May 24, 2006 10:48 AM PDT

Sales of LCD TVs going like crazy

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Plasma or LCD? Size matters

March 22, 2006
The world is going bonkers for LCD TVs.

Shipments of LCD (liquid crystal display) televisions jumped 135 percent in the first quarter, compared with the same period last year, and allowed LCD TVs to account for 17 percent of all TVs shipped, up from 15 percent three months earlier, according to DisplaySearch.

Revenue from LCD TVs also grew, by 114 percent, and hit $8.8 billion. For the hardware industry, that's a somewhat rare result: Because of price-cutting, large increases in unit shipments typically lead to far more modest increases in revenue shipments.

The growth in revenue can be partly attributed to the fact that LCD TVs are growing in size. The average screen size, as measured by the diagonal length of the screen, grew by 19 percent in the first quarter compared with the same period a year ago. Customers snapped up more TVs in the first quarter measuring 37 inches or longer than they did the year before, DisplaySearch said.

LCD TVs overtook traditional CRT TVs in the market for 30- to 34-inch diagonal TVs for the first time. (CRT TVs, however, remain more popular overall.)

Rankings among vendors didn't change in the quarter. Philips, which sells TVs under its own name and the Magnavox brand, remained the number one LCD TV maker with 13.9 percent of the global market. Philips, however, was only number four in terms of revenue. By contrast, Sony was number four in units but number one in revenue by concentrating on large-screen LCD TVs.

Sharp passed Samsung, meanwhile, for second place in units. Samsung dropped to third.

See more CNET content tagged:
LCD TV, DisplaySearch, LCD, TV, Philips Electronics N.V.

6 comments

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What is better, LCD or Plasma?
If I want a 40"?
Posted by bobby_brady (765 comments )
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Well
It depends on what you want. As with many things there are pros and cons.
Posted by chuchucuhi (233 comments )
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Unfortunately, there's no easy answer to that
It all depends on what you want to do with it.

Over the years, plasma televisions have really stepped up to the plate and improved the overall quality, making them easier to recommend. Before, they were status symbols and little else. Now, though, they're actually a viable force in the market place.

Many of the issues with the early generations of plasma TVs have been addressed. Insanely noisy fans, your TV doubling as a space heater, and low plasma half-life have all been addressed. Though the one issue that is still unresolved is the issue of burn-in. Things like cable news channels, sports channels, or market-watch channels that all have some sort of static, non-dynamic part of the screen (like a ticker background) will, depending on the quality of your television, most likely leave that image permanently or semi-permanently burned into the screen. Along those lines, video games with health bars or targeting reticules as well as TV channel logos are likely to burn-in, which can be frustrating, to say the least.

However, for consistently dynamic viewing experiences, like most movies, plasma technology offers some of the best color clarity and definition around. Higher resolutions with a plasma display don't cost nearly as much as they used to, and the price is always going down.

For things like ESPN, CNBC, and video games, though, I still find it hard to recommend plasma to anyone, mostly because of the burn-in issues. LCD televisions have good clarity and color depth (as compared to greats on some plasmas), but have no risk of burn-in. Your primary enemies when it comes to LCD televisions, then, are response time, dead pixels, and viewing angles.

The best way to judge buying the right television is to balance user reviews with how you actually think it looks. Don't buy if the salesman won't let you play around with the settings and tinker with it in the store, because that's definitely the first thing you are going to do when you get home and a navigable interface these days is almost as important as the set itself.

Bottom line: there's no easy answer to your question. Sorry!

:)

Disclaimer: I do not own either of these television technologies. I'm a dinosaur with a tube. That doesn't stop me from constant window-shopping, though.
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
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