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Consumer Electronics and a Happy Holiday

Given the recent news about the economy, one could not be blamed for approaching this holiday season with a very short shopping list. But a recent survey of 1600 households conducted by ABI Research has shown that not all consumers intend to cut back on spending, and some are even thinking of spending more than last year.

"ABI Research is anticipating that that all consumer electronics manufacturers and retailers are right to expect difficult times ahead," says research director Michael Wolf.

"But we also believe that there are certain segments that will fare better than others, including digital TVs and video game software."

While 47 percent of respondents plan to decrease spending during the 2008 end-of-year holidays, a surprising 40 percent expect to spend about the same as usual, and 13 percent -- mostly younger consumers -- actually foresee a spending increase.

Wolf continues, "One surprising result was that 18 percent indicated that they were planning on purchasing an High Definition Television (HDTV) this holiday season, a relatively big-ticket item when compared to the other products we asked about."

This result is likely due to a couple of factors, one being that many consumers are likely gearing up for the digital TV transition in February, 2009. Another perhaps more important factor is that overall HDTV prices have continued to plunge.

One disappointing result for both CE manufacturers and Hollywood has to be the low number of consumers saying they plan on buying a Blu-ray player.

Only 8 percent of those we surveyed have said that they plan to purchase one, this at a time when Blu-ray players can be found for under $200. This indicates that despite all of the marketing being undertaken on behalf of the new video disk format, many consumers still don't see Blu-ray as a must-have technology.

Very strange, when you consider all those new HDTV purchases.

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