CEA Study says Viewers want 4K UHD, Smart TVs

By Vanessa Browning
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While the television remains viewers’ primary means of accessing video content, the number of consumers watching video content via streaming (63 percent) is gaining on those who watch through a traditional service provider (68 percent), according to a pair of new studies from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®.

CEA’s OTT Video Consumption and 4K Ultra HD Update: Consumer Adoption and Awareness studies also show one-third of consumers (33 percent) may purchase a 4K Ultra-High Definition TV (UHD) within the next three years, while almost half of consumers (44 percent) indicate they are likely to purchase a “smart” or Internet-enabled TV, a function commonly available with 4K UHD televisions.

“While viewing habits are changing, the television remains the primary preferred device for viewing video content,” said Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis, CEA. “Consumers have access to streaming video across numerous devices but when asked where they most prefer to watch content around the home, almost three in five (58 percent) prefer to watch on a TV. Overall our studies’ indicate a bright future for 4K UHD.”

The complete findings of the study were announced at CEA’s Research Summit at the 2015 International CES®, the global gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technology, running January 6-9.

Television Purchase Decision Drivers

According to the 4K Ultra HD Update, one-third (38 percent) of consumers planning to buy a television will seek to increase screen size or improve picture quality (31 percent) when purchasing their new TVs. When considering the top features that will drive their next television purchase, 27 percent ranked 4K UHD capability as the second-most important feature, followed by picture quality (24 percent), a key benefit of 4K UHD TVs. For more than half of consumers (54 percent), price ranked as the most important aspect to consider when purchasing a TV.

Televisions vs. Computing Devices for Watching Streaming Video at Home

The OTT Video Consumption study finds that consumers are driven more by screen size than portability when watching streaming content at home. More than half of consumers (52 percent) watch streaming video content on a TV, and roughly one-third watch via mobile connected devices such as laptop computers (37 percent), smartphones (35 percent) or a tablet (29 percent).

Millennials Shifting Content Viewing in the Home  

Millennials are leading the shift in accessing video content in the home. According to the study, consumers aged 18-to-34 are more likely to stream video content (80 percent) than those 35-and-older (52 percent); access television programs via an antenna (22 percent) than those 35-and-older (14 percent); and are less likely to have pay-tv programing (61 percent) than their older counterparts (74 percent).

“As younger consumers gravitate away from more traditional means of accessing video content, CE manufacturers and retailers have a special opportunity to market smart TVs and mobile connected devices” said Koenig.  OTT is poised to opens new avenues for content providers to meet millennials’ evolving video consumption habits. I am excited to see how these trends play out at the 2015 CES and throughout the year.”

According to CEA’s U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecast unit shipments of 4K UHD displays are projected to reach four million in 2015 (a 208 percent increase). Revenue from 4K UHD displays is expect to exceed $5 billion in 2015, more than double its 2014 total (a 106 percent increase).