Digital TVs are the summer’s hottest product

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Digital TVs are the summer’s hottest product

A range of factors, from governmental promotion of digital television broadcasting to the upcoming Olympics, is heating digital TV sales. Industry analysts said yesterday that the government’s choice of a national standard for digital television services here in early July and active marketing of low-cost television models were two of the main factors that triggered the sales surge. Samsung Electronics said that high-definition flat screens sales were up about 145 percent in July, compared to June. Smaller and comparatively inexpensive 32-inch and 28-inch models were more popular. Sales of plasma display panels increased 40 percent ― mostly 42-inch and 50-inch television sets ― and projection television sales went up 30 percent. Liquid crystal display sales increased 10 percent, mainly in 32-inch models. The company said it expects sales of digital television sets to rise at least 30 percent in the second half compared to the first. LG Electronics’ digital television set sales have risen 20 to 30 percent since the beginning of July. The company said that telephone inquiries have doubled, as have the number of consumers that visit the stores. At Daewoo Electronics, sales went up more than 150 percent in July, compared to the previous month, for 29-inch and 32-inch models. The company had problems keeping enough TVs in stock. It said its 32-inch digital TV has separate speaker home theater functions, yet the price was set at 1.4 million won, about half that of similar models. Sales of this particular model increased 250 percent. The company expects sales to triple in the second half compared to the first half. Domestic digital television makers offer a wide price range, but are especially trying to market affordable models for average households because of the Ministry of Information and Communication’s campaign to promote digital broadcasting. Flat-screen televisions start from about 600,000 won ($518); at the high end, 50-inch plasma display panels are about 7 million won. The electronics companies are also offering discounts tied to the Olympics. Samsung will give 300,000 won to all buyers of their PAVV model if marathon runner Lee Bong-ju wins a medal. LG has slashed its prices recently: 42-inch liquid crystal displays, originally12 million won, are now 9.9 million won. Finally, there is the weather. “The heat is contributing to digital television sales,” said a salesperson at a consumer electronics shop. “All the promotions and the talk in the media has put digital TVs in people’s minds. They come to the store to buy an air conditioner, but then go home with a TV set instead.” by Wohn Dong-hee

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