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DTV Sales Portend Blow-Out Year

January and February manufacturer-to-dealer sales of digital television (DTV) products totaled 853,443 units representing dollar sales of more than $1.3 billion, the Consumer Electronics Association(CEA) announced today. Compared to the same period in 2003, the 2004 sales represent a 124 percent unit increase and a 100 percent increase in dollar sales. CEA defines DTV products as integratedsets and monitors displaying active vertical scanning lines of at least 480p and, in the case of integrated sets, receiving and decoding ATSC terrestrial digital transmissions.

“Consumer interest and demand have skyrocketed to the point that we’ve already sold nearly 1 million DTV units in just the first two months of the year,” said CEA Director of Industry Analysis Sean Wargo. “The DTV transition is no longer theoretical – it is a reality. Every day, more and more consumers are embracing digital television.”

February factory-to-dealer sales of DTV products totaled 415,210 units with revenues of some $624.6 million for the month. February unit sales increased 105 percent compared to the same period in 2003, with dollar sales up 75 percent. The cumulative total of DTV products sold since introduction in 1998 is now some 9.73 million.

CEA released these latest figures during NAB 2004, the annual convention of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), where CEA is emphasizing the success of the consumer transition to DTV before the broadcast community. CEA is co-sponsoring the DTV Draft House in partnership with the NAB and the Advanced Television Systems Committee where NAB 2004 attendees can view the latest in digital television products, including a variety of integrated DTV sets. Several CEA executives have appeared as keynoters and speakers throughout the convention, urging broadcasters to embrace DTV and promote it to viewers.