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Half Of U.S. Households Have Digital TVs, Trade Group Says

HDTVs are expected to account for 79% of DTV shipments in the United States next year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.

One out of every two U.S. households has a digital television as the nation moves closer to switching to all-digital broadcasting, a trade group said Friday.

U.S. manufacturers are projected to take in more than $25 billion in DTV sales this year, an 11% increase from 2006, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. In 2008, the group is forecasting a 17% increase in unit sales and 13% growth in revenues.

According to the CEA, half of all U.S. households have a DTV, an important milestone as the nation moves away from analog systems. By federal mandate, broadcasters will have to distribute all content digitally in 2009.

Growing in adoption along with DTVs are high-definition televisions, which have a resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels for a clearer, better-defined image. HDTVs are expected to account for 79% of DTV shipments in the United States next year, according to the CEA.

The Federal Communications Commission has ordered all U.S. TV broadcasts to be exclusively digital as of Feb. 17, 2009. The deadline became law early last year. Starting in March 2007, all new TV sets that could receive over-the-air signals were required to include digital or HDTV tuners.

Despite reports of some consumer unhappiness with HDTVs, sales of LCD TVs, the most popular high-definition sets, are growing at an impressive rate. Shipments worldwide are expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 32%, from 41.4 million units in 2006 to 165.3 million units in 2011, according to iSuppli.

Global revenue is expected to reach $116.2 billion in 2011, increasing at a 19.4% compound annual growth rate from $47.8 billion in 2006, iSuppli said.

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