Global television sales will reach more than 247 million units, a staggering 17% increase from 2009 and the best growth seen since the start of the flat panel TV transition, according to a recent report from DisplaySearch.

This comes despite weakness in regions like North America reflecting continued caution on the part of some developed market consumers and disappointing sales of just three million 3DTVs.

“North America continues to be a tough market for TV sales, with total TV shipments rising just 0.4% year over year through the first three quarters of 2010,” noted Paul Gagnon, Director of North America TV Research for DisplaySearch. “As unemployment remains high and consumers remain sensitive to price, budget-conscious consumers have been surprised by limited price declines, partially influenced by a much stronger mix of advanced TV technologies introduced this year like LED backlights, 3D, and internet connectivity which offset any price declines,” continued Gagnon.

LCD continues to dominate TV shipments worldwide, accounting for at least half of all TV shipments in all regions except Asia Pacific. Even with the strong demand growth for LCD TVs worldwide, shipments have been lower than manufacturers expected, which has led to significant price declines.

LED backlights have been a key trend for LCD TVs in 2010 and are expected to account for about 20% of the 190 million LCD television expected to be sold in 2010. In 2011, LED-backlit models are expected to account for the majority of LCD TV shipments worldwide as manufacturers continue to transition away from fluorescent backlights.

The research firm also predicts total LCD TV shipments will rise from 190 million in 2010 to 215 million in 2011, although reduced selling prices is expected to lead to the first ever revenue decline in the LCD TV category.

Plasma TV demand continues to be very robust in 2010, thanks to their strong value. Plasma TV shipments are now expected to exceed 18 million units in 2010, a 28% increase from 2009.

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