Full HD 1080p is the new buzzword in the TV market. According to analyst iSuppli, TV buyers are becoming more aware of what's hot and what's not in the flatscreen market, and more of us are now prepared to pay more for the full-HD experience.
"The dramatic increase in availability of full-HD products is spurring impressive growth for LCD TV sales, mostly due to consumer demand," said Riddhi Patel, hotshot analyst at iSuppli. "For television brands, full HD is also a way for them to differentiate themselves from their competition as well as to charge more for the displays they sell."
LCD revenue to soar
We've seen a huge rise in the number of sets touting themselves as Full HD this year - even more so now that the Christmas marketing push is well under way.
iSuppli has predicted that worldwide revenue from 1080p LCD TVs will grow to $75.4 billion (£37bn) by 2011, increasing by 81.7 per cent from 2006.
And it's not just the LCD market that's expanding either. According to Jim Palumbo, president of the Plasma Display Coalition, 1080p has been the driving force in the plasma market for the last six months. Sales of plasma sets over the last few months have risen by 21 per cent compared to last year.
It's no real surprise that it's taken until now for people to start switching themselves onto the benefits that flatscreen TVs can deliver. There's a lot more to think about when buying than there was 10 years ago, and consumer education in this field has been fairly weak.
"Too many consumers are confused about what television they want or what they are buying," Patel said. "There are far too many acronyms, and while education at consumer electronics stores and by [manufacturers] is improving, it is not at a level where consumers understand it all."
As the market continues to mature in the UK , awareness will grow, but Patel has a point - consumers do not yet understand all the jargon.
In a recent U.S. consumer survey by iSuppli, 75 per cent of those who had recently bought a flat-panel television said they believed they had bought a full HD/1080p set. However, after further investigation, this turned out not to be the case and most of those televisions were not 1080p compatible.