Over time, high-definition TVs have become bigger and better, with sizes and technologies often dropping significantly in price over not very much time. For instance, 4K used to only be at the very highest end, and now you can find a 4K TV for only a couple of hundred dollars-sometimes in a large size.
According to new data released by research firm NPD Group, this phenomenon is such that the installed bases of TVs have gotten a lot bigger over time.
According to NPD’s TV Ownership Trends Report, released Wednesday, 15 percent of Americans’ TVs are 60 inches or larger, up from 11 percent last year. Also, the average age of TVs is now under 5 years, at 4.9 years, compared with 5.4 years in 2019. Also, the average size of a replacement TV — defined as a TV meant to replace an older household TV — is now over 50 inches, at 51, compared to 49 inches in 2019 and 47 inches the year before.
The pandemic, which kept large numbers of people at home more than usual, was helpful for sales. With TV sales surging 19 percent, year to date, compared with the year before. Sales of TVs 65 inches and larger ended up increasing 27 percent year-over-year, while those of TVs 70-inches and larger jumped a full 82 percent.
“This year home entertainment became even more crucial as consumers spent more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. TV sales, among other tech items, saw strong interest and as a result, we saw notable shifts in the installed base,” John Buffone, Executive Director, Industry Analyst of NPD’s Connected Intelligence practice, said in the announcement. “Without the ability to go to the movies or live entertainment Americans shifted spending to technology that offered at-home opportunities to consume content.”
An infographic put out by NPD also listed what’s motivating buyers. A full 12 percent of buyers now consider high-definition resolution when replacing their TV, while OLED influences 6 percent of replacement TV buyers, compared to 3 percent a year earlier.
“This year consumers saw the value in bigger screens and newer, more modern technology to support their entertainment needs,” Stephen Baker, vice president, industry advisor for The NPD Group, said in the announcement. “This commitment to new technology and the value it can provide to the consumer will be key for the continued growth in larger screen TVs in 2021 and beyond.”
The next generation of new TVs is set to be unveiled next month, at the “virtual” International CES. Manufacturers Samsung, LG, Hisense, Panasonic, Sony and TCL are all on tap to hold press conferences during Media Day on Jan. 11.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.