A broadband battle of a different sort to the current NBN fight is set to break out in consumer electronic stores, as retailers like JB Hi Fi and Harvey Norman get set to spruik a new generation of Internet enabled TVs, tablets, receivers and Blu-ray players.
According to TV vendors most mass retailers are currently struggling to demonstrate a new generation of IP enabled TVs due a lack of fast broadband in their stores.
As a result, chains like JB Hi Fi are implementing a rapid deployment program to get fast broadband working across all their stores by Xmas.
A recent store check by ChannelNews has revealed that several retailers selling consumer electronics including the likes of The Good Guys Stores, Retravision and BigW who are selling discounted Sony Bravia TV’s have no capability to demonstrate IPTV services in store.
Working with JB Hi Fi is Telstra who is keen to demonstrate their new T Box and BigPond movie service, which by the end of the month will be on both LG and Samsung TV’s.
According to Terry Smart, CEO of JB Hi Fi, IPTV services are set to be popular running into Xmas as vendors launch new Internet enabled TVs, and companies like Telstra launch new BigPond movie services.
Early next week Telstra will launch a new NRL application in partnership with Samsung that allows consumers to get access to NRL content including the Finals via a new application that also allows them to freeze or fast forward trys on screen.
Users will also be able to go back through five years of NRL games.
Smart said: “We are currently fitting out all our stores with fast broadband capability so that we can demonstrate a host of new products from tablet PCs to a new generation of IP enabled TV.”
He added: “Running into Xmas we will see a lot of IP and wireless enabled devices which, with fast broadband, we can easily demonstrate in store. IP TV is just one service that needs fast broadband as we need to demonstrate movie downloads and applications. We believe that IPTV services are set to be popular running into Xmas as we wait for new content to drive 3D TV sales”.
Evan Manolis, Group Product Marketing Manager at Samsung Australia, said: “Right now it’s very difficult to demonstrate the new IP capabilities in our TVs due to a lack of broadband in retail stores. We are currently working with Telstra and retail stores like Harvey Norman and JB Hi Fi to implement a display program built around fast broadband which allows us to demonstrate new IPTV services that we are set to launch in partnership with Telstra and other providers’.
“In today’s marketplace it is critical that we have fast broadband in retail stores not just for TVs but for tablets and other media devices that are connected to the Internet.”
Ben Keneally, Head of IPTV services at Telstra, said: “Sales of T Box and our BigPond Movie service on the LG TV is booming. However it is critical that we work with retailers to get fast broadband working as it is a service that needs to be demonstrated in store”
Len Wallis of Len Wallis Audio said: “Half the stuff we are now selling is IP addressable; this includes devices like the Sonos sound system, receivers, Blu ray players and IP enabled TVs. Broadband is critical if you are selling consumer electronics and what we find is that when you demonstrate a live broadband capability you have a significantly better chance of selling a product”.