4K Benefiting from Traditional TV Buying Cycle

DURHAM, N.H.—The traditional TV buying cycle, along with lower prices is helping to spur acceptance for 4K in the marketplace, according to a new report from the Leichtman Research Group. And although highly expensive 8K TVs are starting to hit the market, the retail outlook for TVs remains very active.

LRG’s recent study “Connected and 4K TVs 2019,” found that for the 15th consecutive year, more than 20% of adults said that they got a new TV set in their household in the past year. This pattern suggests that “TV sets are a recurring purchase item,” LRG said.

The researcher also found that, despite the proliferation of video screens on PCs, tablets and smartphones, the number of TV sets per household remains steady at 2.6, representing an estimated 320 million TV sets currently in American households.

LRG compared the move to 4K with the transition to HDTV in the mid-2000’s, estimating that, in the early years of HDTV, about half of all HDTV owners were watching HD programming from a pay-TV provider but that 25% thought they were watching HD from a pay-TV provider even though it wasn’t HD.

This lack of consumer knowledge over what constituted high definition decreased as more HDTVs appeared in American households.

“The prior confusion over HD content declined as HDTVs became more commonplace,” LRG said. “It is important to recall that after reaching 17% penetration in 2006, HDTV expanded to 69% of TV households in 2011.”

Similar confusion is taking place in the current transition to 4K, however, LRG’s study found that “59% of 4K HDTV owners strongly agree that picture quality on a 4K TV set makes everything look better even when not watching 4K content, while just 7% disagree.”

LRG says the transition to 4K is entering a similar growth stage of the product lifecycle for 4K TV with nearly half of non-4K TV owners (48%) planning to purchase a new TV in the next 12 months “very interested” in buying a 4K TV and 41% of current 4K TV owers interested in getting another 4K TV. 

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.