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Big TV Battle Looms As Retailers Rationalise Brands

The Australian TV market is in for a shakeup with retailers set to rationalise brands, as a looming battle between market leader Samsung with their new QLED TV technology and LG, Sony and Panasonic with their OLED offering plays out.

At a retail level the battle will be centre on whether Samsung’s QLED display technology or OLED is the best display TV technology.

Both the Sony and Panasonic OLED TV panels are made by LG.

ChannelNews understands that both Harvey Norman and JB Hi Fi plan to set up OLED TV zones in their stores while Samsung who earlier this week gave ChannelNews a hands-on look at their new QLED technology is set to work directly with retailers on deliver better dealer margins and incentives for sales staff to recommend their QLED over the more expensive OLED technology.

In the past, the combination of a Samsung SUHD TV, a sound bar and extended warranty has seen retail staff earn higher commission from selling a Samsung display solution.

In 2017 Samsung’s SUHD range is set to compete head on with several other brands competing in the value end of the TV market.

Nibbling away at the sidelines will be Hisense who up until now have remained extremly quiet as to what they are planning to take on the Samsung and their OLED brands.

The Chinese Company who have been stripping share away from all the big brands, is set to reveal new TV technology at the upcoming Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne, however ChannelNews has heard that the Company is looking to launch an OLED TV towards the end of the year.

For LG, the battle could be between Samsung and two new players to the OLED market Sony and Panasonic.
While LG has had the OLED TV market to themselves they are now going to have to compete with two new players that will be determined to strip share away from LG.

Analysts claim, that collectively the three OLED brands could lift awareness of OLED however pricing could become a major issue as all three are basically offering an LG panel wrapped around their own variations of smarts.

For LG the battle will be to hold onto OLED market share as research shows that Australian consumers still have a “soft spot” for Sony branded TV’s which are still seen as a “premium” TV brand despite the fact that Sony uses third party manufactures and components in their TV offering.

Currently UHD technology is transforming the Australian TV market when it comes to high level display resolution. UHD TV is one of the most significant innovation that took place in the market space after FHD and consumers are lapping it up even at a value level which has led to retailers such as Big W with their Polaroid brand and Aldi with their Bauhn brand achieving significant growth.

At a content level, there is now an abundance of UHD content, but as we discovered yesterday when testing several UHD Blu Ray Movies Vs Netflix UHD content the Netflix content was significantly superior than the remastered Blu Ray content especially when viewed on the Samsung QLED TV which delivers significantly improved blacks and deep rich balanced colours.
In Australia, the introduction of UHD TVs has seen an increase in demand for large screen TV’s.

During the next three years, the UHD TV market in Australia is set to grow at a CAGR of 45.4 percent over the period 2017-2019.

Recently several retailers moved to restructure the TV brands they range. JB Hi Fi has dropped the Philips brand for the time being, they are set to range the Philips Premium TV range when and if it is launched in Australia.

Several retailers have told ChannelNews that they doubt whether they will take on any new TV brands.

A senior Harvey Norman executive said that it more about “less brands and higher sell through of existing brands” than ranging new brands a move that see Blaupunkt struggle to get back on the shelves of retailers in Australia.

Also under threat if being dropped is Chinese brand Changhong in favour of TCL.

For consumers looking to use devices to deliver content to a TV the Samsung software both in attach devices and their TV’s delivers a significant advantage over most other brand.

An owner of a Samsung TV can easily connect a Samsung VR headset, via a Samsung smartphone, tablet, PC or a Samsung smartwatch, unlike other brands who only have limited attach devices.

The new Samsung TV range will be available in Australia on 17 April, they are the only brand to deliver pricing for their new 2017 TV range.

The Samsung Q9 series will be available in 65-inch, 75-inch, and 88-inch models. The Samsung Q8 and Q7 series will be available in 55-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch models:
QLED Q7 55-inch TV – $4499
QLED Q7 65-inch TV – $6499
QLED Q7 75-inch TV – $10,999
QLED Q8 55-inch TV – $5499
QLED Q8 65-inch TV – $7499
QLED Q8 75-inch TV – $12,499
QLED Q9 65-inch TV – $9499
QLED Q9 75-inch TV – $14,999
QLED Q9 88-inch TV – $39,999

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