Advanced Television

Study: Just half of 4K TV owners have watched 4K content

May 8, 2019

Hub’s inaugural study on entertainment technology, Entertainment in the Connected Home, shows that even though ownership of new connected devices in the US is high, many who own them don’t use most of their core capabilities.

Highlights from the study include:

1) Half of TV homes is the US now have a 4K set – but only half of those with a 4K set have ever used it to watch 4K content.

  • 47 per cent say they have at least one 4K set; in fact, when one factors in multiple sets in some households, there’s nearly one 4K set for each TV home, on average.
  • However only 55 per cent of those with a 4K TV set have ever used it to watch 4K content.  The others essentially use it as a non-4K TV.

2) Two thirds of TV households have a Smart TV – but many of those sets aren’t even connected to the internet.

  • 68 per cent of TV households have a Smart TV (i.e. a set with built-in internet connectivity)
    • But 14 per cent of those with a Smart TV haven’t even connected the set to the internet
  • Among those who have connected their Smart TV, 69 per cent use it to watch streaming content at least weekly
    • But a quarter (23 per cent) stream through their Smart TV only occasionally, and 8 per cent never do
  • Adoption of Smart TVs hasn’t eliminated use of TV connectors.  More than half (54 per cent) of Smart TV owners also have a streaming media device, like a Roku or Amazon Fire

3) Even though adoption of new home entertainment tech is high, retailers are still a key part of the research and purchase process.  For example, among those who intend to buy a 4K/HDR set in the next 12 months…

  • One third (32 per cent) will do in-person research at a retail store, tied for the top tier of information sources, along with online reviews on retail sites and online reviews by experts
  • 42 per cent intend to buy in person at a retail store, and 22 per cent say they’ll buy online from a retailer and pick it up at the store
  • Only 27 per cent intend to go online-only: buy online and have it delivered to their home

“With 4K TV sets, we see the classic case of capability leading content, similar to what was seen with high definition and 3D sets,” said David Tice, co-author of the study. “With 8K TV sets and ‘Next Gen TV’ broadcast TV sets soon to debut, manufacturers must be careful that their technological ambitions don’t outstrip the ability of content creators and distributors to serve new platforms – otherwise consumers will tune innovation out.”

“It’s really interesting to see the importance of the retail channel, even as consumers are buying more of everything online,” said Jon Giegengack, one of the co-authors.  “People still want to see and touch before they buy, even though they often don’t intend to use new features. This suggests retail partnerships, like the one between Amazon and Best Buy on TV sets, might be a real opportunity for content providers to drive adoption and content.”

These findings are from Hub’s Entertainment in the Connected Home study, conducted among 5,131 US consumers.


Categories: Articles, Connected TV, Consumer Behaviour, Equipment, Equipment, OTT, Research, UHD, Ultra-HD/4K