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Downward Spiral of VHS Shows Up in CEA Numbers

18 Aug, 2003 By: Stephanie Prange

While many in the industry anecdotally say VHS is on its way out, it's interesting to see quantitative evidence.

Recently released numbers from the Consumer Electronics Association show a 78.4 percent drop in VCR deck sales to dealers for the four weeks ending July 25 compared to the same four weeks last year. July 2003 VCR deck sales to dealers tallied a mere 295,972 (versus 1.36 million last year) while July 2003 DVD player sales were nearly 1 million.

Even more telling about the shift to DVD is the growth in TV/DVD combo units. These are not the units new DVD adopters would typically purchase. Your first DVD player purchase is typically a player-only device you can attach to the TV with the best picture in the house. TV/DVD units, I would surmise, are usually the second or third DVD player purchase for a household – something to put in the kids' rooms or for older kids to take to the dorm at college.

Year-to-date, sales of TV/DVD combo units are up a whopping 233.4 percent. Looks like lots of households are buying their second and third players.

While many say the VCR will hang around for a while, I'm beginning to wonder. It didn't take long for me to jettison my turntable when CDs came around. As my VCRs begin to break, I find it hard to justify fixing or replacing them. We used to have two, but now we're down to one. The only family members that even watch videocassettes anymore are the kids, and if I had to choose between a TV/DVD combo for the kids and a new VCR, I'd probably choose the combo unit. Looking at the numbers, lots of other families are doing just that.

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