We Australians love new technology, especially when it comes to home entertainment. In fact, we?re in the top five countries worldwide in terms of uptake of flat screen TVs, which puts us up there with the likes of Japan as an early adopter nation, according to Sony Australia.

One of the big factors driving the flat screen TV market is the increase in high quality content that we have available to us. DVDs and standard definition (SD) digital television have already pushed the quality of CRT televisions to their limits. Furthermore, there?s more and more high definition (HD) digital television available to us now, including popular shows such as Desperate Housewives, Lost, 24, Battlestar Galactica and many more. Assuming the standards battle settles down soon, we should also be getting high definition DVDs arriving here in the next few years, and these simply won?t play on our old low resolution CRT televisions.

All this has lead to a positive boom in the flat screen TV market, especially over the last year. According to research firm GfK, over 155,000 plasma televisions were sold in the last 12 months, which is up by 130 percent from the previous year. LCD TVs have experienced an even greater growth spurt, with 122,000 units sold in the last 12 months compared to around 58,000 the year before, which is a massive 210 percent increase.

The flat screen TV market is also expected to continue to grow at a rapid pace over the next few years, especially for LCD TVs. Research company IDC expects plasma TV shipments to grow by 32.1 percent year on year until 2009, with LCD TV shipments growing by 60.2 percent every year over the same period. IDC also predicts that plasma will still be the most popular technology for the really big screens, with sizes of 50 inch and above growing at over 54 percent year on year to 2009.