Screen Size and Picture Quality Drive TV Sales, NPD Group Says

As U.S. consumers look to update their televisions, increasing the size and picture quality are the top driving force, according to a new report from NPD Group. Of the consumers who purchased a 4K/UHD replacement TV, 45 percent reported buying their new TV because they wanted a larger screen, 39 percent for better picture quality, and 24 percent purchased because pricing became more affordable.

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The number of consumers that reported replacing an existing TV with a 4K/UHD TV grew from 23 percent in November 2017, to 28 percent in February 2018. Desire for a modern, high-quality TV in the living room has been a primary factor in the increase in demand for 4K/UHD, as nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of 4K/UHD replacement TVs purchased were installed in the living room.

Approximately 90 percent of the installed base of TVs in the U.S. is not yet 4K/UHD, meaning there is tremendous opportunity to accelerate the replacement cycle with updated, quality TVs,” said Stephen Baker, vice president, industry adviser for The NPD Group. “Screen size and picture quality are driving consumer purchase decisions, instead of price, which seems to indicate that the industry has been slow to address the shifting value proposition of the TV in the home.”

In the 12 months ending Feb. 2018, TV sales of 55-inch and larger screens have grown by 8 percent, now representing one-third of U.S. unit sales volume. Many of these big screen purchases are being made to replace smaller screens in the home - most notably in the living room.

According to the new NPD report, the average size of a replacement TV intended for the living room was 52 inches. For all other locations in the homes, the average replacement TV screen size is 43 inches.

“While the number of installed TVs per U.S. household has shrunk slightly in recent years, consumers are continuing to spend on the primary TV in their home, upgrading it to the biggest screen and the best picture they can afford,” stated Baker. “Despite the fact that content viewership is splintering among devices, it’s important to note that demand for a great TV to occupy a prominent position in home is not diminishing.”

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