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Samsung Says HD Tick Won't Answer Confusion In Market

By Sarah Falson | Tuesday | 11/09/2007

Consumers who purchase high definition televisions remain confused about both the different standards of the technology and most of all about available content, a problem which won't be fixed by the new HD Tick logo which has entered the marketplace, according to Samsung technical marketing manager, John Fragidakis.

With new high definition technology continually being released into the marketplace, whether this is in the form of new versions of HDMI cables (the market now supports HDMI 1.3), televisions that support Full-HD 1080p content, or next generation Blu-ray and HD DVD disc players, most consumers who purchase a new television are not educated about the way they can get the best picture and sound quality from the product, said Fragidakis.

"There is major issue within high definition. First, digital entered the marketplace, then HD superseded it. But standard definition television is digital, and high definition television is digital too. Now there's full-HD which has thrown anther spanner in the works. How is the average consumer to understand the difference?" he said, addressing media and industry delegates at the annual Influence conference in the Hunter Valley.

The media and retailers need to better educate consumers about high definition technologies because the television is now more than just a box sitting in the corner of the loungeroom - it has evolved into a piece of art that takes prime position on the wall or on a wall-unit in the busiest room of the house, said Fragidakis. In fact, research has found that consumers watch on average two to three hours of live television per night, he said. Add to this television shows that have been pre-recorded on Foxtel IQ boxes, films that have been hired from the video shop and television series that are bought from a store for viewing at a later date and consumers are watching a phenomenal amount of television.

"Most manufacturers are pushing full-HD now but who supports this? We are relying on television providers to release HD shows on TV, but there are full-HD panels now and live television does not support this," said Fragidakis.

Add gaming consoles, some of which support full-HD and some that don't, and manufacturers are faced with an extremely difficult task when they attempt to educate consumers about how to get the best from their technologies.

Fragidakis mentioned the HD Tick logo which will soon be present on all high definition products that support 720p and above, however from a consumer point-of-view, a 720p television will sport the exact same HD Tick logo as a full-HD 1080p panel whose screen quality is far superior.

"This will still cause issues," he said.

According to Fragidakis, manufacturers are moving towards a marketplace which sells only full-HD, however available content that supports this resolution is holding back this evolution.

"It's the content that is not supporting us. A consumer buys a full-HD TV and they have to get a Blu-ray or HD DVD player because live TV and Foxtel content doesn't support full-HD. According to the television networks, 1,020 hours per year of television is broadcast in HD. But this is 1080i at best," he said, also stating that next year Network Ten promises to screen every live sports match in full-HD 108p, but this is just the beginning of a trend which the rest of the market must embrace for television manufacturers to be truly successful in their quest to penetrate an uneducated market.

Still, Fragidakis is confident that the technology will succeed.

"HD is about landscape - not about seeing Kerry-Anne's face on a huge screen. HD is like looking through a window - it's to give you a representation that that screen on the wall is like looking out onto a golf course or the Lost or CSI landscape," he said.

"People aren't buying HD to keep up with the Jones's. They've been to the Jones's and watched their episode of CSI or Lost on their HD screens and it's a truly inspiring experience."

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