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Consumers Want HDTV But Remain Confused by Options

Hitachi Survey Shows 78% of Consumers Want HDTV but Vast Majority Remain Confused by Various HDTV Options

A new survey released from Hitachi America ( reveals that the high-definition television (HDTV) market is set to explode, with 78 percent of consumers saying their next TV will be an HDTV. Entering the back-to-school, football and holiday shopping seasons, Americans are clearly on the prowl for HDTVs, while also reporting that women are driving more purchases, bigger screens are better (especially for households with kids) and flat panels are favored.

The HDTV market’s growth potential is substantial, with strong interest in buying HDTV spanning all household incomes — 85 percent making more than $35,000 are interested in HDTV and nearly 70 percent making below $35,000 are interested. This deep desire for HDTV continues to skyrocket despite ongoing consumer confusion. Nearly two-thirds of consumers said they would not be comfortable explaining the various HDTV options in the market (e.g., DLP, LCD and Plasma), revealing the need for continuing consumer education as they select the HDTV that best fits their viewing, design and lifestyle needs.

As expected, women are a driving force behind big consumer purchases, with nearly half of households (45 percent) reporting that women are either equally or more responsible for researching big electronics purchases. Interestingly, when discussing HDTV options such as DLP, LCD and Plasma, seven in ten (73%) women say they are confused by the options, compared to only about half (51%) of men.

“Multiple research findings, including our survey results released today, reveal the incredible influence women have on home electronics purchases,” said Daniel Lee, vice president of marketing for the consumer electronics unit of Hitachi America. “At Hitachi, we’ve addressed this trend by putting a huge emphasis on HDTVs that meet the design and functionality needs of the entire household, while helping both men and women understand how Hitachi’s breakthrough technologies help them get more out of their HDTV experience.”

Americans are also reporting, regardless of income, that larger TV screens are more important than ever, with more than one-third (37 percent) of respondents saying they’d prefer a screen that is 50 inches or larger. For households with children, that number jumps to nearly half (47 percent). In addition to size, consumers increasingly want flat-panel TVs that can hang on a wall. The survey found that 71 percent of people either own or want to own a flat panel — 19 percent and 52 percent respectively — underscoring the importance of design and style as Americans incorporate HDTV into their everyday lives.

The results of this consumer opinion survey further substantiate Hitachi’s own in-depth and proprietary market research on the realities of the HDTV landscape. Hitachi has utilized multiple intelligence reports and extensive interaction with customers and retailers to develop a leading line of large, all-1080 flat-panel HDTVs that exceed consumer demands. Based on Hitachi’s more than 50 years of TV experience and breakthrough technology, the company’s LCD and Plasma HDTV lineup helps consumers get more out of HDTV with a superior viewing experiences for all their shows, movies, sports and gaming content.

Hitachi HDTV Consumer Opinion Survey — Highlights of Findings:

HDTV: Three in four (78%) consumers are interested in purchasing HDTV for their next TV buy

  • 85% with income greater than $35,000 and 69% with income less than $35,000

Consumer Confusion: Two in three (66%) are not comfortable explaining HDTV

  • 66% not comfortable explaining options such as 720p, 1080i and 1080p
  • 62% not comfortable explaining options such as DLP, LCD and Plasma
  • 72% of adults with college education are not comfortable explaining options such as 720p, 1080i and 1080p; only 59% of those without a college education are “not comfortable”
  • Seven in ten women are not comfortable explaining HDTV technology (DLP, LCD, Plasma)
  • Big Screen: Two in three (64%) plan to purchase a larger screen television for their next TV buy
    • 74% of households with children want a larger screen for their next purchase
    • Nearly half (47%) of household with children want a screen 50 inches or larger
    • More than one-third and a plurality (37%) want a 50-inch screen or larger
    • 23% want a 60-inch screen and 14% want a 50-inch screen
    • One third of women (32%) would want a 50-inch or 60-inch screen (43% of men)
    • 59% of households with less than $35,000 in income want a larger screen

    Flat Panel: 71% own or want to own a flat-panel TV (19% own one and 52% are interested)

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    • 68% of African Americans are more interested in a flat-panel than a conventional TV

    Picture Quality: 60% say picture quality is the most important factor in a new TV purchase

    • Brand was second (11%) and screen size was third (9%)

Hitachi and KRC research conducted this nationwide telephone survey of 1,055 adults 18 and older between May 18 and 21, 2007. The margin of error is plus or minus three percent with a confidence level of 95 percent.

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