A survey of the UK’s TV habits by YouGov reveals that only 37% of Britons planning to buy a Smart TV said that connecting to the internet through it was a factor in buying one. Only half (53%) of Smart TV owners correctly identified a Smart TV as one that directly connects to the internet, while one in four Smart TV owners have never used it to connect to the internet.
Dan Brilot, YouGov’s Media Consulting Director, commented: “The ‘smart’ part of a Smart TV is not yet the main reason people are buying them; it’s more about future-proofing their TV set in the same way that lots of people bought HD TVs even before HD channels were available.”
The most common reason (50% of respondents) for intending to buy a Smart TV is simply having a more up-to-date TV. The most important feature of Smart TVs amongst people who already own one is the picture quality (96% of owners) followed by the size of the screen (93%) then sound quality (89%).
“I think many early adopters of Smart TV are buying them for the sake of owning the latest gadget,” said Brilot. “We see the profile (in terms of tech adoption) as very similar between iPad and Smart TV owners at the moment. These are the kind of people who are willing to make a big ticket purchase without quite realizing what they’ve bought.”
YouGov believes that Sony could well be overtaken by Samsung in the near future as the manufacturer of choice for Smart TV owners. Amongst Smart TV owners, over one third (36%) have a Sony, followed by Samsung (33%) then Panasonic (16%). However, almost two-thirds (62%) of people planning to purchase one in the next 12 months are considering Samsung, followed by Sony (48%) and Panasonic (40%).
Over one quarter (26%) say they plan to buy an Apple TV, even though the manufacturer has not yet launched one. Apple is also seen as the most stylish and innovative Smart TV brand; LG is seen as representing the best value for money while Hitachi is seen as the most outdated.
Brilot added, “Sony is seen as the quality or premium brand favoured by the early tech adopters – late 20- or 30-something men – but Samsung is the brand working the hardest and most successfully to bring Smart TV to the masses through its advertising campaigns as well as leading the way in the availability of apps on the sets. With 14% of UK households set to own one in the next year, Smart TV’s are likely to have a big impact on on traditional viewing habits. Just over one in three (35%) Smart TV owners say they now spend more time watching TV through on-demand services than they do watching traditional linear TV.