HDTV Sales Up, Prices Down

January 10, 2006 – Posted at 4:28 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- According to the Consumer Electronics Association, 2006 will be the year that sales of high definition televisions surpass sales of analog sets. As technology advances into the mainstream, television sets are getting larger and prices are dropping.

"It's more like looking through a window now, rather than looking through a picture, so your quality is going to be right up off the scale," said Gary Metz of Metz TV and Appliances.

What was once the future has become part of the present. Metz TV and Appliances in Jonesboro only sells the HDTV sets.

"For the past two years our sales have just really gone up from about 50% to 90 to 100%, all going in that direction," said Metz , "We still service a lot of the older sets, and that's one of the first things I tell them, you're getting this TV fixed, and it's not high definition. So you might not want to think about getting one fixed right now."

And if you are thinking about buying a new set...HDTV may be the only way to go. In 2009, the government will turn off the analog signal sent to televisions.

"A lot of people don't like it because the government is turning their signal off. They are going to have to buy a more expensive TV at sometime. But the prices of the TV's are dropping drastically. We've seen over a year's time, a thousand dollars of a price of a TV drop," said Metz.

And as prices continue to drop, consumers will endure the waiting game. KAIT transmits a digital signal, which is in high definition during prime time. During our local newscasts and our 24-7 weather we transmit a converted standard definition signal.

As of May 1999, the FCC requires the top TV networks to broadcast a digital signal in the 10 biggest markets, which represent 30 percent of TV households in the U.S. The networks plan to phase out analog TV broadcasts entirely by the end of this year.