By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
A new J.D. Power and Associates study ranks Sony's LCD TVs first in customer satisfaction among LCD TV brands.
The "2007 Flat Panel Television Usage and Satisfaction Study," which was released Wednesday, evaluated customer satisfaction with liquid crystal display (LCD) flat-panel televisions measuring between 20 and 36 inches by examining four key factors of satisfaction including: picture and sound performance; ease of operation; features; and appearance and styling.
The study was complementary to the firm's 2007 Large Screen HDTV Usage and Satisfaction Study released earlier this month.
Sony LCD TVs earned an overall satisfaction score of 792 on a 1,000 point scale and performed "particularly well in the picture and sound performance and features factors," the study said.
Samsung's LCD series was second with 786 points and LG was third with 776 points.
Samsung models were cited for their ease of operation, appearance and styling.
J.D. Power said the study also revealed that while most flat-panel television owners desire an energy-efficient model, far fewer owners actually possess one.
Fewer than one-third of flat-panel television owners said their current model is Energy Star qualified, while the majority of owners (57 percent) say that they want this feature on their next flat-panel television.
"Energy Star qualified flat-panel televisions meet energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and U.S. Department of Energy, so not only do they conserve resources but they also help owners save on their utility bills," stated Larry Wu, senior director of the technology practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "Manufacturers that offer Energy Star qualified models stand to attract not only environmentally conscious consumers, but also those who wish to save money over their life of their television—which conceivably could translate into an increase in market share."
The study also found that owners of smaller-screen flat-panel televisions tend to use their TVs for a wide variety of uses—including video game play, computer monitor display and video playback.
According to the study, 87 percent of smaller-screen flat-panel television owners report connecting a DVD player to their television, and nearly one-third of owners report connecting some type of home video game console.
"Since smaller-screen flat-screen televisions are used for a myriad of purposes, the most successful models excel not only in picture quality but also sound quality," said Wu. "Owners are looking for their flat-screen LCD televisions to provide a rich visual and audio experience to support these various needs and to do it independently of additional sound support such as external speakers."
The average price paid for a flat-panel LCD television measuring between 20 and 36 inches is $810, the report found.
Approximately 65 percent of flat-panel television owners admit to spending many hours researching or shopping for their new TV set, with nearly two in three revealing that they have some brand bias and are more likely to purchase a brand with which they have had some prior experience.
The satisfaction study was based on responses from 2,050 LCD flat-panel television owners who purchased a 20- to 36-inch LCD flat-panel television between August 2006 and July 2007. The study was fielded in July and August 2007.
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