Living Room Hardware - US - January 2015
“Having become acclimated to a touch-based and cloud-oriented experience on tablets and smartphones, consumers are expected to yearn for a similar experience in their living room. The industry is supplying that experience in spades.”
– Billy Hulkower, Senior Technology and Media Analyst
This report answers the following questions:
- Can television sales survive cord-cutting?
- How many smart products does a living room require?
Living room hardware is in a transition phase, as 4K televisions become mainstream purchases, as video content is increasingly accessed via the internet, as streaming media players replace shiny discs, and as TV Everywhere replaces local DVR storage. In this rare moment in which so many new technologies are converging inside the home, hardware manufacturers have a critical opportunity in which to either re-establish their prominence, or to reverse sliding share. The transition also harbingers renewal at electronics retailers recognizing that consumers and the industry are at last moving in synch toward the adoption of new products. Within this context, this report explores the entertainment-oriented hardware that consumers own, plan to buy, and how they use them.
This report explores ownership, purchasing, and usage of television sets and complementing audio/video equipment, include shiny disc players, streaming media players, and home theater audio. Computers (including tablets) and gaming consoles are examined in the competitive context with streaming media players, smart televisions, and shiny disc players. Equipment provided by cable and satellite companies, including DVRs, for use with their service is excluded by the report.
About a third of adults examine sets even when they are not looking for one. When the shopper looks at the price paid for their last television set, and compares it to newer sets available, the newer sets shine. Each month that a purchase is delayed, the price of the new sets become more and more of a bargain, until the household can afford a much larger screen, or a much higher resolution screen, at a price perceived as reasonable because they paid a similar fee for their last television. The upside to this powerful system is that the average household buys a television every 2.5 years. The downside is that if price declines on television sets ever slow, the entire industry is imperilled.
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