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Digital displays, Blu-ray players grow in popularity despite recession, says CEA

While consumer electronics revenue is expected to fall 7.7 percent to $165 billion this year, there are a few notable bright spots, including HD-related technology such as digital displays and Blu-ray DVD players, according to the latest data from the Consumer Electronics Association.

Like other sectors of the economy, consumer electronics sales are suffering this year — albeit not as much as other sectors such as existing homes and automobiles, the association said. Still, the drop in consumer electronics revenue this year is the first since 2001.

Several factors are contributing to the decline, including a drop in consumer spending and price declines. For 2010, CEA is projecting a modest 1 percent growth in consumer electronics revenue.

This year, digital displays will be the top driver of revenue for the consumer electronics industry, accounting for 15 percent of all industry sales. Unit shipments will climb 8 percent this year, according to the forecast.

LCDs continue to be the first choice in digital display technology among consumers, and that popularity will account for a 24 percent rise in unit volume, the association said. However, a decline in retail prices and growing demand for midsized displays will contribute to a 6 percent falloff in TV display revenue to $24 billion this year.

Blu-ray players appear to be positioned for sizable growth in unit shipments, which will climb 112 percent in 2009 to 6 million, CEA forecasts. Despite price declines, total revenue for Blu-ray player sales will exceed $1 billion this year, a jump of 48 percent from last year.

“The CE industry is not impervious to the economic downturn but remains resilient compared to other industries,” said CEA CEO and President Gary Shapiro.