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Study: TV Purchase Motivators Vary By Country

4/21/2011 03:13:10 PM Eastern
Santa Clara, Ca., - Consumers are replacing both their flat panel and CRT TVs at a much faster rate than the previous 10-15 year average for CRT-to-CRT replacement, according to a new study issued by DisplaySearch Thursday.

The "DisplaySearch Global TV Replacement Study" also exposes key drivers for TV set replacement or additional TV purchases on a market-by-market basis to help shed light on potential future consumption.

"For example, if the installed base in a market was largely comprised of recently purchased TVs, and the replacement cycle wasn't growing shorter fast enough, there could be a lull in demand coming," stated Paul Gagnon, DisplaySearch North America TV market search director. "This is particularly true if TV makers are counting on new features like 3D to drive shorter cycles, but consumers aren't interested in trading in a recently-purchased TV just to get a new feature."

In more mature flat panel TV markets, like Japan or the U.S., it might be expected that relatively higher household discretionary spending can lead to quicker replacement of TVs, but DisplaySearch research indicates that this is not necessarily the case.

Some of the recently-purchased TVs being replaced are found in emerging markets, like India, Indonesia and China, where the overall TV business is less mature because they generally adopted TVs at a later stage than advanced regions.

Although they have a relatively young base of installed TVs to replace, the differences are pretty big.

For example, DisplaySearch said Indonesian consumers are replacing TVs that are nearly half the average age of TVs being replaced in Japan. This also is happening during a time when significant eco-points incentives are being offered to entice Japanese consumers to upgrade, which they are using to swap out much older sets.

In India, consumers are mostly using very small CRT sets, although there is a surprisingly large number of flat panel TVs being replaced already, reflecting some social class distinctions.

In Italy, where a large number of family members are under the same roof, a greater number of sets are located in places like the dining rooms and kitchens, suggesting multiple primary viewing locations and the second-highest average number of TVs per household (behind the US).

In Russia, home sizes (often apartments) are small leading to smaller average TV sizes than are found even in Japan.

Urban Chinese households have a surprisingly similar size profile to the U.S., reflecting the improved social status that owning a large TV brings, DisplaySearch said.

The reasons for replacing sets also vary by country and included the following:

When consumers wanted a flat panel TV or HDTV, or often both, the decision to replace a TV was also very strongly linked to wanting a larger set with better picture quality.

The existing TV being outdated or broken was a strong driver of TV replacement, but not one of the top reasons.

New advanced features, like internet connectivity and 3D, rated as relatively weak drivers for TV replacement, indicating that consumers aren't going out to buy a new TV just because these features become available.

Price-related factors were important in TV replacement decisions.

DisplaySearch said TV brand trust was slightly more important than other reasons, except in Japan where it was very important. In the flat panel TV era, so many brands have emerged with a wide range of price points that price may be trumping brand selection. This, combined with the fact that leading brands have been aggressively matching low price competition levels the playing field, but downplays brand importance.
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