LCD and plasma televisions prices fall, sales rise

Cheap TVs entice more buyers

A report released by Canon has shown that the television market is stronger than ever, with sales rising and viewers spending more time in front of the screen each day.

The Canon Consumer Digital Lifestyle Index (CDLI), compiled by GfK, shows that 39 per cent more televisions were bought in the first half of 2010 than in the same period last year. LCD TV sale figures alone have increased by $26 million.

Canon spokesperson Andrew Giles said the TV market was boosted by strong sales promotions from leading retailers and lower prices for advanced models.

“There’s no doubt that there’s a driving factor to [flat screen televisions] due to the conversion to digital TV,” he said. “Vendors have made prices very competitive, and that has definitely spurred the increase of flat screen purchases.”

Australians are also spending more time in front of their TV sets every day, up one hour from last year to an average of 4.5 hours per day in 2010. “If you look at what’s going on around the living room, we are watching an increasing amount of content as a consumer,” Giles said. “We want to compliment our device usage by having more devices and integrating them into our lifestyle.”

The average price for an LCD television has dropped from $2257 in 2005 to only $938 this year, a fall of 26 per cent. Plasma screens are slightly more expensive on average at $1262 — down 29 per cent from last year's $1778 figure.

3D television sales did not feature in the report, and Giles said that it was too soon to tell how far it could go. “It’s currently early days for 3D TV. There was early buzz, an uptake from the markets, but our figures give it hope. It is definitely part of the evolution of the digital lifestyle and it will be the next big thing — we will see with the gaming applications that are coming up. It will be good to see our future reports on this subject.”

Panasonic Australia's director of consumer electronics Paul Reid, was confident about the longevity of 3D television. “Panasonic predicts that in 2011, one out of every two large-screen TVs sold in Australia will be a 3DTV,” he said.

The CDLI report also highlighted the impact IPTV has had on the market, with the percentage of viewers watching video on demand rising from 2.6 per cent to 4.7 per cent in the past six months.

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