January factory sales of digital television products (DTV) grew 36 percent over the same month in 2002, to 196,113 units, according to figures released by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).
At the same time, DTV factory dollar sales rose 16 percent to $304.1 million for the period.
The CEA defines DTV products as integrated sets and monitors displaying active vertical scanning lines of at least 480p and, in the case of integrated sets, receiving and decoding ATSC terrestrial digital transmissions.
"These sales figures tell a compelling story about the rapid growth of this technology and the increasing numbers of consumers who are watching and enjoying digital television every day," said CEA President Gary Shapiro. "Consumers' awareness of increased DTV programming this spring — including the NCAA Basketball Championships, the launch of ESPN HD and the first HDTV broadcast of the Oscars — contributed to the strong January sales. Based on how the year has started, 2003 should be another banner year for DTV."
The CEA released the figures at its HDTV Update meeting in Tampa, Fla. The event was attended by retailers, broadcasters and cable representatives and focused on the transition from analog to digital television broadcasting.
By the close of 2002, nearly 5 million DTV products had been sold, representing an $8.6 billion market investment in the switch to digital. CEA projects total DTV dollar volume since the 1998 launch will pass $15 billion by the end of the year.