Holiday HDTV sales to soar

The popularity of HDTV will be strong as the holiday buying season hits its full stride, according to Pacific Media Associates.

The group estimates that more than 3.2 million flat-panel HDTVs will be sold to U.S. consumers in the fourth quarter of 2006, which is more than twice the number sold in the fourth quarter of 2005.

Lower prices will make it possible for many consumers to choose to upgrade to an HDTV, and in many cases buy a larger model than they originally intended. With Wal-Mart and Target already offering low prices on products from major brands, early indications show that many other retailers will be providing attractive HDTV deals this season, according to Pacific Media Associates.

Combined flat-panel and rear-projection HDTV consumer sales in the United States will account for an 80 percent increase in unit sales for 2006 over 2005, said Rosemary Abowd, vice president of Pacific Media Associates.

The pace will slow somewhat in 2007, with units growing by only 19 percent, or about 2.3 million more units than 2006, she said.

Average street prices for HDTVs, however, are falling. Pacific Media Associates forecasts that declining prices will result in 2006 revenues that are only 42 percent higher than 2005. Next year, revenue will be flat despite growth in unit sales, Abowd said.

For more information, visit