KUALA LUMPUR: The television market in Southeast Asia expanded in the first six months of 2011, compared with the same period last year, with consumers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam spending over US$2.1 billion (RM6.3 billion) on 6.33 million TV sets. The latest retail audit report, prepared by global leading market research company GfK Asia, identifies LCD sets as the key driver of the overall television industry across the region. During the period under review, sales of LCD units rose nearly 30 per cent from the first half of 2010. GfK Asia, that tracks the performance of all TV segments including LCD, plasma and CRT TVs, said Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam contributed to an overall industry growth of 16 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively, in value and volume terms. Gfk Asia regional accounts director for consumer electronics Jasmine Lim said the television industry is innovating and evolving and always presenting consumers with new options. “We are seeing an upward growth, trending across Southeast Asian markets, particularly in Indonesia and Vietnam, where the value of the television market registered a healthy double-digit growth in the first six months of this year, when compared to the same period of 2010,” she said in a statement. Smart TV or television with web content access is one of the most recent TV technologies gaining acceptance in Southeast Asia. Lim said smart TV has been rising steadily in the first two quarters of the year with unit sales in the second quarter growing by 20 per cent over the previous quarter. “Smart TV is relatively new to consumers in the region, and its future success is directly dependant on the Internet penetration rate and Internet speed of each individual market,” she said. GfK Asia is part of the global GfK group that has over 25 years of experience in providing reliable retail and technology market data in Asia. The Singapore-based company offers extensive coverage in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, the Philippines and India.