said.
Last week, NPD Group unit DisplaySearch said second-quarter liquid-crystal display and plasma shipments jumped 47% and 52%, respectively, helping total TV shipment growth from a year earlier accelerate to 11% from 1% in the first quarter. About 57% of the TV sets sold in the quarter were flat-panel TVs, with LCDs accounting for almost a third of the TVs sold in developing regions, while closely held Vizio and Matsushita’s Panasonic sold plasma TVs at sizes that weren’t available a year earlier.
“This is music to the ears of consumer electronics vendors, which are eyeing a goldmine of opportunity to push their products to families and those looking to stay at home,” said Sheri Greenspan, senior analyst, consumer electronics, at iSuppli.

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