Ultra HD = Ultra-Opportunity
Dealers can leverage premium pricesAugust 21, 2013 By Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis, CEA
UHD TVs are entering stores across America and the buzz is spreading as manufacturers meet shipment promises made at the 2013 International CES. At the same time, many folks are asking questions about UHD similar to those asked when HD arrived more than a decade ago. Where is the native UHD content? Can consumers tell a difference from Full HD? To maximize their UHD opportunity, dealers need to understand several key points as they relate to the technology and consumer behavior. This is where CEA can help.
CEA established the following minimum requirements for TVs to qualify as UHD: a display resolution of at least eight million active pixels (at least 3,840 horizontal and at least 2,160 vertical) and an aspect ratio of at least 16x9. Displays must also have at least one digital input capable of carrying and presenting native 4K format video. While the definition of UHD may seem complex, this is a visual technology that is easy to understand once it’s seen.
What consumers will also notice is the premium price of UHD TVs, compared to lower resolution displays of similar size. When it comes to buying CE devices, consumers’ preoccupation with price might portray them as practical, pragmatic or worse case, petulant. And for dealers selling TVs, coping with this price fixation might be described as problematic. We’ve seen different approaches from industry to help ease the pain; most recently unilateral pricing policy (UPP). However, we all know what helps sell new displays best is innovative technology that inspires consumers. UHD to the rescue!
While price remains a chief CE purchase criteria, recent research shows other elements—such as quality—are coming into sharper focus concerning purchase decisions. And early adopters, while still savvy shoppers, budget accordingly to accommodate their passion for technology.
Concerning content, CEA believes native 4K format video will begin to manifest quickly and gain momentum in 2014. Expect Hollywood to be one of the first content sources to support Ultra HD. Movie studios are well positioned to launch Ultra HD resolution content with their deep archives of analog film that can sufficiently support Ultra HD resolution when digitally scanned. Contemporary production is increasingly being done in native resolutions at or above Ultra HD levels.