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Digital Video Sales Gain Ground In Feb.

ALEXANDRIA, VA. -Video sales-to-dealer numbers continued to show erosion in analog categories, as digital alternatives in DVD and DTV continued to grain ground, according to the Consumer Electronics Association’s release of figures for February.

As for analog direct-view color TVs, February sales of 1.58 million units were virtually flat (up 0.2 percent) with the same period last year, when sales-to-dealer numbers hit their highest level for any February since the 1.64 million sold in 1994.

However, due to weaker sales in January, the two-month sales level of 2.91 million was 0.8 percent below the 2.94 million sold in the first eight weeks of 2000.

Based on traditional selling patterns, sales for February were at an annualized selling rate of 23.9 million, with the rate for the first two months at 23.6 million.

Sales of TV/VCRs, at 293,066 for February, were 1.5 percent under the year-ago period for a two-month total that was up slightly over last year at 512,667 units. The month’s selling rate hit 4.95 million, while the cumulative running rate reached 4.7 million, virtually equal to last year’s cumulative rate after eight weeks.

Analog projection TV sales continued to suffer at the success of digital models (see DTV sales numbers, p. 14). Analog projection sets sold 71,243 units to dealers in February, which was off 30.3 percent from February 2000.

Combined with a weak January, the analog projection category has sold a total of 140,571 units to dealers over the first two months, which was 53.8 percent lower than last year at this time. The indicated annualized selling rate in February was 1.1 million, while the two-month rate dropped 33 percent to 1.06 million from 1.6 million a year ago.

VCR deck sales continued to fall behind 2000 (apparently a peak year), with February sales of 1.16 million units, 15.7 percent down from a year ago. The two-month mark was down 23.5 percent to 1.92 million. The indicated annualized selling rate in February was 20.2 million, and the two-month rate was 17.6 million.

Camcorders rebounded from a tough January, selling 339,722 units to dealers in February, up 12.9 percent. The two-month totals reached 549,810, off 8 percent from the first eight weeks of 2000. The indicated selling rate for the period was a healthy 6.6 million in February, and the two-month rate came in at 5.28 million.

DVD sales-to-dealer levels reached 555,856 units in February, up 38 percent over February 2000. The two-month total came in at 1.12 million units, up 46.3 percent. The annualized selling rate registered just under 29 million units for February and 22.1 million for the first two months.