TWICE: How is the launch of 4K displays, 4K streaming services and, soon, 4K Blu-ray players affecting component-audio sales?
Henderson: 4K TVs have been in the market for some time, now, of course. Retailers have certainly recognized again that they can’t depend on stability in the video market, and the smarter ones are refocusing attention on selling better audio.
Rogers: If Dolby Atmos/DTS:X-equipped receivers prevail alongside 4K TVs, the market can likely expect an increase in the demand for the 4K Bluray players and higher-caliber speakers required to support these enhanced systems.
In particular, specialty and CEDIA retailers will likely enjoy positive growth from consumers adopting and upgrading to 4K systems. We work very closely with our retail partners to ensure they are able to highlight the benefits of new audio technologies and upgrades to consumers across every content delivery device, including TVs, tablets, phones, mobile devices and more.
Goedken: The launch of new technologies always helps to invigorate component sales. As customers adapt to the new TV formats like 4K displays and the adoption of 4K streaming services increases, customers will update their components to make sure they are all compatible with these formats. As usual, we will see the early adopting customers take advantage of 4K, and Yamaha is all ready to support these customers with a wide variety of A/V receivers and soundbars that fully support 4K TVs. As we have seen with most TV technologies, as the cost of these monitors becomes more affordable, more customers will adopt 4K and, thus, will go visit their favorite CE dealer to update their audio to take advantage of their new TV purchase.
Casavant: Audio is tied to video, and as the newest HDTVs and HD video sources continue to attract, this new experience in home theater surround delivers the sauce for excitement and fun at retail. This experience simply cannot be conveyed or delivered through a web page. It is the time to get back to the experience, so this is really good for component audio going into 2016.
Audio as a category is emotional, and consumers want a demonstration, yet a professionally delivered retail demo today in a given market can be elusive.
Audio needs to be demonstrated along with the newest HDTVs for the total home theater experience. Premium consumers are being underserved if this does not happen in the showroom. And thus retailers are missing out on revenue.
Talge: Right now, consumers are investing in the display and peripheral devices and focusing on updating that part of the home theater experience. However, now that consumers have bought into these advanced devices, it’s time to upgrade the most important part of a home theater – the speakers. Speakers should be the largest investment in the theater because the average life of the speakers will outlast many updates to the rest of the home theater system.
Zarow: Customers who are willing to spend more money for “step up” 4K displays are traditionally willing to spend more money on their audio as well. With studios planning on including immersive audio formats on the new 4K Blu-ray format, and with streaming services such as Vudu about to offer 4K Atmos content, the appetite for component audio should remain strong.