On behalf of the manufacturers, retailers and content developers who are members of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), we want to set the record straight on Ultra High Definition Television (UHD TV). We’re bullish about UHD. It is our future — the next step forward in the ongoing evolution in the home video entertainment experience. Our quantitative and qualitative research, as well as public demonstrations, consistently show that when consumers view UHD they are wowed by the superior picture quality and immersive experience, which demonstrates great promise for this remarkable new technology.
While the findings of the new HDTV study conducted by Leichtman Research Group appear to indicate low awareness of Ultra HD TV among U.S. households (Study Shows Low Awareness Of Ultra HD TV, March 11, 2014), recently released research from CEA finds strong awareness and possible purchase intent among online households, likely the early adopters who traditionally drive the growth of new technology product categories.
Some highlights from our research:
*Awareness is strong for the technology among this core audience despite Ultra HD TV’s emergence in retail only last year. More than half of online U.S. adults indicate they have some level of familiarity with the terms “Ultra High-Definition TV” (64 percent) or “Ultra HD TV” (55 percent).
*Seeing is believing — Viewing an Ultra HD TV in a retail store strongly influences consumers’ perception and purchase intent of the technology. Three-fourths (73 percent) of online U.S. adults who saw an Ultra HD TV in a retail store are interested in owning the technology at some point in the future, while only 34 percent of people who did not see the technology are interested in ownership.
*UHD is a great opportunity for retailers. Our research shows that 67 percent of online U.S. adults want a UHD demo before buying and 62 percent want to talk to a salesperson about the technology before buying.
In addition, the response of consumers, beyond this group of online adults, who have seen UHD reinforces our confidence that this exciting new product category will be a marketplace success. As we have showcased a variety of UHD sets and displays to consumers attending recent technology shows the response has been overwhelmingly positive, from absolutely amazed to the greatly desired “jaw drop.”
Of course, our association and our members must continue to educate consumers about this amazing technology. To that end, CEA has been excited to work with our members to showcase UHD at consumer trade shows, develop a consumer guide to UHD in partnership with the consumer technology website Reviewed.com and create a resource guide at CE.org. As we move forward, we will continue our consumer and media education efforts as well as activities designed to help retailers promote and showcase UHD and drive consumers into their stores.
Ultra High Definition TV is still in its early stage, and despite naysayers like Leichtman, it represents the fastest growing segment of the TV industry today. CEA is actively working to educate consumers and retailers alike about the benefits of this awe-inspiring next generation of TV display technology. In the end, we have no doubt the wow factor will translate into sales and ultimately drive the next revolution in home video.
Jeff Joseph is senior VP of communications & strategic relationships for the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)