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LCD TV sales will contribute about one-third of total TV sales in China in 2008 because of surging demand brought on by the Beijing Olympics and post-earthquake reconstruction, industry officials said yesterday.

In 2008, liquid crystal display TV sales in China will jump 70 percent to 13 million units. Total TV sales are expected to reach 38 million units with an annual growth rate of 7-8 percent, according to consulting firm AVC.

"The Olympic event is a direct catalyst for the flat panel display TV in China as people pursue the new-technology TVs to see the big event held in their hometown," said iSuppli, a United States-based IT consulting firm.

For a better viewing performance, many consumers are choosing the Full HD (high-definition) TV, which has an image quality five times higher than DVD. In the second half, Full HD TV sales will surpass 50 percent of flat panel display TV sales for the first time, according to Suning, the country's second biggest electronics chain retailer. In the first six months, the HD portion was 35 to 40 percent.

China broadcasts HD TV signals, which allows users to receive them through antennas or cables.

People can receive CCTV's free HD Olympics Live programs by wireless if they have Full HD TVs and specialized HD set-top-boxes.

Globally, 73 percent of LCD TVs larger than 40-inch will feature Full HD panels by the end of second quarter, compared with 64 percent a quarter ago. Full HD has also started to become popular in 32-inch LCD TV models, said DisplaySearch, a US-based IT consulting firm.

The traditional CRT (cathode ray tube) TVs, available for a comparatively low price, also remain popular in China.

(Shanghai Daily August 13, 2008)

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