It's a Flat World After All
"What everybody wants," says Andrew Shulklapper, vice president of TV market research for DisplaySearch, "is a flat panel."
While the premium brands painstakingly up the technological ante with their flat-panel products, with a particular focus on improving video performance and adding features, the low end of the market is all about price and form factor. Americans simply want flat-panel TVs at a price they can handle. "There is a much higher percentage of people who plan to buy [flat panel] than currently own flat panel," says Avi Greengart, senior analyst, home theater for JupiterResearch. "We're now beyond the early adopter enthusiasts, to people who don't care as much about performance as form factor." And more and more brands are stepping to the plate to satisfy this pent-up demand.
The demand for flat panel isn't necessarily tied to the demand for HDTV. Interestingly, the most celebrated flat panel out there isn't even an HDTV. And consumers, from most accounts, don't really seem to know or care.