NPD: Consumers planning to buy HDTVs, tablets in the near future

Watching television tracking

Detailed within a new consumer electronics study conducted by consumer research firm The NPD Group, the typical budget for consumer electronics is up by nine percent this year and U.S. consumers are focusing on new flat-panel televisions as well as tablets. After polling over 2,500 consumers, The NPD Group found that nearly three fourths of respondents were planning on purchasing an electronics product within the next year and spending approximately $550 on new consumer electronics this year.

Specifically, 28 percent of respondents plan on purchasing a new flat-screen HDTV while another 20 percent plan on buying a new tablet. While the interest in purchasing a new television has fallen slightly year over year, it’s still the most popular consumer electronics purchase. Also in the home theater category, soundbars have become more popular among consumers, possibly due to more people living in rental properties rather than purchasing a new home or consumers simply looking for a sleeker, minimal option within their living room. Space-saving soundbars are also excellent options for secondary televisions in rooms like a bedroom or an office. 

Video game consoles were also in the mix as well, possibly inflated due to the upcoming launch of the the Xbox One and PlayStation 3 during November 2013. Alternatively, standalone Blu-ray players have become a less popular option due to the rise of streaming high definition video as well as the availability of Blu-ray playback in the PlayStation 3. Interest in set-top streaming video players, like the Roku 3, did not grow year over year, possibly due to the availability of streaming video applications on the current generation of video game consoles as well as Web-connected Smart televisions.

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When asked about the consumer’s preferences when it comes to new electronics, NPD director of industry analysis Ben Arnold said “Consumers have an abundance of devices to choose from when deciding where to watch video content. Today, it seems that nearly any device with a screen and an Internet connection can be used as a video player.  As a result, Blu-ray players are now competing as one of many options for watching video content, and sales of video devices reflect this shift.”

Beyond the products in this study, the rise in popularity of mobiles devices like tablets and smartphones has influenced other related product categories. For instance, sales of wireless streaming speakers, like the Jawbone JAMBOX, have spiked significantly as well as stereo headphones that include microphone functionality. According to another recent NPD study, other popular headphones features sought after by consumers include in-line play controls, noise cancelling functionality, wireless functionality and sweat resistance. 

Regarding Internet connectivity for all those new smart television purchases in the upcoming year, households that subscribe to family networks and premium movie channels are 20 percent more likely to have connected their television to the Internet in order to access streaming video applications. Streaming video subscription services like Netflix and Hulu Plus have a large variety of animated shows for kids to watch and premium movie channels like HBO offer on-demand access to programming using the HBO GO application.

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