According to Korea's Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy, exports of digital TVs have increased by 90 per cent over the last year, with digital TVs emerging as one of the country's major exports. Exports of digital TVs, including plasma display panel (PDP), CRT, and LCD projectors, grew by 91 per cent year-on-year, recording sales of US$368 million (€310 million) to the end of last month. Korean digital TVs, including those made overseas, accounted for an estimated 40 per cent of the total world digital TV market last year
Individually, projection TV and PDP TV exports grew by a massive 124 per cent, taking revenues of US$147 million (€124 million) and US$112 million (€94.5 million) respectively. LCD TV revenues reached US$82 million (€69 million), an increase of 32 per cent, whilst CRT sales topped US$27 million (€23 million) with an increase of 59 per cent.
At the same time, however, analogue TV exports decreased by over 17 per cent, recording US$180 million (€152 million). The Ministry said the surge in exports of digital TVs is due to favourable economic conditions in advanced countries such as the US, and improved competitiveness of Korean goods in countries such as Japan. It added, "If this trend continues, exports of digital TV will exceed US$2 billion (€1.7 billion) this year for the first time in history."
The surge in demand for digital televisions forecast for next year is expected to lead to electronic firms cutting prices by as much as half.
Meanwhile, Korea's largest electronics manufacturer, Samsung Electronics, has announced that it has won two patent rights for digital TV technologies from the TV-Anytime Forum, which effectively search for program information on broadcasting networks, which then transmit that data after encrypting. Samsung is expected to exercise voting rights in TV-Anytime Forum decisions on royalties or information sharing on the technologies in addition to having more royalty revenues.
Toby Marshall | 11.05.2004