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Pollster predicts mega UK smart TV sales

Forecast flies in the face of sales evidence - just ask Comet

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Brits are rather keen on internet-connected tellies, with more than half of households owning a TV that has already been hooked up to the interweb, a survey carried out by pollster YouGov has discovered.

But this apparent interest in buying seems out of joint with the reality of high street sales.

YouGov regularly questions some 350,000 Britons and its latest enquiry reveals that 11 per cent of them say they plan to buy a smart TV in the next 12 months - a period which includes this coming Christmas.

"There is a huge appetite for accessing internet services on TV sets, whether that be on demand TV, radio, news apps, or video calling services like Skype," says the psephologist.

TV makers are undoubtedly praying to higher powers that this intention translates into real sales. In the UK, unit sales of LCD TVs were down 15 per cent between September 2011 and September 2012, according to GfK, a European market watcher. Unit sales of plasma sets was down 41 per cent in the same period. LCD and plasma sales revenues were down 12 per cent and 47 per cent, respectively.

The only consumer electronics category Brits are buying more of now than they did last year are digital radios.

But that hasn’t stopped YouGov saying there’s a £2.5 billion market for smart TVs. Its announcement is headed, ‘Smart TV sales to hit £2.5bn as more and more Brits want TV and internet all in one’. The value figure comes from multiplying the £440 buyers are willing to pay for a 32in smart TV by the 5.76 million Britons aged 16 or older who are planning to buy a such a set as extrapolated from those who've told YouGov that's what they're going to do.

It’s a shame their eager demand didn’t come in time to save Comet. The electrical retailer’s collapse is another sign, if it were needed, that Brits - despite what they may tell polls and surveys - aren’t loading up on tellies and such. ®

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