CEA: Huge Growth in Video Sales in February

February's manufacturer-to-dealer shipments of video products were up 22% over the same period last year, according to figures released March 17 by the Consumer Electronics Association. Every segment of the video market showed strong growth, including analog direct-view televisions, which were up by 8%, with 2.9 million units shipped.

DVD player sales continued to explode, with 400,000 units sold in the second month of the year. More than 771,000 DVD players were shipped this year as of the end of February, an increase of 228% over the first two months of 1999. Sales of DVD players may surpass 6.5 million units this year, CEA officials predict.

Despite the increasing popularity of DVD machines, video cassette recorders continue to sell well. Shipped last month were 1.4 million VCRs, an 18% increase over the previous February. Camcorders also did very well, with a 24% improvement over 1999's figure. Year-to-date numbers for camcorders approached 600,000—28% higher than for 1999. Combo TV/VCR units rose 20% from the same period a year ago, and projection TVs were up 27% for both the month and year-to-date.

"February's video sales are fantastic," said CEA president Gary Shapiro. "It is tremendous to see that the growth of new and exciting digital products, such as DVD, is complementing rather than detracting from the sales of traditional analog products. There is a tremendous variety of product available to consumers at every price point, making it a great time to update or upgrade your video system."