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4K TV: Seeing is Believing

A recent CEA study found 73 percent of online U.S. adults who saw 4K Ultra High-Definition TV (Ultra HDTV) technology in a retail store are interested in owning the technology at some point in the future, while only 34 percent of people who did not see the technology are interested in ownership.

Ultra HD (4k) is the next generation of display technology for the home, and delivers four times the resolution of today’s full HDTVs, with more than eight million pixels of resolution. These displays also create more realistic and vibrant images, and include other technical improvements that enable viewers to see details in shadows and sunlit areas in the same scene.

Seeing the technology in a retail store also influences consumers’ perception of the technology, according to CEA’s quantitative study. Among those who have seen or heard about Ultra HD in a retail store, 73 percent view the technology as positive, compared to 45 percent who did not see or hear about the technology in a store.

CEA’s qualitative study supports the notion that seeing Ultra HD technology in-person is critical for consumers to understand its benefits. In the study, consumers visited retail stores to experience Ultra HDTVs in-person and then shared their experience. Many say they went into the stores skeptical that Ultra HDTVs would be better than their current HDTVs. However, seeing the technology in-person had a significantly positive impact on their opinions of Ultra HDTV, an impact that could not have been achieved through reading a description of the technology alone.

“Ultra HDTV consumer adoption will be a case of ‘seeing is believing,’” says Rhonda Daniel, senior manager, market research, CEA. “The technology offers an incredibly immersive viewing experience with superior picture quality. Experiencing the technology in person is a critical component to drive consumer interest in adopting Ultra HD as their next television.”

Beyond looking to replace broken or obsolete TV sets, key findings of the study include:

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  • Two in five will seek to improve the picture quality (43 percent)
  • A similar number will seek to increase the screen size (42 percent) of their current display
  • Three in five (62 percent) of online consumers say they would be more willing to purchase an Ultra HDTV if the picture quality was so clear that it felt like they were experiencing what they were watching in person or if the picture quality was better than a movie screen

Conversely, price and availability of Ultra HD content are the top concerns regarding future Ultra HDTV purchases.

  • 43 percent (two in five) online U.S. adults cite concerns with the availability of Ultra HD television programming
  • 24 percent cite availability of Ultra HD movies for purchase
  • 21 percent cite availability of movies for rent
  • 22 percent cite the availability of Ultra HD video content through streaming service providers.

Research recently conducted by The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), demonstrates the potential for up-converting Blu-ray Disc content to enhance the overall Ultra HD viewing experience. According to the DEG data, the advantages of watching Blu-ray movies on an Ultra HDTV are quite clear. Respondents were almost four times more likely to prefer watching Blu-ray movies on an Ultra HDTV, versus conventional (1080p) televisions.

“Ultra HDTV holds a tremendous amount of promise for the video ecosystem,” says Daniel. “As prices gradually align with consumer expectations, consumer awareness grows and the availability of content continues the positive momentum it has seen so far, then Ultra HD will be the next step forward in the logical progression of television displays.”

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