01.05.2004 12:00 PM
Heavy sales of DTV sets to consumers suggest rapid transition from analog

Sales figures from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and anecdotal evidence from around the country indicate consumers are embracing DTV with unprecedented purchases of DTV sets.

According to the CEA, heavy holiday sales have boosted total DTV sales for 2003 to 3.5 million sets, up 56 percent from 2002. In terms of dollars, consumers shelled out $5.4 billion for DTV sets last year, an increase of 45 percent from 2002. Since the fourth quarter of 1998, when DTV products became available to consumers, 8.24 million units have been sold, or $14.1 billion in sales, the association said.

Anecdotal evidence, as well, continues to mount that interest in DTV is growing among viewers and that they are ready to buy into the transition. A news report published Dec. 23, 2003, in the Chicago Tribune pointed to heavy sales of plasma, LCD and projection DTV solutions at the Sears, Roebuck and Co. Despite planning for heavy demand, the article said, the Sears store in Hoffman Estates, Ill., had sold out of some brands.

Similarly, The New York Times reported in its Dec. 24, 2003, issue that many consumers have sought out DLP- and LCD-based “microprojection sets” (rear-projection sets that are considerably thinner than CRT-based models) making them the “surprise hit” of the holiday buying season.

According to the CEA, November was the biggest month for DTV in terms of dollars, reaching $812 million in sales, a 47 percent increase from November 2002. Unit sales for the month totaled 505,223, a gain of 54 percent compared to the same period in 2002. (Figures for December were unavailable as of press time.)

According to CEA Market Research, 4.3 million DTV units were sold in 2003 and 5.8 million will be sold in 2004. In 2005, DTV unit sales will reach 8.3 million, in 2006 11.9 million and in 2007 16.2 million. For the purpose of this projection, the association defines a DTV product as an integrated set and monitor displaying active vertical scanning lines of at least 480p, and in the case of integrated sets, receiving and decoding ATSC terrestrial digital transmissions.

For more information, please visit: www.ce.org/press_room/press_release_detail.asp?id=10375.

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