Flat-panel plasma and LCD TVs are rapidly taking over as the preferred choice for the global TV buying public.
According to newly released research from analyst IDC, falling prices and growing interest in high-definition television will drive flat-panel TV display shipments to 50 million units in 2007.
"The wow factor cannot be underestimated when it comes to the adoption of flat TVs," said Bob O'Donnell, research director at IDC.
"People want the clearest, sharpest image they can find. Combine that with the right price point and a form factor you can hang on the wall, and people will be banging down the doors to buy."
IDC's special report, Flat TV: IDC's Plasma and LCD TV Market Forecast and Analysis 2002-2007, estimated that flat-panel TVs accounted for just 0.5 per cent of the worldwide TV market in 2000.
But from this low start the market will accelerate to account for almost 30 per cent of the worldwide market by 2007, according to the analyst.
IDC further predicted that PC and monitor vendors will provide a very serious challenge to traditional consumer electronics companies.
The study said that the US will surpass Japan this year as the largest market for LCD TVs, with 42in displays continuing to be the "must have" home technology.
On the minus side IDC warned that the poor quality of standard definition TV signals may inhibit short-term growth of the flat TV market.
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