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Video Sales Were Weak During April

WASHINGTON — Perhaps mirroring the struggling stock market, April video hardware sales-to-dealer levels hit their lowest monthly declines of the year in all categories except DVD players, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.

Analog direct-view color television fell off its two-month growth string, falling below April 2000 tallies 29.6 percent to 1.2 million units, while the four-month total dipped to 6.4 million, 6.3 percent under the first four months of last year. The indicated seasonally adjusted annual color-selling rate in April was a 17.96 million, which was behind the 23.3 million cumulative four-month rate.

TV/VCR sales fell 37.4 percent to 258,730 units in April, as the four-month cumulative levels dropped 9.1 percent below last year at 1.24 million.

Hampered by the success of digital TV products, analog projection TV continued its string of monthly declines, dropping 28.6 percent to 60,382. Sales for the year to date reached 312,262, 19.7 percent off of last year’s four-month performance.

VCR decks backslid 48.6 percent from last year to 931,370 units. Sales for the year-through-April stood at 4.52 million, 29.4 percent off of the 2000 period. The April selling rate was 12.8 million, but the four-month rate was 17.3 million.

Camcorders joined in the slump by falling 13 percent under last year’s period to 406,749. The cumulative total for the year hit 1.6 million, up 1.3 percent above the year-ago period. The indicated selling rate for April was 4.65 million, while the four-month rate was 5.6 million.

The one bright light in the otherwise dim and forgettable month came from the DVD category. April sales reached 631,353 units to dealers, up 54.3 percent over last year. The cumulative hit 2.96 million, up 86.3 percent from last year.