Skip to main content

Shaky Economy Helps ‘Shrink’ HD Screens

The American economy seems to be having a negative effect on the sales of larger-screen HD sets, mainly because the larger sets are usually the more expensive. According to industry researcher Pacific Media Associates, the share of sales of smaller screens (mostly 30- to 34-inch LCD) grew nearly 25 percent in February 2008—from about 16 percent in January.

Conversely, the U.S. share of sales for larger HD models (45- to 49-inch) fell to 14 percent from 18 percent in the same January-February time frame, and shares for 40- to 44-inch screens in both the LCD and plasma categories slid to 18 percent in February from 20 percent a month earlier.

According to PMA, based in Menlo Park, Calif., the poor economy is the culprit. In February, it said, the typical 40- to 45-inch set, on average, cost about $1,290, while the average price points for typical 30- to 34-inch models were closely to half that figure, or about $685 (which is slightly more than the typical $600 checks that many fulltime American workers will begin receiving soon from Uncle Sam as a way to help kick-start consumer spending).

Ironically, said PMA, the largest-sized HD sets (50 inches are bigger)have not experienced a noticeable decline in sales in early 2008 (not yet, anyway) because they’ve come down so much in price in recent years that they’re perceived as better bargains by those who can still afford them.