Samsung who are struggling to lift their market share in the Victorian market as well as compete up against Sony in the brand stakes have resorted to using research in an effort to hype the market for recorders and high definition TV’s.

 In their latest high definition TV research conducted by Newspoll among 1200 Australians, researchers came to the conclusion that many Australians have only a shaky understanding of what high definition or Digital TV actually is.

What the research reveals is what most retailers selling CE products as well Communications Minister Senator Helen Coonan knows and that is that Australians need to be educated about Digital TV as only 13% of Australians have purchased a high definition TV. A quarter of those surveyed by Samsung said they intended to buy a new HDTV in the near future. They also said believed that flat screen TVs, DVDs and digital channels automatically served up high-definition content.

The study also found that out of 1200 respondents, just over half believed that standard DVDs provided high-definition content. 54 per cent believed that Foxtel Digital delivered high-definition content and 46 per cent unaware that only some of the TV programs viewed through an HDTV could actually be classified as high-definition. The results are no different than a recent Smarthouse Magazine Survey and no different than what researchers are finding out in the UK and the USA.

During a recent trial in the UK town of Bolton where people were given high definition TV’s it was discovered that older people and those living with disabilities will need time to adapt to using new digital television equipment.

The trial revealed that after four weeks, 74% of people reported problems with their digital television equipment, but four weeks later more than 80% of people reported no problems with equipment.

However, according to the report published by British Broadcasting Minister Shaun Woodward, the vast majority of older people in the digital television trial thought switching over was easy and liked watching digital television.

The study found that 98% of participants felt watching digital TV was better or the same as watching analogue and 93% thought the process of switching to digital TV had been easy. The study also revealed that: 69% of participants were able to install equipment themselves or with the help of friends and family;
Once their equipment was installed, 67% said they most liked the extra channels, whilst 20% most liked the improved reception; 92% found the specially prepared and clearly written instruction booklet helpful.

The decision by Samsung to selectively release research finding as a marketing tool comes at a time when they are struggling to compete up against arch rival Sony who in a very short period of time became the #1 LCD TV vendor with their Bravia range despite the fact that the panels in both the Samsung and high end Sony Bravia LCD TV models come out of the same factory.

A recent research study conducted by Readers Digest found that Sony was a preferred brand over Samsung. The study also found that Sony was the most trusted consumer electronics brand in Australia. The Samsung brand did not rank in the top 10 Companies ranked by consumers.

The fact that Samsung is not seen as a major brand in Australia is an issue that Samsung are struggling to overcome this is despite the fact that they produce high quality products. Late last year a senior marketing executive quit Samsung accusing the Company of lacking in marketing direction and budgets for high profile marketing.

In the Samsung study consumers when queried about how they educated themselves on new entertainment technologies, 64 per cent of those surveyed said they expected to be kept up to date by their friends and family, with 42 percent seeking advice online.

The telephone-based survey was conducted by research group Newspoll.

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