What’s the condition of the HDTV market?
Warren Chaiken, Almo:
The HDTV market will continue
to be driven by price. We expect that by the end
of 2010, LED technology will replace LCD as the market
leader, particularly as cosmetic factors such as thinner
panels, lighter weight and visual appeal rise in importance.
Fred Towns, New Age Electronics:
First and foremost,
cost is a very important deciding factor. The consumer
wants the highest possible quality and best value for the
dollar spent. Consumers are asking for plenty of inputs
and calibration options. But does an average consumer
need fi ve HDMI ports? Consumers are still getting educated
on the importance of refresh rates, best viewing
angles, energy efficiency and more. Consumers are also
willing to wait for a product to get a great price. And with
manufacturers watching inventory closely in an effort to
reduce markdowns, great deals will become slim. LED
TVs in large sizes are getting signifi cant attention.
Doretta Raffio, ADI:
Widgets, such as Netfl ix and
YouTube, will to grow in popularity and drive demand
this year. Overall, we anticipate a continuation of the
price reductions that have become the norm in the fl at
panel market. Users will look for more Internet accessible
applications for home entertainment and media
Jeff Kussard, Capitol Sales:
HDTV is a strong seller.
New features and shrinking margins keep them moving,
but you have to know what you’re doing in order to
see the benefit. We work closely with our dealers and
installers to help them market the overall experience to
their respective clients, demonstrating the benefi ts of
higher-performance models and accessories.
This year, we’re seeing that LED backlight technology
is a huge success. That comes as no surprise, of
course, given that it looks great and allows the manufacturer
to reduce the depth of the cabinet.
Even with new technologies and attractive features,
we’re still seeing what I call a race to the bottom. Frankly,
it came as no surprise when we first noticed that
this year’s replacement models are priced lower than
their predecessors. I only hope we see some stability
in HDTV pricing soon.
Stephen Bodnarchuk, M. Rothman and Co.:
currently readily available and manufacturers are positively
addressing the compression in retail price points.
With new product offers and line introductions they are
attempting to stabilize programs and promotional pricing.
Convergence with computer-related products and
services as well as LED technology are demand features
that more and more end users are seeking. Sales
of LED HDTVs will definitely increase through the balance
of the year and we once again see the HDTV market
as very healthy.
Jeff Davis, D&H Distributing:
There’s a lot of room for
growth in HDTV. “Thin and fast” are still driving characteristics
this year. Many software add-ins will help drive
the business as well such as Skype, Netfl ix and socialnetworking
features all built in to the TV. Aesthetic appeal
will contribute, and 3D and thin bezels are attractive
drivers. On pricing, hopefully the decline in ASP has leveled
off. It would be unusual to see the manufacturers go
to heavy discounts this early in the product’s life cycle.
Bill Stewart, Petra Industries:
Right now, unit sales
are up but ASPs are down, which is why we continue
to push our dealers toward carrying accessories like
HDMI cables, power protection, mounts, screen cleaner,
etc., because that’s where the profi ts lie. Features
that we think will continue to drive demand for HDTVs
include thinner fl at-screen models, 3D, faster refresh
rates and LED. Pricing and inventories should stay consistent
through midyear while manufacturers get positioned
for a successful fall selling season.