TV Size Matters in Today's Economy

TV Size Matters in Today's Economy
Every year at CES, manufacturers go to great lengths so they can brag about having the largest flat panel TV at the show. Consumers gaze at them and fantasize about what it would be like to have one in their own home to impress their neighbors with the biggest set on the block.

Factoring in a dose of economic reality, recent Retrevo Pulse data indicates that HDTV buyers are now thinking that small is beautiful, or at least more affordable. Last year at this time the ratio of small (up to 37 inch) to larger sized TVs (37+ to 50 inch) was approximately 1:1. This year that ratio has shifted to 3:2.

What could be causing a surge in demand for smaller screen TVs? Retrevo puts forth these scenarios:

•    The DTV transition which finally took place on June 12th may have been just the excuse consumers needed to replace their aging CRT TVs.

•    As we are seeing in China, where the government offers incentives to upgrade TVs, owners of older less energy efficient CRT TVs may be upgrading their TVs with something affordable and easy to place in any room of the house.

•    The day of the one HDTV family has passed. As we know, more viewers in households create tension in one-HDTV homes. Who wants to watch the old standard def TV? On the other hand, as nests become empty and former bedrooms become studies, the demand for second and third TV sets also grows.

With more broadcast providers like cable, satellite, and now Internet TV providers adding more high definition programming the demand for HDTV continues to grow. This is born out in Retrevo Pulse’s year over year demand. Retrevo predicts manufacturers and resellers of HDTVs should have an especially good year for smaller screen TVs.

Retrevo Pulse provides publicly-available indices that map daily price and demand trends in the consumer electronics industry across 40 categories and more than 4,000 products. For more information, contact us at pulse@retrevo.com

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