Cheap 4K UHD TVs: Who Wins and Who Loses in the New TV Market? Dealerscope

Top executives from major TV sellers opened up about a new trend in the television set marketplace: the arrival of inexpensive 4K UHD television sets from third-tier and second-tier manufacturers. Dealerscope questioned them about whether the trend poses a threat to their brands.

Here are some of the comments:

Said Mike Fasulo, Executive Vice President, Sony: "I don’t see it as a threat. I see it as a terribly confusing situation for the consumer. I see some of it as irresponsible. … To shortchange the consumer is kind of disappointing. We’re just creating a new market, and already we’re hearing of brands coming out without upscaling, and trying to run a race to the bottom with pricing. Unfortunately, the consumer is going to be the victim in this case, which really bothers me. We emphasize not just the number of pixels but the picture engine that drives those pixels. We have eight million pixels in ours, and we’ll include the number in our specs, but the whole numbers game is not the play here; it’s really the experience."

Jay Vandenbree, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Home Entertainment Group, LG, commented: "It potentially sets a pricing limitation that there is little value in the R&D and things that go with developing a technology like Ultra HD, and that certainly isn’t the truth. From an industry standpoint, we struggle every day to make sure we can extract the value from our product. For someone to come in and say it’s only worth $1,500, I think that’s a potential issue. Even if it’s successful in terms of people wanting to buy a brand-new technology at a small price, now there’s going to be dissatisfaction with its output -- especially in terms of overall picture quality and the 2K-to-4K upconversion. And that is just as bad for the industry, because it says the technology isn’t that good. But when done right, the technology is outstanding. I don’t understand why any retailer would want to support that, because it impacts their ability to be able to garner the value of the product. My opinion is that it’s a miss for a manufacturer wanting to drive that, or for a retailer wanting to support it."

Added Scott Ramirez, Vice President, Product Marketing & Development, Visual Products, Toshiba: "We don’t see those as a threat. The way we look at it is a customer who’s interested in 4K is interested because they appreciate good picture quality. And if that’s the case, once they compare the quality of those OPP (opening-price-point)-type 4K models versus Toshiba, with our CEVO 4K processor, we don’t believe they’d be interested in purchasing that low-cost 4K model, because it just won’t provide the same experience."

Please click on the link in the first paragraph, above, to read the other quotes in the Dealerscope report.