Distributors Bullish On Ultra HD's Potential

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TWICE:What effect will Ultra HD (UHD) have on the TV market in 2014?

Jerry Satoren, DSI Systems: Ultra HD will have a very dramatic and positive impact on the TV market in the back half of 2014. The perfect storm of more models offered by TV makers, lower prices making these sets affordable (but not cheap) to many more consumers, and the delivery of native 4K content from providers will create what we have all been waiting for … the next big thing in TV. The fact that the greatest benefits of 4K are mainly realized in very large TVs is a bonus that should be a big help to everyone’s top and bottom line. I am very much looking forward to the back half of this year!

Jeff Davis, D&H Distributing: Ultra HD television should fuel a good upgrade cycle among the higher screen sizes. This will especially hinge on two things: whether additional UHD content begins to emerge, and whether pricing starts to acclimate to levels somewhat more comparable to current HD sets. Amazon and Netflix recently announced UHD content, which sounds promising in creating a catalyst for the cycle.

Fred Towns, New Age Electronics/Jack of All Games: Ultra HD presents big opportunities for the future of TVs and will eventually be a hot category. But until prices come down, they will continue to be a luxury item. Although content is still a work in progress, Ultra HD adoption doesn’t require special glasses like 3D did, which makes it more accessible. It’s inevitable that consumers will see the value in Ultra HD, especially sports enthusiasts and movie buffs, or any viewer who appreciates its deep colors and high resolution on larger screens. And although Ultra HD still represents a relatively small part of the TV market, this doesn’t mean retailers should wait to take advantage of its opportunities. Getting consumers in stores to see Ultra HD is critical here — they will be in awe of its capabilities.

Dennis Holzer, The PowerHouse Alliance: Ultra HD will have a tremendous effect at all levels of the TV market during 2014. Ultra HD, when demonstrated correctly, allows consumers to see major differences vs. regular HD. As a result, initial consumer demand has been and remains strong. In addition, TV manufacturers now have a category of product offering higher profit models for themselves, retailers a higher price point with significantly more margin then the category has offered for a long period. Lastly, Ultra HD is also a great product for dealers to get consumers in their showrooms, allowing them the advantage of demonstration to show the increase in picture quality vs. regular high-definition LED TV, which can’t been demonstrated online.

Rick Wigen, Almo: 4K is the next wave of TV innovation, but it is still in the early adopter stage. Customers looking for higher end premium product or a future-proofed TV will be purchasing 4K, but the average consumer will continue to purchase current technologies until pricing becomes more mainstream.

Alexandra Harding, Ingram Micro Consumer Electronics: While UHD sources and content will remain scarce in 2014, early adopters will invest in the new technology in a similar manner as Blu-ray Disc. As UHD becomes more reliant on streaming data and as high bandwidth platforms with plans to stream Ultra HD 4K content such as Google Fiber, Netflix and Amazon become more successful, it will become increasingly important to the adopt UHD.

Bill Stewart, Petra Industries: We believe that as Ultra HD gains momentum, the TV category will be reinvigorated. We’re anticipating high attachment rates for accessories like mounts, TV stands, cables and speaker bars.

Curt Hayes, Capitol: UHD offers such a clear and demonstrable improvement over HD that once consumers see it, they will get excited and ultimately look toward a purchase. Unlike 3D and other incremental introductions over the past several years, UHD is a quantum leap forward, and we have no doubt that consumers will make the investment. Of course, part of the incentive will be diminishing price points that will make the new models attractive to budget conscious consumers. As an industry we need to be cautious about dropping prices too fast lest we sacrifice reasonable margins in the process.

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