PMA: HD RPTV’s Down 6% In Dec.

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Menlo Park, Calif. — Unit sales of rear-projection HDTVs grew 23 percent in December over the prior month, but dropped 6 percent compared to the year-ago period, according to a report released by market research firm Pacific Media Associates (PMA).

According to the firm’s Rear Projection TV (RPTV) Tracking Service, product shortages on big-screen HDTVs in general and a strong performance from new high-performance LCoS models caused HD RPTV revenue in December to increase 24 percent over November 2005 levels.

“The overall average sales price increased slightly due to a small shift toward more expensive models,” said Rosemary Abowd, PMA VP, explaining the change. “Average selling prices for 23 of the top 25 models were flat or down slightly. Increased sales for the more expensive LCoS models helped boost the overall revenues.”

Within the category, models powered by LCoS technology grew to 19 percent of HD RPTV sales, following a strong performance from Sony’s SXRD models. The 50W-inch and 60W-inch models ranked Nos. 2 and 3 on the top sellers’ list, trailing only Sony’s 42W-inch KDF-E42A10 LCD-based RPTV model, PMA said.

Sony’s 50W-inch LCD rear-projection model held fourth place, which gave Sony the top position overall, with 39.8 percent RPTV unit market share and 41.8 percent of the total revenues, according to the PMA report.

Despite the rally, unit sales of RPTV HDTVs for month were down 6 percent compared December 2004 numbers, PMA said.

PMA attributed the shortfall to “tremendous pressure from flat panel televisions” in 2005 at the expense of the rear-projection category.

In December 2005, the $1,750 average street price for a 42W-inch enhanced-definition plasma television was about the same as for rear-projection models of similar size, and the average price for a 42W-inch HD plasma set was about $2,000.

“As a result, rear-projection televisions are having a difficult time competing in this size segment,” PMA said.

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