Future for HDTV Looks Bright
We project a very positive outlook for HDTV demand this year. The picture looked rosy for HDTV this holiday season with large numbers of savvy consumers looking for, and finding good deals on TVs, more consumers upgrading their old CRT TVs and more HD programming offered by cable and satellite providers. We predict a healthy market for all sizes of high definition TVs in 2010. Whether it’s watching high definition sports, escaping into a Blu-ray movie, playing 1080p games or just watching their favorite TV shows, it’s clear that despite a shaky economy, consumers want their HDTV.
TVs Get Connected in 2010
We'll be looking for more "connected" TVs this year as more consumers look to view everything from YouTube videos to streaming movies on their big screen high definition TVs. We also expect to see activity in 3DTV although it remains to be seen if marketing claims will be able to match availability and actual performance of 3DTV in the home at least for the coming year.
Plasma vs. LCD

Retrevo Pulse data shows that Plasma TVs, although down in market share, are by no means out of the picture. This past year we saw demand for LCD TV fluctuate between 70% and 80% of the total TV demand. With rear projection and front projection TVs representing a very small percentage leaving Plasma with most of the remaining 20% to 30% of the market. Although we saw minor fluctuations throughout the year, the percentage of demand for LCD TVs started and finished the year at 80%.

This data is consistent with a recent Retrevo HDTV buying study where 80% of the respondents indicated they were planning to buy an LCD TV. The 17% preferring Plasma are part of a shrinking group of TV buyers who may still feel that Plasmas offer warmer colors, deeper blacks and better immunity to blurring fast action programming.

Most Popular LCD TV Features

It looks like the marketing efforts for HDTVs this past year have been successful at creating savvy buyers. In a Retrevo study on HDTV buying behavior, only a small percentage (29%) of TV buyers indicated they didn’t know or didn’t care about TV features like refresh rate and LED back lighting. We were gratified to see that 43% of the TV buyers think Energy Star is important compared to another 46% who value 120 or 240Hz refresh rate, and 30% looking for LED backlighting.

Size Matters
This past year we saw an interesting shift in the demand for various screen sizes. We now see that HDTV buyers are thinking that small is beautiful, or at least more affordable. In 2008 the ratio of small (up to 37 inch) to larger sized TVs (37+ to 50 inch) was approximately 1:1. In 2009 that ratio shifted to 3:2. What could have caused a surge in demand for smaller screen TVs? In addition to the DTV transition and home entertainment products substituting for vacations, we may be witnessing the day of the one HDTV family coming to an end. In the recent Retrevo study on HDTV buying behavior 54% of TV buyers said this year's TV would be an additional HDTV in their home.
Good Year for HDTV Add-Ons
It also looks like a good market for HDTV add-on providers. In the HDTV buying study 26% of TV buyers said they were going to buy a wall mount when they bought their new HDTV. Another 19% indicated they were going to buy speakers and 20% said a cabinet or enclosure. Retrevo also found 20% of TV buyers plan on buying an extended warranty.
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Jennifer Jacobson
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