U.S. DTV sales decline slightly in 2010; consumers round out HDTV systems with audio, CEA says

DTV displays in U.S. households have proliferated with more than 70 percent now equipped with DTVs, a level of penetration that contributed to the first decline in annual sales, according to new research from the Consumer Electronics Association.

Part of the CEA findings presented in “U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecast 2006-2011,” the figure is a sign of the maturation and saturation of the DTV market. Overall, DTV display sales dropped 1 percent in 2010, the CEA report says. 3-D TV sales saw a 91 percent increase in 2010, with totals reaching 1.1 million units in 2010. This year, the association forecasts 3-D TV unit sales to grow 67 percent to 1.9 million units.

Helping to propel 3-D TV sales this year will be a steady growth in the availability of content, ranging from video games and Blu-ray movies to TV events, particularly sports, the CEA forecasts.

With HDTV displays establishing a solid presence in U.S. households, consumers are turning their attention to audio. Last year, home audio unit shipments grew 27 percent, the CEA reports, something Steve Koenig, CEA director of industry analysis, says indicates that consumers are spending money “and beginning to focus on a complete in-home HD experience.”

Overall, in-home technologies are up 5.8 percent as consumers continue to integrate their existing HD displays with other HD sources, such as surround sound, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes, the association says.

“Intense price competition continues to provide consumers with great deals on displays but are cutting into industry revenues,” Koenig said.

In the aggregate, revenue from the sale of all consumer electronics will surpass $186 billion, according to the trade association.