Ramirez: It's a joint responsibility between retailers and manufacturers. From manufacturers' point of view, it's a matter of connectivity to broadband in the store; then there's a lot to demonstrate to consumers about smart TV. However, many retailers didn't have broadband connections, which meant they really couldn't demonstrate anything. And it's hard to explain such a concept to a consumer who isn't knowledgeable about it. Knowing that, it would have been a good idea for manufacturers to have built in an auto demonstration feature. Who should have done more? It's hard to say. Should manufacturers have spent more money and put in more memory for demonstration? Should retailers have spent more money and put in broadband? I won't point fingers. I think we all didn't quite do the right job at first in explaining all the benefits of smart TV, but that's changing now. Manufacturers are starting to make portals and TVs that are easier to understand, and retailers are adding broadband. People are also doing some end-caps to make things better. Looking forward to next year, it will be taken to a whole new level because the smart TV category will be a lot more important.
Toshiba, for 2011, is doing more in-store training and POP materials to help explain features and benefits. For 2012, we'll take it to another level by springtime.
Fasulo: From an industry point of view, education has been far from adequate. We just came off a year where we learned we confused the consumer on 3D; then everybody runs to talk about 'connectivity.' The best way to educate is not in TV commercials, but on the shop floor, and on the Internet, which is a great medium. I look at connected devices the same as I do 3D, which is to say that every touch-point we hit provides a level of depth the consumer is comfortable with. The Internet can provide depth of information or a way for the consumer to get on, grab some information quickly and leave. You can also do some great learning modules and tutorials, but that alone won't solve it; it needs to be translated to the shop floor. Consumers still want to go in, and want references from their friends but also from salespeople. The more knowledgeable the salesperson, the better for the consumer. Our focus is how we can translate both great innovations to environments of experience for the consumer.