Top telly tech fails to drive new set sales
Vendors promoting the wrong features, says study
The technologies telly makers are promoting in a bid to persuade punters to replace existing TVs are failing to excite consumers.
LED backlight technology, internet connectivity and 3D are all being pitched up by vendors in the hope consumers will splash out on new sets.
3D is being pushed in particular, but according to research carried out by market watcher DisplaySearch, it's not what buyers want.
DisplaySearch asked consumers to rate the importance of 17 factors - size, thinness, just having something new, and so on -that might affect their decision to upgrade their existing TV set. In the UK, 3D, LED and internet connectivity all fell way below the average.
LED was the strongest driver, followed by internet access and, a very long way from the average, 3D.
"Even Japanese consumers, long considered to be early adopters, cited 3D as a relatively unimportant factor when deciding to buy a new TV," DisplaySearch's Global TV Replacement study says.
Factors such as lower power consumption, and thinner, lighter sets do appeal to punters, but while LED backlighting is an important factor in delivering these qualities, punters don't see it as such, DisplaySearch said.
The growth in global TV shipments slowed significantly in Q1, DisplaySearch said, falling to just a single percentage point up on Q1 2010.
Shipments fell sequentially too, which you'd expect from a quarter that follows the Christmas period, but the plunge was sharper than is usually the case, because Q4 2010 supply so outstripped demand, the researcher reckons.
During Q1, shipments of LCD and plasma tellies rose by single figures - not enough to cover a 32 per cent decline in CRT shipments.
CRTs, incidentally, still account for 13.2 per cent of world TV shipments, or did in Q1. Plasma only took 6.6 per cent. Apart from a few OLED screens and reverse-projection jobs, all the rest were LCDs.
3D sets accounted for just four per cent of Q1 telly shipments. ®
It's all cobblers anyway
It doesn't matter how much you spend on a telly when the overwhelming majority of content is utter arsewater.
Is LED backlighting ever going to make My Family funny? Is 3-D going to stop you wanting to smash things as soon as Adrian Chiles opens his stupid mouth? Is internet connectivitiy going to allow you to download a less smug Simon Cowell?
Punters don't care
Your typical punter expects a telly to last 10-15 years. The industry have persuaded people to buy an awful lot of upgrades over the last decade - some useful such as LCD TVs, some necessary such as integrated digital (who wants to mess around with set top boxes and two remotes) and some that are essentially pointless con jobs (HD compressed to the point where is looks no better than analogue SD).
The industry can't complain when people refuse to buy the latest unimportant gimmick - the market is saturated with not-very-old TVs. Customers are now tired of upgrading and much as the industry may seek to change things, they haven't persuaded folks that TVs need upgrading every three years just as a computer does.
I just bought a new TV.
It is not LED (I prefer Plasma over LCD/LCD with different lighting).
It is not 3D (couldn't care less about that)
It is not internet connected (my Blu-ray player does all that if I could be bothered to connect it to the internet. I have no desire to watch YouTube on my TV really and I get iPlayer etc through Virgin Media).
So by avoiding all the latest-and-greatest features I don't want or need, I was able to get a stunning 50" Panasonic for under £550. I guess I'm not alone in this thought process.
Benefits, not features
We don't buy stuff for it's features, we but it because it gives us benefits. So, for assorted items:
Feature: higher fuel efficiency. Benefit: lower cost
Feature: thinner screen (irrespective of why it's thinner). Benefit: takes less space
Feature: faster CPU. Benefit: does stuff quicker
apart from the following
Feature: new, expensive tech. Benefit: bragging rights
there's little in the way of benefits to getting a 3D/led/internet TV. The programmes are the same, the remote control does nothing new and you still have 3 platefuls of spaghetti hanging down behind it. Until the TV makers come up with some BENEFITS of their new technological features, there's little point trying to sell them and even less point in buying them.
Why is this so hard for them to understand?
I think this echos what people have been saying for a while. Current mainstream home entertainment (TVs, DVDs, CDs, etc) are good enough for Joe Public.
Geeks, Hi-Fi buffs, etc. will no doubt say that Blu-Ray, Hi-Def, etc. are *so* much better. But Joe Public doesn't care.
I suspect all that Joe Public wants now, is just lower price. (Oh, and for it to last a long time - just like their old, CRT TV did)