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DVD players high on shopping lists

U.S. consumers are planning to buy plenty of electronic gadgets this holiday season, and DVD players are a popular option for many shoppers.

U.S. consumers are planning to buy plenty of electronic gadgets this holiday season.

Nearly three-quarters of U.S. households said they are likely to buy at least one consumer electronics product as a gift this holiday season, according to a survey the Consumer Electronics Association released Monday.

For the third consecutive year, DVD players topped the list of electronics gear likely to be bought as gifts for the holidays. Thirty-one percent of consumers who responded to the survey said they will probably purchase DVD players, the association said.

The consumer electronics field is becoming more crowded, as many companies that once focused on computers look to enter the growing market. Dell has introduced a digital music player as well as a multifunction LCD (liquid-crystal display) television and computer screen. Gateway has launched several plasma and LCD televisions, digital cameras and a portable music player.

Motorola, which makes mobile phones, is pushing further into the consumer electronics fray. The company recently announced a partnership with Hong Kong-based display manufacturer Proview International Holdings to create products such as LCD and plasma televisions.

According to the Consumer Electronics Association survey, 70 percent of consumers expect to spend the same amount or more this year on gifts during the holiday season, up from 68 percent in 2002. The average consumer will purchase about seven electronics products this holiday season, up from six products in 2002, according to the group.

The increase in consumer purchases will boost total electronics gift sales by 4 percent compared with the 2002 holiday shopping season, despite a slight drop in overall average prices of 5 percent, the association said.

Aside from DVD players, other products on the minds of gift givers include digital cameras, video gaming systems, wireless phones and portable MP3 players.