Strong LCD TV sales in the April to June time frame in key markets such as China and North America have led research firm DisplaySearch to increase its estimates for sales of LCD televisions in 2009.

The research firm is now forecasting global sales of 130 million units, up from 127 million earlier. If the forecasts prove accurate, it would mean annual LCD TV sales will increase by 24% in 2009.

While LCD sales are expected to climb, DisplaySearch's forecast for TV shipments of all display technologies in 2009 has been reduced. The firm is now predicting that 195 million televisions will be sold in 2009 down 5% from 2008.

The reason for the overall decline is that global sales of traditional CRT TVs is declining faster than previously expected and even the rapid growth in flat panel TVs is not strong enough to fully compensate.

“The transition from CRT-based TVs to flat panel TVs is largely complete in developed regions worldwide, like North America, Western Europe and Japan,” noted Hisakazu Torii, Vice President of TV Research at DisplaySearch. “Now the transition to flat is accelerating in emerging markets like China, and we are seeing sales of CRT TVs fall faster than flat panel TVs can grow, mostly due to supply constraints in LCD TV.”

Perhaps because of the global recession, researchers have found that buyers appear to be trimming their budgets and setting their sights a little lower in terms of size and price. The firm reports that the majority of the increased shipment forecast for LCD TVs in 2009 is in smaller sizes, below 40”. As a result, the average LCD TV screen size will be nearly unchanged in 2009 compared with 2008, after 4% growth last year. In addition, because of lower average selling prices, global LCD revenues are actually expected to decline 3% this year.

In North America, DisplaySearch is predicting LCD TV shipment sales of 34 million units.  with all of the increased volume coming from smaller than 40” screen sizes.