In coming weeks, both Hisense and TCL are set to take on Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and LG in the 4K TV market, with TCL set to launch a sub $4,000 64" 4K TV in Australia, in a move that will test consumer attitudes. This TV, which was shown at CES in January, delivers a high quality 4K display and is remarkably cheap.
According to a new research study by J.D. Power of consumers who purchased an HDTV measuring 50 inches or larger, picture quality was cited most often as the reason for their selection (66 percent), followed closely by price (62 percent).
In the 50 inch and below market, price (67 percent) was the leading reason, followed by picture quality (58 percent).
Among surveyed customers who purchased a 50-inch or larger HDTV, 67 percent visited a website for information prior to buying, compared with 21 percent among those who purchased an HDTV smaller than 50 inches.
They said that key to their decision to visit a retail store was content obtained when they visited a retailer or manufacturers website.
The J.D. Power "2013 High-Definition Television (HDTV) Satisfaction Report" measured consumer satisfaction with HDTVs among 6,000 customers who purchased a TV within the past 12 months.
Satisfaction was evaluated across seven factors: performance, reliability, ease of operation, style/appearance, features, price and warranty.
"Customers purchasing a smaller HDTV tend to be more price-conscious than those purchasing a larger HDTV," says Christina Cooley, J.D. Power diversified services industries practice director. "Yet we find that customers who buy larger HDTVs are more likely to research brands and features, before making their purchase."
"Consumers are doing their homework before visiting a retailer. However, it's not until they actually see the TVs side by side that they ultimately decide which brand, size and type to buy," says Cooley. "It's vital that consumers are able to clearly see and experience the various benefits provided across the manufacturers' offerings and have access to knowledgeable salespeople to help them decide which TV will best suit their needs."
According to the report, there is a notable shift in customers' selections of HDTV technology year-on-year.
This year, a larger percentage of customers have purchased LED televisions (44 percent) vs. LCD (39 percent) or plasma (17 percent) televisions, compared with LCD (41 percent), LED (33 percent) and plasma (19 percent) in 2012, according to the J.D. Power study.
The report found that 67 percent of customers with HDTVs 50 inches or larger and 43 percent of those with HDTVs smaller than 50 inches had a smart TV.
In comparison, 36 percent of customers with HDTVs 50 inches or larger and 16 percent of those with HDTVs smaller than 50 inches had a 3DTV.
"While 3D HDTV technology may not be as popular as manufacturers had hoped, smart TV is resonating well with consumers, who like its focus on online interactive media, Internet TV and streaming media," says Cooley.
Samsung ranked highest in the 50-inch and larger segment, while Sony and LG got high satisfaction ratings.