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More Consumers Plan Plasma Purchases

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, November 17, 2004

More consumers look to high definition for the holidays. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. A survey conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association says 9 percent of shoppers who will be buying CE gifts for the holidays….plan to purchase a plasma TV. That's a big number when you consider that the starting prices for plasma screens are still nearly two thousand dollars. At Panasonic, which has introduced a new Onyx line of high end plasma TVs, Jeffrey Cove tells us sales are being spurred by the availability of more high definition content…

"There's been some chicken and egg with high definition. When there wasn't much content and not many screens, consumers weren't interested. But the amount of programming in high definition has really, really increased especially in networks and satellite and cable and sports and movies. So this is helping to drive the interest in big screen HD television."

Besides price, one of the issues that has held down sales of plasma screens in the past has been screen burn in. Images being burned into screens when they remain static for too long. Cove says that problem has largely been solved…

"Burn in has been substantially improved and almost completely eliminated. And the reason is the lifetime of a new plasma panel is a lot longer than they used to be."

Panasonic faces lots of competition. Among the companies new to the plasma TV business …is the number one PC maker, Dell. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.