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Monday March 22, 2010

Demand picks up for HDTV

PETALING JAYA: The introduction of high-definition TV (HDTV) and lower prices of flat-panel sets have resulted in a boom in business for such electrical appliances.

Several electrical shop owners here said they were enjoying brisk sales with more customers wanting to experience “the thrill of HD transmission.”

Checks at several stores yesterday showed many customers enquiring about flat panel TVs, with several making purchases.

Growing trend: Chua of MG Electrical Sdn Bhd showing a LCD TV at his store in Taipan USJ yesterday.

With the football World Cup starting in June, many manufacturers are also cashing in by introducing the latest HD TVs, such as LED TVs, in addition to the LCD units. 3D-ready units will also be available in the local market later this year.

MG Electrical Sdn Bhd supervisor Chua Eng Ka said since the launch of Astro B.yond last December, there had been a 20% to 30% increase in sales of LCD TVs in the store’s 10 Klang Valley outlets.

“This shows that the HD TV trend is fast catching on with customers. The previous slump in sales is over,” he added.

He said a 42-inch LCD TV was now priced at between RM3,000 and RM4,000, compared to over RM10,000 several years ago.

“The price also depends on the brand,” said Chua, whose shop is in Taipan, USJ.

He said people were drawn to HD TV because of its vibrant colours, cinematic surround sound and wider screen.

Philips Malaysia Sdn Bhd senior customer marketing manager Teoh Tze Ping said:

“There is surely a double-digit growth in terms of the sales figure of LCD TVs. The launch of Astro B.yond has certainly been a plus point.”

He said the lowest priced LCD was RM1,699 for a 32-inch unit, with the price going up to RM19,999 for a 56-inch set.

“Most customers are prepared to pay these sums to enjoy crystal clear pictures,” he added.

Bank manager Theresa Koh, 28 who was shopping at the Harvey Norman store at Ikano Power Centre here, grabbed a 42-inch LCD TV.

“I also want to watch the World Cup 2010 as if I was in South Africa,” she quipped.

An Astro All Asia Networks official confirmed that many enquiries were being made about Astro B.yond, with more turning in their old decoders for the new HD unit.

“More channels will be offered in HD in the future,” she added. Presently, Astro is broadcasting five channels in HD.

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