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DEG Stats Show Growth in HD

17 Jul, 2007 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Urging the industry to embrace the transition to high-definition discs, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group Tuesday released a series of statistics that show steady growth trends for high-def products, including disc players and game consoles, HDTV sets, broadcast, cable and satellite services, and broadband video.

“As the trade association that represents manufacturers of both hardware and content, the DEG is dedicated to advancing the transition to a world of high definition,” said Steve Nickerson, SVP of worldwide high definition for Warner Home Video and vice chair of the DEG communications committee. “We encourage the industry to take more aggressive action in the marketing and merchandising of high-definition products so that we can help consumers transition to a high-definition experience.”

More than 30 million U.S. households now have at least one HDTV, according to figures compiled by the DEG based on data from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), retailers and manufacturers. An estimated 4.5 million HDTVs were sold in the first half of 2007, 50% more than in the first six months of 2006. CEA projects that 16 million HDTVs will be sold by the end of this year, bringing the U.S. household total to more than 52 million. That could bring the household penetration rate to 36%, with about 20% having more than one set.

The DEG also found that high-definition media devices, including set-top box and game consoles, are now available in some 10,000 North American storefronts. Nearly 2 million units have sold through to consumers, DEG says.

DVD player sales, meanwhile, were flat for the first half of the year, at 14 million players sold. Since the format's launch in the spring of 1997, consumers have bought about 210 million DVD players. About 90 million U.S. households now have at least one DVD player, while the DEG estimates that 57% have more than one player.

On the software side, more than 711 DVDs shipped to retail and rental in the first half of the year, according to figures compiled by Swicker & Associates on behalf of the DEG. Shipments were down 4% from the same period last year, DEG says, although The DVD Release Report pegs the shortfall at a more dramatic 16.7%. Since launch, nearly 8 billion DVDs have shipped.

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