It seems Americans are still buying plenty of TVs — TVs that don't carry the name "Sony," anyway. Samsung announced today that the company enjoyed record sales of 5.7 million units in the month of November aided in large part by a massive Thanksgiving holiday weekend that saw consumers besting last year's retail figures by $7.4 billion. That performance keeps Samsung on track to hit its 2011 sales goal of 45 million flat-screen TVs. Additionally, more shoppers are going bigger when it comes to panel size. Sharp has said it expects to sell more than 1 million units with a display 60 inches or larger before the company wraps its fiscal year on March 31, and sees the market tripling in 2012.

Both have fared notably better than Sony, which since 2003 will have sunk $8.5 billion into its troubled TV division by the time fiscal year 2011 comes to a close. The brand once synonymous with home electronics is stumbling, but perhaps a "different" approach to the smart TV will be enough to bring better fortune. Of course, this isn't the entire story of the TV market. Vizio led the competition in US LCD TV sales last year, and Panasonic experienced an increase in popularity with plasma. Without recent numbers from those companies, it's difficult to see the whole picture — they're certainly alive and kicking.