There’s been talk for years about the impending explosion of high-definition TV sets into American households, and speculation of what it would take to set it off. Many predicted the 2005 holiday season would do the trick, while others think it’ll be the upcoming hd broadcast of the Winter Olympics or the 2006 World Cup.
Megan Pollock, spokesperson at the Arlington, US-based Consumer Electronics Association, explains that the company tracks US factory-to-dealer numbers for digital TV sales (mainly high-level DTV versus analog) and says the figures continue to rise. Prices have decreased and selection has increased – consumers have their choice of flat panels, flat screens, and front or rear projection – and Pollock paints a crisp picture of where HD stands in the States:
’2005 was a huge year for digital television,’ she says. ‘Over 2004, our DTV numbers are close to doubling year over year [450,000 units sold in January, 2005; in November, 2005, it was 1.3 million]. This shows consumers are adopting DTV.
‘About 85% of dtv sales are high definition, and that’s a huge percentage. In 2006, we predict that HDTV sets will outsell analog set sales by 89%, so this is really a turning point. We estimate 15.9 million HD sets will be sold factory-to-dealer in 2006.
‘We recently did a survey looking at sports, which has continued to be a big driver because it produces a lot of content in HD, notably ESPN and ABC. One of the top reasons people go high definition is because they want to see the Super Bowl in HD; we usually do see a spike in sales around the Super Bowl.’