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J.D. Power: HD Satisfaction High

Westlake Village, Calif. — Sony Bravia LCD TVs, Pioneer plasma TVs and Samsung DLP TVs rank highest for TV brands by display type in a consumer satisfaction survey released Thursday by J.D. Power and Associates.

The inaugural J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Large Screen HDTV Usage and Satisfaction Study measured customer satisfaction with large-screen HDTVs by examining four factors: picture and sound performance, ease of operation, features, and appearance and styling.

The HDTV model series were evaluated in three segments — 37-inch to 49-inch HDTV, 50- to 65-inch HDTV (both of these segments include model series using either LCD or plasma technologies) and rear projection HDTV.

The study showed high levels of repurchase intent among HDTV owners. “The number of owners who say they would repurchase the same brand averages 91 percent in the 37- to 49-inch segment and 92 percent in the 50- to 65-inch and rear projection segments,” according to a J.D. Power statement.

HDTV owners are also extremely likely to recommend their HDTV brand to others, with recommendation intent levels averaging above 90 percent in all three segments.

“Considering that purchasing a high definition television involves a sizable investment, these remarkably high repurchase and recommendation intent levels demonstrate that the vast majority of owners are delighted with their large-screen HDTV purchases,” stated Larry Wu, senior director of the technology practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “This presents an excellent opportunity for manufacturers to not only retain market share but also to leverage their repurchase intentions to other products they sell.”

The average purchase price for a 37- to 49-inch model was reported as $1,700, $2,700 for a 50- to 65-inch model, and $2,200 for a rear-projection model.

Despite the relatively high prices, nearly one-fourth (23 percent) of current HDTV owners said they may be in the market for an additional HDTV within the next 12 months. Of those owners, 41 percent said they would purchase an LCD TV larger than 37 inches, 27 percent said they would purchase a plasma TV, and 25 percent said they would purchase an LCD TV smaller than 37 inches.

The Sony Bravia LCD series ranked highest for customer satisfaction in the 37- to 49-inch segment with a score of 815 on a 1,000-point scale. The brand was said to have “performed particularly well in picture and sound performance, features, appearance and styling.”

Following Bravia in the category were LG LCD and LG plasma, which achieved scores of 799 and 794, respectively.

In the 50- to 65-inch HDTV segment, Pioneer plasma ranked highest with a score of 845. It was cited for solid picture and sound performance; ease of operation; and appearance and styling.

The Sony Bravia LCD series followed in the segment with a score of 833, performing well in HDTV features. The LG plasma series was third at 814.

Samsung DLP TVs ranked highest for satisfaction among rear projection owners, with a score of 785, performing particularly well in the ease of operation; features; and appearance and styling areas.

Following Samsung in the segment were Sony Wega models and Toshiba DLPs, earning scores of 777 and 776, respectively.

J.D. Power said reasons vary for selecting a large-screen HDTV. Consumers who purchase their HDTVs from big-box retailers, electronics specialty stores or online outlets say that picture quality is the most important consideration in selecting an HDTV model. Consumers who purchase from a discount retailer, a warehouse store or office supply store say that price is the most important consideration.

The majority of HDTV owners tend to conduct a considerable amount research prior to selecting a model, J.D. Power found.

In researching their purchase, 68 percent of shoppers said they visit Internet sites for information, while 44 percent report consulting consumer product publications. Approximately 39 percent of shoppers rely on the salesperson for information and advice when selecting an HDTV.

The study collected responses from 5,389 HDTV owners who purchased a large-screen HDTV between August 2006 and July 2007. The study was conducted in July and August 2007.