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March Video Sales Rise In Most Categories

ARLINGTON, VA. — March sales-to-dealer increases in DVD players, camcorders, TV/VCRs and direct-view color television sets helped offset declines in the VCR and analog projection television categories, resulting in respectable video sales for the month and the first quarter, according to Consumer Electronics Association figures.

Sales of analog direct-view color TVs rose for the second consecutive month, coming in at 2.3 million, up 4.5 percent from the same month last year. The first-quarter total of 5.2 million was up 1.4 percent.

Based on traditional selling patterns, March color TV sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 27.2 million, well above the year-to-date rate of 25.1 million.

TV/VCR sales rebounded from a decline in February to post 478,576 unit sales to dealers, up 6.3 percent from the year-ago period. That lifted the first quarter total to 991,233 units, up 3.1 percent from first quarter 2000. The month’s indicated annual selling rate was 5.95 million, well more than the 5.24 million rate for the entire first quarter.

Analog projection TV sales, for the first month, declined 1.3 percent from last March to 111,309 units, likely further evidence that digital projection TV sales will continue to grow. Sales for the first quarter hit 251,880 units, off 17.2 percent from the first quarter 2000. But like other TV products, the March selling rate of 1.4 million was well above the quarter’s average, which came in at 1.19 million.

VCR sales continued to slide for the third consecutive month to 1.66 million, off 19.9 percent from March 2000. Sales for the quarter were 3.59 million, off a whopping 21.8 percent from the first quarter last year. The indicated VCR selling rate for March was 20.9 million, which bettered the first-quarter average rate of 19 million.

Camcorder sales were up for the second straight month at 24.6 percent to 654,463 units. That was enough to lift the category’s first quarter sales to 1.2 million units, up 7.2 percent from the first quarter 2000. The indicated March selling rate was 6.98 million, topping the 6 million rate recorded for the first quarter as a whole.

DVD players continued to surge in March, coming in at 1.2 million units, up 192.7 percent from the period last year. The first-quarter sales total of 2.3 million was up 97.3 percent.