World Cup proving a score for screen sellers

World Cup proving a score for screen sellers

With the opening game of the FIFA World Cup just days away, plasma and LCD screens continue to lead the market for digital home entertainment technology.

According to figures collected by retail research firm, GfK, flat-screen technology is far and away the leader in the market, with MP3 players and media-rich notebooks following but at a distance.

"If it weren't for screen sales the rest of the market would be looking pretty flat," senior account director, Derek Nash, said.

Peripherals business manager for Ingram Micro, Paulo Mpliokas, said personal video recorders combined with flat-screen technology were proving to be hot bundles as punters look for ways around the European timetable. The games will be played late night and early morning Australian time.

"Sporting events are really good drivers for flat screen sale. With the World Cup around the corner there is also a lot of interest in the digital tuners," he said.

Advertising manager at consumer electronics distributor, Castel Electronics, Randall Crocker, has witnessed a similar pattern of sales, although he also said price was a key driver.

"LCD is really taking over from plasma because prices are reducing to a point where they are really competitive," he said. "At this stage, the set-top box without a hard drive is becoming the standard. But a number of vendors are launching personal video recorders and, as the price of these comes down, we will see a lot more of this technology."

However, it would appear this focus on big-screen technology is hurting other product lines, with customers wary of spending more once they've picked up such a costly item.

Nonetheless, marketing manger for digital audio-visual distributor, Qualifi, Ralph Grundl, said there were plenty of sales opportunities for resellers prepared to bundle big screens with high-margin peripherals.

"If the resellers are clever they know the money is in the peripherals, because the big screens are pretty much commodity items." he said. "It would be impossible to survive just on screen sales."

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