Plasma TV Sales Up 95 Pct in Second Quarter

Market analysis outfit DisplaySearch, part of the NPD Group market research company, reports that global shipments for plasma televisions rose 95 percent during the second quarter of 2006 to 2.2 million units, with Panasonic retaining its position as the dominant brand.

Viewed quarter-to-quarter, the number of plasma systems moved rose a mere 30 percent (gulp!), but considered year-to-year, second quarter shipments mark a 95 percent rise. Shipments in North America overtook Europe for the first time on unit basis, with the American market showing a strong demand for screens with lots of real estate: North America dominated the market for 50-inch plasma TVs, accounting for 63 percent of all 50-inch systems sold worldwide during the second quarter. Sales of 50-inch plasma televisions also overtook sales of 50- to 54-inch rear-projection televisions for the first time in North America.

By size, however, the 42- to 43-inch category of plasma systems remained the top sellers worldwide, accounting for 73 percent of all systems sold, although the category’s share is being eroded on both ends by both 50-inch-plus systems and smaller 37-inch screens. However, HD compatibility is in: 42-inch HD displays overtook 42-inch D displays in sales for the first time, as consumers gear up for high-definition; prices for HD-capable systems also fell at twice the rate of ED systems.

According to DisplaySearch, Matsushit’as Panasonic brand remains the leading brand in plasma TVs for the eighth consecutive quarter, jumping to a 28 percent share of the worldwide market—a growth rate of over 70 percent. Rounding out the top five plasma TV manufacturers: LGE, Samsung, Philips/Magnavox, and Hitachi.

Earlier this week, DisplaySearch found that LCD TV sales grew by 135 percent in the second quarter to 9.4 million units, accounting for some 22 percent of the global television market.

Product Review

What do you do with 187 megapixels? The Lumix S1R is glorious overkill

The Lumix S1R is one of the most capable cameras ever made, from its robust build to extensive feature set. But its key feature, a 187MP high resolution mode, is something few customers will have use for.
Home Theater

March Madness deal alert: Get a 43-inch LG 4K HDR TV for just $270

March is a great time to find a deal on a new TV, and this one is worth every penny: Walmart is selling LG's 43-inch 43UK6300PUE, a very capable 4K HDR Smart TV, for almost 50 percent off the regular price, at $270.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Google Home Hub and Lenovo smart displays

Walmart slashed the prices of Google Home smart displays for two highly regarded Lenovo models and the original Google Home Hub. We can't think of a better way to improve your smart home setup and these deals can help you save up to $100.
Deals

Building a 4K home theater? Grab a discounted Denon A/V receiver from Amazon

Denon makes some of the best 4K A/V receivers on the market, and a handful of Denon’s latest models are on sale on Amazon now. If you’ve been thinking about building a home theater and are looking for a 4K receiver that doesn’t cost…
Home Theater

TCL drops the price of its 75-inch 6-Series 4K Roku TV to $1,500

March is a great time for TV deals, and we've got a whopper: TCL has taken $300 off the price of its superb 75-inch 6-Series 4K HDR Roku TV, making it $1,500. That's the lowest price ever on this affordable TV.
Movies & TV

Comcast launches Xfinity Flex, a $5-a-month service aimed at cord cutters

For $5 a month, Xfinity Flex gives existing Xfinity internet subscribers a 4K- and HDR-ready set-top box that can stream video from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, as well as free TV from apps like Cheddar and ESPN3.
Home Theater

Here’s how to watch Apple’s March 25 product reveal event live

It's almost here: Apple's much anticipated March 25 event, where it is widely expected to announce several streaming services, including on-demand and live TV with original programming. Here's how to watch it live.
Movies & TV

HBO’s Deadwood movie rustles up a trailer and a release date

This spring, HBO's long-awaited Deadwood movie will explore what happened 10 years after the events of HBO's award-winning drama, giving the series a finale 13 years after the show was canceled.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is set for March 25: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.
Home Theater

Kanopy privacy breach reveals which movies members have been streaming

Free video streaming site, Kanopy, has been inadvertently publishing millions of lines of web log data for days, according to a new security report. A bad actor could guess a person's identity and see what they've been watching.
Home Theater

How to connect your Roku device to your hotel room’s TV

Staying at a hotel, but can't bear to be parted from your favorite streaming shows and movies? Take them with you with our complete guide to using your Roku on the road when staying at a hotel.
Home Theater

Hulu vs. Amazon Prime Video: Which streaming service is best for you?

It's hard to dispute Netflix's leadership in on-demand streaming video, it's not alone. Two great alternatives are Amazon Prime Video and Hulu; each with its strengths and weaknesses. Which one is better? We pick the winner.
Product Review

Audio-Technica's M50xBT headphones bring signature studio sound to the streets

Audio pros may balk at cutting the cord on studio headphones, but it’s hard to argue with these results. Audio-Technica’s wireless ATH-M50xBT offer massive battery life and killer sound you can take anywhere.
News

Apple’s Beats to reportedly release truly wireless PowerBeats earphones in April

Beats will reportedly release a truly wireless PowerBeats earphones next month, following the announcement of Apple's new AirPods. The second-generation AirPods received the new H1 chip, which is also expected to power the new PowerBeats.