By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Consumers spent over $2.8 billion dollars on HD products in 2007, with 83 per cent of that, or $2.34 billion on high definition TVs alone, according to the latest Sony High Definition Benchmark. 

The report, prepared using GfK figures, showed just how much Australian consumers had fallen in love with HD products in the last year, with the figures equating to high definition flat panel sales of more than 1.2 million units.

For Q4 2007 alone, HD product sales rose 68.2 per cent over the same period in 2006. Conversely, non-HD sales dropped by 21.2 per cent over the same period.

High definition LCD televisions rose 39.5 per cent from Q3 to Q4, with 314,688 units, and showed a staggering 140 per cent increase for the quarter, year-on-year.

Christmas 2007 saw LCD television sales jump 40 per cent, year-on-year, while HD move players quadrupled. High definition games consoles, such as the Xbox 360 and PS3, also doubled their sales in the first Christmas of head-on competition.

However, one casualty of the move to integrated HD televisions was the HD set-top box category, which saw unit sales plummet 40 per cent in Q4 compared with the same time last year. Value also dropped 15.9 per cent, compared with the same time in 2006.

The GfK figures also showed what all retailers know – 720p televisions sales revenue was down, with a 12 per cent drop on Q3 2007. However, overall sales value remained higher than for what GfK called ‘1080+’ screens, with $461 million, versus $290 million for 1080+ units.