US TV buyers now prefer LED-Backlit TVs
For the first time, more American TV buyers are choosing to purchase televisions featuring light-emitting diode (LED) backlighting rather than the older cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) technology that has ruled the market for years, according to an IHS iSuppli U.S. TV Consumer Preference Analysis report from information and analysis provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).
Those consumers who decided from the onset of the purchasing process that they would buy an LED-backlit LCD TV jumped to 54 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, a big increase from just 22 percent in the third quarter. The gains made by LED were at the expense of sets featuring CCFL technology—the slightly bulkier predecessor of the LED. This time, however, the share of CCFL-backlit LCD TVs plunged to 25 percent, down from the previous 56 percent.
The figure attached presents the results of the IHS iSuppli U.S. TV Consumer Preference Analysis. The data was gleaned from a survey that randomly polls 45,000 U.S. households each quarter out of a continually refreshed pool of more than 2 million.
Of those consumers who had made up their minds to obtain an LED TV set, a full 54 percent then went on to actually purchase the TV. More telling, an overwhelming 81 percent of those who had initially expressed preferences to buy a CCFL model ended up buying the LED rival.
LED and CCFL are the two technologies for backlighting LCD televisions, with CCFL being the older light source. However, LED requires less energy than CCFL tubes, lasts longer and is more environmentally friendly in that it does not contain mercury, lead and other chemicals. LED backlighting also produces brighter whites and a wider contrast range.
“American TV buyers are becoming more technologically savvy,” said Lisa Hatamiya, TV research analyst for IHS. “For years, LCD had dominated the TV space, but buyers for a long time did not perceive the advantages of LED backlighting, even after widely publicized reports came out touting the advantages of the new technology. All that is quickly changing, however, especially as LED-backlit prices decline and as retail channels swing perceptibly toward highlighting the new models in their showrooms.”
A 42-inch 1080p, 120Hz LED in the fourth quarter of 2011 commanded an average price of $862, compared to $755 for a CCFL LCD TV with the same specifications. Only a year ago, the disparity was much greater, at $1,049 for LED vs. $800 for LCD.
For those buying an LCD TV, price remained the top consideration, with picture quality and screen size also emerging as important purchasing criteria, according to the IHS survey. In comparison, Internet connectivity has fallen in esteem, as consumers report having experienced difficulty with integrating the feature into their existing viewing platforms.
Other survey findings revealed that 32-inch was no longer the most popular size for LCDs—that honor ceded instead to the 40- to 42-inch-size category. And while the majority of newly purchased TVs still were being placed in the primary areas such as the living room, family room or master bedroom, 10 percent now found their way into a designation known as “other” bedrooms—a record high.
The most highly recommended brands in the fourth quarter were Sony, which grabbed the top spot from LG Electronics, along with Samsung and VIZIO. All three brands, according to consumers, continued to offer innovative, value-added features that emphasized the user experience.
Among retailers, Amazon and Costco scored highest with consumers, who increasingly are turning to online retailers in order to purchase high-quality and larger-sized screens, the survey report found.
Global LEDs/OLEDs magazine
Trafalgar Publications Limited
Crown House, 72 Hammersmith Rd,
Hammersmith, London, W14 8TH
Tel (UK): +44 (0)7584 072926
Tel (USA): +1 (239) 245-9264
Click for the 2013 Media Kit
US Sales Representative – Digital
Tel: +1 (239) 245-9264 x104
Sales Representative – Europe & Asia
Tel: +1 239 245 9264 x 110
Cell: +44 7924 554456 (UK)
Cell: +1 239 287 5398 (US)
Tel: +1 (239) 245-9264 x106