An estimated 184 million Americans are expected to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday. Many will buy a new TV for the occasion. This year about 25% of American homes are expected to buy a new TV set, according to study by FatWallet.com, which said respondents said Super Bowl time is one of the two most likely periods of the year when they’ll buy a new TV, the other being the Black Friday that starts the holiday shopping season. The National Retail Federation’s Super Bowl Spending Survey showed that 8.8% will buy new TVs, but even that’s a big number.
The take aways:
– Many of those will be UHD TVs. Most of the big TVs at retailers we visited are UHD sets.
– Come Monday, after the Super Bowl whoop-dedoo is over, owners of new UHD TVs will start looking for 4K content to watch. That’s mostly only available over the Internet, so that will increase the amount of bandwidth a home uses.
There they are — next to each other on page 4 and 5 in a Best Buy flyer asking to be taken home for the Super Bowl. Four UHD TVs that reflect their manufacturers’ strategy.
Vizio’s 55-inch P Series $999
Samsung’s 55-inch 6830 $1,199
LG’s 55-inch 8200 $1,199
Sony’s 65-inch XBR65X850B $2,799
Vizio is determined to be that leader at the low-end of the US market. Sony wants to be the king of high-end UHD sets. Samsung and LG want everything in between — and will probably get it plus some of the bottom- and the top-end.
The Under $2,000 Crowd
This week’s flyer from regional electronics retailer HH Gregg typifies how UHD TV sets have declined to affordability. At the top of page 1 are three LG UHD sets, all under $2,000:
LG 55-inch 8200 $1,199
LG 60-inch 8200 $1,799
LG 65-inch 9200 $1,999
Page one also shows Samsung’s curved UHD sets and its curved UHD/3D sets as well as three Sony UHD TVs.
In a second flyer on the Thursday HH Gregg again pushed the three LG UHD sets that it had on Sunday — and at the same prices as in Sunday’s flyer. It gave more emphasis on Thursday than Sunday to:
Samsung 55-inch 6950 flat $1,295
Samsung 55-inch 7250 curved $1,497
Samsung 65-inch 7250 curved $2,197
Sony 55-inch 8008 curved $1,598
A Trip to Where the Action Is
A trip to an electronics store this week turned up no major new trends in pricing or features, only these observations:
– There were many, many more models of UHD TVs than before the holiday shopping season.
– Most all the 50-inch and up sets are UHD TVs.
– The sales reps said curved sets were selling well, especially at Christmas.
– The consensus was that Samsung is the best seller with LG following closely and Sony doing well. The store does not sell Vizio TVs.
– Every UHD TV is also a smart TV.
– Samsung was regarded as the best at upconverting, but LG and Sony follow closely.
The feeling is that UHD TVs have become what most buyers want in sets 50-inches and above, certainly 55-inches and up.
The UHD sets shown at CES earlier this month have not appeared in stores yet but are expected to begin this spring. Keep in mind that Vizio did not start shipping its 2014 UHD sets until fall …
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