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Digital TV Shipments to North America Up Amid Economic Downturn
Apr 10, 2003
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Despite the economic downturn at home and abroad, shipments of digital television sets to North America are increasing rapidly, major electronics companies reported on Thursday. Thanks to the expansion of the North American market, exports skyrocketed 200-400 percent in the first 3 months of this year from a year earlier, according to Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, and Daewoo Electronics. The sharp increase was attributed to viewers' desire to watch the war in Iraq on large and high-quality digital TVs and the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's decision last year to obligate the installment of turners for digital TV reception. Samsung Electronics said it shipped 30,000 digital TV sets to the U.S. in the first quarter, overtaking Sony and Sharp. It was a 400-percent increase from last year's 6,000 over the same period. Samsung Electronics officials said its plant in Tijuana, Mexico is running at full capacity to meet the increasing demand for plasma display panel (PDP) TVs, liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs, and cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs. "We expect that the worldwide digital TV market will grow to U.S. $75 billion, the equivalent of 30 million TV sets, over the next 5 years. This will be a new growth engine for not only Samsung but also other TV makers," an official said. LG Electronics said its PDP TV plants are running at full capacity around the clock to meet the deadline for delivery to the North American market, whose demand has doubled this year. Compared with the first quarter of last year, Daewoo Electronics said its shipments of projection TVs jumped 300 percent, while those of CRT TVs and PDP TVs increased 150 percent and 200 percent, respectively. In anticipation of an expanded market, Daewoo Electronics is planning to move up the debut date for its 37-inch and 61-inch screen PDP TVs in North America, according to company officials. South Korea's yearly exports of digital TVs rose 327.5 percent to 813,000 units in 2002, and in terms of dollar value, increased 263.2 percent to $970 million. Exports of digital TVs are said to have jumped last year because of their high quality and price competitiveness, coupled with a rise in demand in the U.S. and other advanced countries. (Asia Pulse, Yonhap)

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