SAN DIEGO – With forecasts for U.S. TV shipments to be flat over this year, the ever-critical holiday selling season should prove to be another volatile one for TV retailing, according to forecasts from market analyst Gap Intelligence.

“TV shipments in the U.S. are expected to be flat this year, due to the fact that most TV owners have already made the switch to flatpanel HDTVs from the older and bulkier rear-projection TVs of the past,” noted Deirdre Kennedy, Gap Intelligence TV market analyst. “The focus going forward is going to be on encouraging consumers to upgrade, both to larger screens and TVs with more features.”

Kennedy said TVs sized 55 inches and larger will be the focus of many holiday ads this year, along with those for smart TVs with fullfeature sets.

New 4K Ultra High-Definition TVs will also get a share of the holiday spotlight, with at least eight manufacturers expected to have Ultra HD products in the market by that time.

“Last year, the two most actively advertised manufacturers were also the ones with the biggest share of the market,” Kennedy said. “Samsung and LG combined contributed 55 percent of all Black Friday ads, and the trend is expected to continue this year. Interestingly, Vizio is the third-largest manufacturer (by store placements), yet its Black Friday ads only made up 4 percent of the total.”