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Trend Report: HDTV Monitor Sales Still Jumping

Sales of HDTV monitors continue to surge at retail, but HDTV sets and set-top decoder boxes capable of receiving HDTV broadcasts continue to represent a fraction of the television business, according to market research firm, NPD Intelect ASW.

According to the firm’s 12-month-trended rate report on color television sell-through, HDTV monitor unit sales were up 263 percent between August 2000 and August 2001 from the year-ago period. (NPD asked that exact unit sales numbers not be reprinted.) Sales of fully integrated HDTV sets (with tuners) were up 373 percent, while sales of DTV decoder boxes were up just 6.42 percent in the period, with DTV set-top box sales tallying less than 50,000 pieces since August 2000.

In comparison, sales of analog NTSC color televisions between August 2000 and August 2001 were down 5.40 percent (the category’s worst sell-through month so far this year), according to NPD.

Although growth rates are high for sets and monitors, DTVs still represent a tiny fraction of the overall color television business. According to NPD’s product mix report, NTSC/analog televisions continue to account for 96.62 percent of all color TV sales at retail so far this year. That leaves HDTV monitors with 3.29 percent of the business, HDTV sets with .057 percent and EDTVs (480p capable sets) with .03 percent.

The mix has shifted toward digital products somewhat from last year, when analog sets accounted for 98.11 percent of color TV sales, while HDTV monitors accounted for 1.81 percent, HDTV sets accounted for .017 percent and EDTV sets accounted for .06 percent.

Tom Edwards, NPD Intelect analyst, said the small percentage of DTV tuner sales to HDTV monitors indicates that the business continues to be driven by DVD sales. Customers are impressed with improvements in picture quality when viewing DVD video sources.

Color Television Sales Mix