CEA: Digital TV To Surpass Analog In 2006

By John Laposky On Mar 27 2006 - 8:00am

The digital television revolution is complete.

For the first time since the arrival of the first DTVs in 1998, the majority of TVs shipped to U.S. retailers this year will be digital, according to a study released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

The report, The Changing TV Market, forecasts that 62 percent of TVs shipped to U.S. dealers in 2006 will be digital, while the number of analog models will plunge during the next couple years, leading up to the Feb. 17, 2009, analog cutoff date included in President Bush's 2006 budget package.

Cumulative DTV shipments are expected to hit 48.2 million units this year and grow rapidly to 137 million units by 2009.

The report pegs annual DTV revenues at an estimated $23.3 billion this year, rising to $33.2 billion in 2009.

Digital TV household penetration is far surpassing the rate of growth of other ground-breaking technologies, according to CEA. While it took 10 years for 5 percent of U.S. households to own a color TV after they debuted in 1956, 20 percent of households had a digital TV in 2005, a mere eight years after the technology hit the market.

The number of consumers tuning into digital broadcasts is also rising rapidly. While 38.7 percent of U.S. households will receive TV reception by digital cable, satellite or a digital antenna in 2006, CEA foresees that share at 95.6 percent in 2010.

Breaking down DTV technology by market share, flat-panel models continue to chip away at the installed base of direct-view CRT and projection models. While CRT TVs will maintain a dominant position, with 55.9 percent of total TV shipments in 2006, compared with 34.6 percent for flat-panels, by 2009 flat panels will make up 67.7 percent of shipments.

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