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Half of Consumers Plan to Purchase Flat-Panel TVs
May 2, 2006
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While only 17 percent of consumers currently own a flat-panel display (FPD), 49 percent say their next TV purchase will be some type of flat-panel technology, according to research from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

CEA's study, Display Opportunities: Present and Future, presents both opportunities and challenges for the consumer electronics industry as consumers upgrade from traditional tube sets to FPDs.

"The current TV market is in the midst of a massive upgrade cycle. Flat-panel shipments now comprise 36 percent of total revenues and growth is assured with FPD reaching 63 percent of revenues by 2009 -- despite and because of continual price declines in this category," said CEA Director of Industry Analysis Sean Wargo.

CEA estimates a total of U.S. $22 billion worth of TVs will ship to U.S. dealers in 2006, with shipments rising to nearly $30 billion by the close of the decade making it the single largest consumer electronics category. On average, current owners paid $783 for the primary TV in their home, but plan to spend $966 on their next set.

The study found that about half of consumers are familiar with the term 'flat panel TV', but plasma is the most recognized flat-panel technology. Additionally, many consumers were unsure what technology they currently own and the differences between the newer available technologies.

"It is likely many consumers use 'plasma' to describe the broader flat-panel category and for other consumers perhaps flat is just flat regardless of the technology type," Wargo continued. "Confusion about TV terminology isn't unique to flat-panel displays. LCD familiarity isn't far behind plasma, though, which is a testament to the growth this category has realized over the past year. In fact, LCD is the most owned type of FPD at 53 percent."

CEA also surveyed consumers about their desired activities using household TVs and found potential markets for up and coming technologies. While the traditional activities of watching movies and TV ranked the highest at 91 percent and 88 percent respectively, watching digital video recorder (DVR) content (54 percent) and viewing PC video (47 percent) followed next. Another 44 percent want to view digital photos on their TV and 29 percent want to listen to PC audio from the household TV.

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