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LCD TV Shipments Forecast To Double In Four Years

The increasing availability of content in the form of Blu-ray DVDs, game consoles, and other devices is spurring sales, analysts with iSuppli suggest.

Shipments of LCD TVs, the most popular selling flat-panel television, are expected to nearly double over the next four years, driven primarily by falling prices and consumer demand, a market research firm said Tuesday.

Worldwide shipments will rise to 193.9 million units by 2012, increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 67% from 100.1 million units this year, iSuppli predicted.

"Consumers no longer want bulky, heavy CRT-TVs that have inferior resolution," iSuppli analyst Riddhi Patel said in a statement. Instead, they're buying slimmer liquid-crystal display sets, which are available for less than $1,000 in the 42-inch size. In the first quarter of 2006, such sets went for $2,000 or more.

Another factor in booming LCD sales is aggressive promotions by leading brands, Patel said. This is attracting consumers who may not be familiar with the technology, but have an interest in high-definition television after reading or hearing about it.

While cheaper, non-high definition LCD TVs are available, shipments of HD sets are expected to grow at a faster rate over the four-year period, reaching 104 million units, or 54% of the market by 2012, iSuppli said. In 2007, these sets accounted for only 14% of shipments.

Spurring sales in HD TV is the increasing availability of content in the form of Blu-ray DVDs, game consoles, and other devices, which are increasing consumer incentive to pay more for the sets that deliver the best viewing experience, iSuppli said.

Europe and North America are expected to continue to be the largest markets, with sales in China also expected to be strong because of interest spurred by the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games.

Among the trends in LCD TVs is the rising use of desktop PC monitor panels for TVs, specifically for smaller sizes of 15, 19, and 22 inches, iSuppli said. In addition, more connectivity options are becoming increasingly available, such as wireless, Ethernet, USB, and SmartMedia.

Shipments of LCD TVs outnumbered conventional CRT sets for the first in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to DisplaySearch. LCD TV shipments increased 56% year over year, to more than 28.5 million units, or 47% of the global television market, compared to 46% for CRT TVs.

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