Price Matters Most to Flat-Screen Buyers

Apr 3, 2008  •  Post A Comment

For flat-panel television buyers, size matters, but price matters more.
Price was the most important factor among recent flat-screen TV buyers, and it played a bigger role among TV buyers than among consumers of other consumer electronics products such as high-definition DVD players, mobile phones and digital cameras, according to a survey released this week.
About 84% of recent buyers of flat-screen TVs, almost all of which are HD-capable, said price was a major factor in their purchase choice, while 53% said features were important and 36% focused on the brand name, Dallas-based consultant Parks Associates said, citing a survey of households with broadband Internet service. Meanwhile, a TV’s color and style trumped factors such as product reviews and ease-of-use.
“I expected brand name to pop out like it does for laptops, but it doesn’t. Price does,” said Parks CEO Tricia Parks. She added that the No. 2 flat-panel brand chosen in the survey was Vizio, which is sold at big-box stores like Costco and Sam’s Club. “Here’s a space where there are so many good brands, so when you look at the TV, you may not see a difference.”
Across the board, 73% of consumer electronics buyers said price was a primary issue, according to the poll. For buyers of HD disc players, though, price, at 65%, trailed features and capabilities among the most important factors. Brand was also important, resonating with two out of every five buyers of HD DVD or Blu-ray players.
While the projected softening in the U.S. economy may have little effect on TV buyers who’ve already made price such an important part of their decision, the impact on the still-nascent HD DVD player industry may be more pronounced. Consumers are more likely to forgo paying $400 for an HD disc player than withholding the $1,000 or more needed for a new television, Ms. Parks said.
With standard DVD player prices starting around $50, “DVD is considered popcorn,” said Ms. Parks, who estimated HD disc player unit sales in the U.S. at about 1.25 million last year. “HD DVD is nowhere near that.”


  1. As an audio-video consultant / installer the way to look at the cuurent market could be sized up in the high end consumers will be upgrading there equipment every few years. The entry level consumer has been waiting years to get a flat TV and to them ponying up $1000. is the most expensive thing they’ve every purchased.

  2. Jared, I totally agree! I have been holding off from purchasing an item I expect to own for at least 10 years that maybe upgraded as often as an iphone. There are so many different brands and specs that its difficult to decide what is really worth the money and will offer the superior viewing experience. Could you recommend an affordable flat screen for the average viewer?

  3. Actually size and price matter for me. 60 or 61 inch is about the right size for me but it seems nobody is making that size in LCD which I think would be a winner for them.

  4. Jared where are you?

  5. hey Jared, are you still in Seattle area? I moved back to west seattle – and would love to reconnect. Laurie N. (red hair)

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