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A bonanza in TV sales fades away

By now, most Americans have taken the leap and tossed out their old boxy televisions in favour of sleek flat-panel displays. Now manufacturers want to convince those people that their once-futuristic flat sets are already obsolete.

business Updated: Jan 06, 2011 22:40 IST

By now, most Americans have taken the leap and tossed out their old boxy televisions in favour of sleek flat-panel displays. Now manufacturers want to convince those people that their once-futuristic flat sets are already obsolete.

After a period of strong growth, sales of televisions are slowing. To counter this, TV makers are trying to persuade consumers to buy new sets by promoting new technologies.

At this week's Consumer Electronics Show, which opened on Thursday, every TV maker will be crowing about things like 3-D and Internet connections - features that have not generated much excitement so far.

Unit sales of liquid-crystal and plasma displays were up 2.9% in 2010 from the previous year. That is tiny compared with the gains of more than 20% in each of the prior three years.

"Those were the golden years," said Paul Gagnon, director, North American TV research at DisplaySearch, said.