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PriceGrabber: Consumer DTV Intent High

10/07/2008 10:54:00 AM Eastern

Los Angeles — PriceGrabber.com Tuesday released the results of a new study of online shoppers showing strong intent to purchase a flat-panel TV in the next 12 months among those who do not already own an HDTV.

The Consumer Behavior Report, which explored HDTV purchasing trends and fall TV trends, surveyed 1,915 online electronics consumers between Sept. 8-22, 2008. The report also compared the findings with results from a similar survey of 2,186 online consumers conducted in August 2006.

According to the study, the popularity of HDTVs has grown significantly over the past two years, with 57 percent of consumers now saying they own an HDTV, compared with 30 percent a year ago.

Currently, LCD TVs are the preferred HDTV technology by a majority of those surveyed, with 57 percent saying they own one.

Among those online shoppers polled who do not already own an HDTV, nearly 75 percent said they plan to purchase one within the next 12 months.

PriceGrabber said the average price for LCD and plasma HDTVs has dropped 13 percent, and the average price for rear-projection (DLP, LCoS) HDTVs has fallen 27 percent over the last two years. “However, 50 percent of HDTV owners indicate that their primary motivation for purchasing an HDTV was not significant price drops, but rather the improved picture and audio quality derived from switching from standard-definition to HD programming,” PriceGrabber said.

Fifty-six percent of survey respondents admit to watching more than six hours of TV per week, and 30 percent said they tune in for more than 10 hours per week. Sixty-four percent watch all their programs on a traditional television, while only 3 percent stream television programs on their personal computer.

Regarding the Feb. 17 analog TV cutoff, 73 percent of online shoppers said they are prepared, while 14 percent said they plan to purchase a new HDTV that accepts digital signals.

Among the most popular programming, results were mixed: 26 percent of those surveyed said they will watch TV dramas this fall, equaling the percentage of those who said they will watch the presidential election.

The fall TV show that 41 percent of consumers are looking forward to watching this season is “Grey's Anatomy,” followed by “Dancing with the Stars” with 39 percent.