back to article TV market stalls as LCD sales slow

World TV shipments slipped last year - for the first time since 2004, said market watcher NPD DisplaySearch - presenting a picture of a business that's stalling. The number of sets shipped during the year totalled some 247.7m units. That represents an overall decline of just a third of a percentage point on 2010's total - only …


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  1. Bonce

    Hardly surprising...

    ...given the economic climate and the fact the demand to replace bulky CRT sets and those without digital tuners has tailed off. Now I've got my 50" plasma I don't intend to replace it until it breaks and I'm sure I'm not alone.

    The manufacturers have been kidding themselves that 3D is the magic bullet to keep sales going but I'm sorry, it's just not for me!

    1. gribbler

      Re: Hardly surprising...

      Exactly. I bought a decent 40" TV about 3 years ago. It does HD and digital and all that malarkey and I don't imagine I'll be buying another TV until I break this one. The only recent innovation seems to be 3D and that isn't going to sell me a new TV until the technology gets MUCH better and MUCH cheaper.

    2. Lee Dowling Silver badge

      Re: Hardly surprising...

      Hell, to be honest, I'm still on a CRT and don't really care (and it's a 4:3 CRT at that!).

      I can see the picture, in enough detail that I can't spot pixels (but I can spot MPEG decompression artifacts from the digital TV box plugged into it!), from my usual sitting place as can three-four people seated comfortably on the sofa. I don't need to manage another computer so I'm quite glad it can't get on the net or plug into an HDMI or whatever.

      I have a remote-control SCART switcher, even, because it only has one SCART slot. Total setup cost? About £30, including the TV which was rescued from the skip. I pay more than that each month for my TV license + cable subscription. Cheapest similar TV would cost about 5-10 times that now. Cable box does all the fancy stuff (digital conversion, go on iPlayer, pay-per-view, etc. which I don't use anyway) and the final screen width - even when watching widescreen - is comparable to a decent widescreen LCD ( I think I measured it once and would have to have something like a 36" widescreen in order to even start competing).

      If I do upgrade, it'll be to a basic model to keep me going on the same kind of lines. I have no need for anything larger, louder, lighter, slimmer, brighter, higher-res, or more fancy. I don't even OWN a piece of HDMI kit unless you include the one next to my laptop's VGA port which I've never used. Obviously, my lack of interest in 3D is what's killing the industry!

      What I have is good enough and does everything I need at the distance I need. I work six-inches from a 1900x1600-res screen all day long and can spot a dead pixel at fifty paces. But the TV... well... it plays motion images in a way that I can't fault or spot a problem with unless it's a ridiculously contrived test. I suspect most people upgraded to LCD just for footprint - hanging the damn thing on the wall, but I don't need that. Past that, what does the average person gain from upgrading or buying a new TV nowadays? Junk that they don't want to have to deal with (HDCP, net-connectivity, etc.).

      One day, yeah, I'll go for LCD when this TV blows up, but to be honest, that's only because there won't be any free CRT's going by then. Considering in its previous life it was a classroom TV in a primary school for 10+ years, I think I have a while to go yet. It's enjoying a relatively quiet retirement compared to its heyday.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hardly surprising...

        Switching to an LCD TV will save you the best part of £40 a year in bills. LCD TVs pay for themselves in a couple of years.

        1. Leo Maxwell

          Re: Hardly surprising...

          Actually, that is incorrect. The energy differential is not that great, and people tend to replace CRT TVs with larger LCD ones, which use more energy, and plasma TVs use much more.


          According to the California Energy Commission, the average CRT uses about 0.23 watts per square inch of the screen. By comparison, the average LCD uses 0.27 watts per square inch, and plasmas, which are the least energy efficient, use 0.36 watts per square inch. This means that a flat-panel TV that is the same screen size as a CRT will use more power. The typical CRT screen is 30 inches, and the unit consumes about 101 watts of electricity, according to the California Energy Commission. By comparison, the average LCD is 36 inches and consumes 144 watts, while the average plasma is 48 inches and consumes 361 watts.

        2. Leo Maxwell

          Re: Hardly surprising...

          Just to clarify, for some reason, CRT monitors use much more power than LCD monitors, but the same does not appear to be tru for TVs.

          I use a monitor hooked up to my home server for watching TV, so I wonder how that works out?

        3. Lee Dowling Silver badge

          Re: Hardly surprising...

          And the survey says.... Uh-uh.

          £40 a year? Take electricity to be 15p per KWh. That's 266.67 KWh. or 30W constantly, all day, every day, for the entire year. There's no way that any TV in my house *consumes* that much power averaged over a year, let alone would save me that much just by replacing it with a newer model (and see the posts above about that - it's NOT true).

          If you're lucky, you'll save a pound or two a year, and the TV would take a couple of hundred years to pay itself off. If you're *really* lucky, your new TV will last you 10 years at best. What makes a much better saving is turning EITHER type of TV off when you're not using it.

          But then, for the saving you suggest, literally 0.1 of a degree less (or 5 minutes fewer) on my heating system would blow it out of the water. Or doing larger loads of washing. Or just not using a tumble dryer at all. BY ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE.

          This is the problem with people who rely on environmental arguments based on consumption like this. You have no idea how LITTLE electricity that is, even though you've overblown your figures enormously. You want to convince me on an economic or envrionmental argument, then target the things that LITERALLY make up 90% of my bill and cost me NOTHING to fix (i.e. turning off my heating five minutes earlier), not energy-saving bulbs, solar panels, smart metering, low-power standby or any of the other crap.

          Hell, descaling my kettle would probably make more savings than your suggestion.

        4. Dan Melluish
          Thumb Down

          Re: Hardly surprising...

          Our old Philips 32" CRT measured 110 watts or so on our energy meter. The Samsung 32" LCD that replaced it.....110 watts. That figure can be reduced a little by switching on the "energy saving" mode (i.e. reduce the backlight brightness) but the picture quality nosedives.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sharp, Sony and Panasonic, all three Japanese, are suffering the after-effects of last-year's earthquake and tsunami. It should come as no surprise, seeing as they represent a good quarter of the market, and probably supply components for the rest of the world, that the market has stalled this year. This was analysed elsewhere on the reg last week.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Surely not, where can you buy one? Do you think this should read LED backlit?

  4. Tom 35

    The rush is over

    Just like the switch from VHS to DVD or record players to CD you get a few years of big sales as people replace the old with the new. There is no way this can keep growing forever.

    Most people have there flat screen TV. Very few are going to buy a new one to get 3D or "smart" or what ever gimmick they add.

    Some people will be buying a bigger/better TV, or a second TV, but there is no way sales can keep growing the way they have.

    I have a TV now, while I might like a better one at some point...

    I have no use for 3D

    My Blu Ray player is "smart" and I never use that anyway, stupid walled garden + youtube.

    They are going to have to come up with something much better if they want everyone to upgrade again.

  5. Oldfogey

    And not just a better screen.....

    They will have to significantly improve one particular aspect to tempt me into the market - the programmes.

    I was staying somewhere with a TV for the last 2 weeks, and hardly switched it on apart from news and weather (and that mainly because the internet was only 2g, so very slow.

    I have a great stack of DVD's to play at home - why would I bother with a TV and all the cost of a licence?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And not just a better screen.....

      You do not need to pay for a TV licence if you are NOT receiving live TV as it is being broadcast. If you are simply using it for watching pre-recorded material (Including time shifted recordings of broadcast material) you do not need a TV Licence.

      Disconnect the aerial (ideally chop it off). Makes sure all channels are 'totally' detuned. Even if you get a snowy picture it is enough to nab you. Ignore all threatening letters about them taking you to court it's all bluster. Ignore TVL CrAPITA employess knocking at the door they have no right to access your home without a warrant (unlikely as they need proof they suspect you have a TV before they can obtain one) and being accompanied by a police officer. You do not have to allow the TVL person in just the police officer if you so wish. Show them printout of TVL terms as per website and show your TV is not connected to an aerial and cannot receive a signal. It is however very rare for them to try and take you to court. They also CANNOT detect you watching TV anyhow without VERY expensive equipment. Nearly all TV detector vans are empty and just a scare tactic. Most TVL enquiries are done on address (You must be watching TV broadcasts right? Everyone has one right? Yeah OK. Not really).

      As for the technology I already have a 50" plasma and it does not do 3D. I don't plan on upgrading it again until OLED is cheap and proven as a technology. 3D only mildly interests me and it needs to be OLED or similar tech at full 1080p res (None of this half res per eye nonsense) so will probably entail use of 4K panels and either no glasses are needed or the cheap a variety are used.

      1. King Jack

        Re: And not just a better screen.....

        You do not need to chop off or even disconnect your aerial. You do not need to de-tune your TV. You do not need to let anyone into your home without a warrant. Owning a TV is not a crime. They will never take you court unless you sign a piece of paper admitting that you use an unlicenced TV. Stop giving out bad advice.

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