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In-Person Experience with Ultra HD Technology is Critical Component to Consumer Adoption, Finds CEA Research

Three-fourths (73 percent) of online U.S. adults who saw Ultra High-Definition TV (Ultra HDTV) technology in a retail store are interested in owning the technology at some point in the future, while only 34 percent of people who did not see the technology are interested in ownership, according to research released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The two studies, Consumer Perspective on Ultra HDTV (quantitative) and Consumer Perceptions of Ultra HDTV Technology at Retail (qualitative), were conducted to gauge consumer awareness, perception, interest and purchase intent for Ultra HDTV technology.

Ultra HD is the next generation of display technology for the home, and delivers four times the resolution of today’s full HDTVs, with more than eight million pixels of resolution. These displays also create more realistic and vibrant images, and include other technical improvements that enable viewers to see details in shadows and sunlit areas in the same scene.

Seeing the technology in a retail store also influences consumers’ perception of the technology, according to CEA’s quantitative study. Among those who have seen or heard about Ultra HD in a retail store, 73 percent view the technology as positive, compared to 45 percent who did not see or hear about the technology in a store.

CEA’s qualitative study supports the notion that seeing Ultra HD technology in-person is critical for consumers to understand its benefits. In the study, consumers visited retail stores to experience Ultra HDTVs in-person and then shared their experience. Many say they went into the stores skeptical that Ultra HDTVs would be better than their current HDTVs. However, seeing the technology in-person had a significantly positive impact on their opinions of Ultra HDTV, an impact that could not have been achieved through reading a description of the technology alone.

“Ultra HDTV consumer adoption will be a case of ‘seeing is believing,’” says Rhonda Daniel, senior manager, market research, CEA. “The technology offers an incredibly immersive viewing experience with superior picture quality. Experiencing the technology in person is a critical component to drive consumer interest in adopting Ultra HD as their next television.”

Beyond looking to replace broken or obsolete TV sets, key findings of the study include:

  • Two in five will seek to improve the picture quality (43 percent)
  • A similar number will seek to increase the screen size (42 percent) of their current display
  • Three in five (62 percent) of online consumers say they would be more willing to purchase an Ultra HDTV if the picture quality was so clear that it felt like they were experiencing what they were watching in person or if the picture quality was better than a movie screen

Conversely, price and availability of Ultra HD content are the top concerns regarding future Ultra HDTV purchases.

  • 43 percent (two in five) online U.S. adults cite concerns with the availability of Ultra HD television programming
  • 24 percent cite availability of Ultra HD movies for purchase
  • 21 percent cite availability of movies for rent
  • 22 percent cite the availability of Ultra HD video content through streaming service providers.

Research recently conducted by The Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), demonstrates the potential for up-converting Blu-ray Disc content to enhance the overall Ultra HD viewing experience. According to the DEG data, the advantages of watching Blu-ray movies on an Ultra HDTV are quite clear. Respondents were almost four times more likely to prefer watching Blu-ray movies on an Ultra HDTV, versus conventional (1080p) televisions.

“Ultra HDTV holds a tremendous amount of promise for the video ecosystem,” says Daniel. “As prices gradually align with consumer expectations, consumer awareness grows and the availability of content continues the positive momentum it has seen so far, then Ultra HD will be the next step forward in the logical progression of television displays.”

Ultra HD stood as one of the highlights of the 2014 International CES® as exciting Ultra HD product and content announcements came from Amazon, Dish, LG, Netflix, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp and Sony among others. The 2014 CES also featured conference programming and exhibits to highlight the latest advancements in the next generation of display technology, underscoring the momentum and excitement behind Ultra HD.

First launched at the 2013 CES, CEA now forecasts Ultra HDTV unit shipments will increase eightfold in 2014 to reach 485 thousand units and surpass $1 billion in revenue for the first time this year, according to CEA’s semi-annual, U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecast (January 2014).

CEA’s Consumer Perspective on Ultra HDTV presents the findings of a quantitative Internet survey conducted among an online national sample of 1,062 U.S. adults. Consumer Perceptions of Ultra HDTV Technology at Retail is a qualitative research report including the findings from 21 consumer in-store visits, followed by recorded, in-depth interviews. The reports were designed and formulated by CEA Market Research. Please cite any information to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. The complete, Consumer Perspective on Ultra HDTV study is available free to CEA member companies at members.CE.org, while non-members may purchase the report at store.CE.org. The study, Consumer Perceptions of Ultra HDTV Technology at Retail is available free to CEA members at members.CE.org and available for purchase in the CEA store.

About CEA:

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the technology trade association representing the $208 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at www.CE.org, www.DeclareInnovation.com and through social media.


  • CEA Winter Break
    March 18-21, 2014, Vail, CO
  • CES Unveiled SHANGHAI
    April 8, 2014, Shanghai, China
  • Digital Patriots Dinner
    April 29, 2014, Washington, DC
  • CES on the Hill
    April 30, 2014, Washington, DC
  • 2014 Technology & Standards Spring Forum
    May 19-23, 2014, Seattle, WA
  • CES Unveiled WARSAW
    June 5, 2014, Warsaw, Poland
  • CE Week
    June 23-27, 2014, New York, NY
    • CE Week Exhibits
      June 25-26, 2014, New York, NY
  • CES Unveiled SAO PAULO
    September 23, 2014, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • CEA Annual Member Meeting
    Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2014, Phoenix, AZ
  • CES Unveiled PARIS
    October 22, 2014, Paris, France
  • CES Unveiled NEW YORK
    November 11, 2014, New York, NY
  • CES Unveiled LAS VEGAS
    January 4, 2015, Las Vegas, NV
  • 2015 International CES
    January 6-9, 2015, Las Vegas, NV

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