The slowing economy is helping stave off the death of old-fashioned tube TVs. Suddenly cost-conscious American have been buying CRT sets at higher rates than expected, helping to slow the growth in more fashionable and expensive flat-panel screens, according to data from DisplaySearch.
Consumers still prefer the sleek, flat-panels. CRTs and rear-projection sets continue to fall in sales. But tube TVs are getting a bit of a reprieve as budget-minded consumers are looking for a cheap way to navigate February's transition to digital broadcasts, say DisplaySearch analysts.
The CRT data came in a report showing widespread impact on TV sales from plunging consumer spending. Sales of flat-panel TVs continued to grow in the third quarter, but at half the rate of recent times.
A smaller economy also equates to smaller TVs. American are shifting back to less-expensive sets, particularly those smaller than 40 inches across. Sales of those screens have risen the past couple of quarters after having fallen for more than a year.
We're already seeing the impact on prices, with 42-inch screens widely selling for $800 or less. Prices will continue dropping, as WitsView reports that manufacturers cut the cost of large LCD panels by as much as 4 percent in the first two weeks of November alone.