Thoughts that the relatively soft results for video hardware sales to dealers in January signaled a fading of the industry's decade-long sales boom were dispelled by CEA's release of figures for February.
The report showed new sales records for the month, as well as new annualized selling-rate highs, set by all tracked products except direct-view color, which hit a six-year high.
On the milestone front, February saw the sale of the 500 millionth direct-view color TV (excluding TV/ VCR combos) and the 6 millionth DVD player.
As for direct-view color's February results, sales for the month, at 1.58 million, were up 7.5% from last year. The sales level was the highest for any February since the 1.64 million of 1994 and the third best ever. Two-month sales of 2.94 million were up 3.1%.
Based on traditional selling patterns, sales for both February and the year's first two months were at an annualized selling rate of 23.8 million, also a six-year high, and the second best ever.
Sales of TV/VCRs jumped 19.5% in February to 297,500, for a two-month total of 511,900, up 6.4%. The month's selling rate was an all-time high 5.14 million, which lifted the cumulative running rate to 4.7 million.
Projection TV had sales of 104,700 for the month and a January-February total of 196,900, each up a sharp 26.8%. The indicated annualized selling rate in February was a record 1.78 million, and the two-month rate stood a 1.6 million.
VCR deck sales, which like the Energizer bunny just keep on going, posted a 17.6% February increase to 1.39 million, for a two-month total of 2.51 million, up 7.7%. The month's results produced a selling rate of 24.4 million, and the two-month rate came in at 23.1 million.
Camcorders joined in the sales surge, with a 24.2% February rise to 300,900. Sales for the first two months, at 597,600, were up 27.7%. The indicated selling rate for that period was a steep 6.1 million, which leveraged the two-month rate up to 5.8 million.
Those waiting for the months of triple-plus sales increases for DVD to come to an end still have more time to wait. February sales climbed 266.6% to 401,000, to put the total for the first two months at 711,100, up 228.2%. Using VCR sales patterns as a guide indicates that DVD sales were at a solid 7.1 million annualized rate for both February and the year's first two months.