El Segundo, Calif. — American consumers are placing more importance on such technology features as Internet connectivity and 3D when buying a new TV, IHS found in a consumer survey.
A total of 30.7 percent of consumers planning to buy a TV in the 12 months following the survey said one of the key factors driving their purchase intent is to get an Internet-connected TV. That’s up from 18.1 percent of TV purchasers who cited a desire for an Internet-connected TV when they bought a TV in the 12 months before the survey.
Among people planning to buy a TV, 18.8 percent said they plan to buy a 3DTV, compared with 6.6 percent of TV purchasers who bought a 3DTV in the previous 12 months.
“Features most commonly found on high-end TV models and bigger screen-size sets, like 3D and Internet-connectivity, are becoming more important to U.S. consumers,” said Veronica Thayer, IHS’s TV systems analyst. “But the appeal of 3DTV remains far lower than that of Internet-enabled sets [which are] often marketed as smart TVs.”
A desire to upgrade to an LED TV is also a major purchase driver, the company said. These TVs are LCD TVs that use LED technology for backlighting, and consumers are seeking them out because of targeted ad campaigns “that highlight a thinner bezel, brighter screen and more vivid colors,” she said. A total of 28.7 percent of TV-purchase intenders cite a desire for an LED TV, similar to the 29.6 percent of recent TV purchasers who said they wanted to get an LED TV.
LED TV shipments in the U.S. grew to almost half of total TV unit shipments in 2012, surpassing shipments of CCFL-backlit LCD TVs for the first time, because of consumer demand, a shrinking price gap between LED TVs and CCFL LCD TVs, and the growing selection of LED models, IHS said.
Despite the shift in what drives consumers to buy a new TV, the biggest factor remains the desire to get a bigger screen, IHS said. A total of 48 percent of consumers planning to buy a TV cited a desire for a larger screen, down slightly from the 50.4 percent who said they wanted to get a bigger model when they bought their TV in the previous 12 months.
The study also found that 36 percent of consumers planning to buy a TV want a screen size of at least 50 inches, up from 24 percent of consumers who purchased a TV the previous year.
Price, however, was the biggest factor driving consumers to buy a new TV. Among those planning to buy, 53 percent cited price as a main factor, up from 27.9 percent of TV purchasers who bought a set in the previous 12 months.
IHS surveyed 658 TV owners ages 18 years and older in June 2012 but said the results reveal insights about current buying trends.