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HDTV sales continue to rack up, even in a sluggish economy

Even though many consumer markets have struggled the past few months, market research indicates the high-definition TV market continues to thrive, with Q1 sales numbers increasing 17 percent up to 7.8 million units sold.

"Amid the current economic downturn, a new wave of cocooning has hit, with recession-wary U.S. consumers eschewing travel, staying home and watching their televisions,” said Joe Abelson, iSuppli VP of displays.  “However, they still are finding enough money to buy new flat-panel sets that offer superior pictures and larger sizes.”

Many consumers are targeting cheaper TVs made by value brands, with HDTV adoption rates expected to continue to increase.  Around 70 percent of all TV purchases were valued at $1,000 or less, a seven percent increase from the same time in 2008.    

"Despite the current economic climate, HD is on course to becoming the benchmark in television viewing," Nielsen researchers said.  "As prices of HDTVs continue to fall and circumstances such as the Digital Television Transition create opportunities to further promote HD sets and services, HDTV will gain a greater foothold in U.S. television homes."

Research published at the end of last year by Nielsen indicated HDTV penetration was the highest in Washington D.C., Boston and New York City, with sporting events from the NFL and NBA still the most popular HDTV programs.  At the end of last year, 23.2 percent -- around 26 million U.S. homes -- had at least one HDTV.

An increasing number of content providers are rolling out HD channels, with at least one channel, HDNet, designed specifically to handle a variety of sports programming and other content available in HD only.

Furthermore, standalone Blu-ray player sales also increased due to falling prices of the players, movies and HDTVs, the NPD Group said in a statement published a few weeks ago.  A living room with a Blu-ray player and HDTV is a combination expected to help get consumers to watch more movies and HD content while avoiding other leisure activities.

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By crystal clear on 5/28/2009 9:42:29 AM , Rating: 1
Electronic Arts has just released "EA Sports Active" for the Nintendo Wii which comes with a resistance band and a leg strap that lets players perform aerobic activities like virtual roller blading, jogging, or lunging.

"With today's economy, people can't always afford gym memberships and personal trainers," said Alison Sweeney, host of NBC's "Biggest Loser" reality TV series.

"EA calls this game a "trainer in a box" and it really is. The game teaches you the right way to work out."

Sega has a new Wii game, "Daisy Fuentes Pilates" hosted by the former MTV personality, Namco Bandai has "Active Life: Extreme Challenge" for Wii, and Nintendo has "Wii Sports Resort."

Activision's "Tony Hawk: Ride" for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 adds physical play to the mix with a motion-sensor skateboard controller that translates gamers' physical moves into virtual tricks.

Exercise games have become an established genre for game publishers.

Konami Digital Entertainment introduced active games to the world with its "Dance Dance Revolution" game, which has sold over 11 million copies its 2001 launch.

Nintendo encouraged physical interaction with its Wii console and games like "Wii Sports" then took virtual exercise to another level last May with the "Wii Fit" which has sold over 14 million units worldwide, introducing gamers to yoga and mini-game workouts.

"Aside from the "Dance Dance Revolution" games, there have only been a handful of fitness games and, until the "Wii Fit" launched, none was particularly successful," said Michael Pachter, videogame analyst, Wedbush Morgan Securities.

He predicted strong sales for "EA Sports Active" and Sega's "Daisy Fuentes' Pilates."

Nintendo's Wii and "Wii Fit" have not only introduced more men to exercise but also paved a new avenue for female gamers.

"I've gotten e-mails from plenty of women who tell me that "Wii Fit" has helped them become more active, and it's clear that these women were not gamers to begin with,"

By A5 on 5/28/2009 10:45:16 AM , Rating: 2
Wrong article dude.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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