TVs Still Getting Bigger

Proof that bigger is still better in the eyes of many consumers comes from the TV industry, where the dream of an immersive home theatre experience seems alive and kicking.

Expensive TVs in the 1980s and 1990s had screens measuring just over 30 inches, growing to more than 40 inches in the 2000s. But now that already seems puny as makers roll out ever vaster models in a bid to satisfy the oligarch in all of us.

Market researcher DisplaySearch on Monday said the average size of flat TVs in the global market grew from 35.2 inches in 2011 to 37.7 inches last year. In size-conscious North America, it increased to 39.8 inches, and in China to 39.4 inches.

TVs measuring 50 inches or more are grabbing a bigger market share, rapidly expanding from 17.2 percent of the global market in 2011 to 31.5 percent in 2013. By contrast, the market share of TVs with displays between 40 and 50 inches shrank from 41.8 percent in 2012 to 35.7 percent last year.

The main reason is that big TVs are getting cheaper because LCD prices are dropping.

The price of 55-inch LCD panels fell 27.5 percent from US$596 apiece in the second quarter of 2012 to $432 in the fourth quarter last year, and that of 40-inch LCD panels 42.9 percent from $263 to $150.

Samsung's 55-inch curved UHD TVs will cost W5.9 million (US$1=W1,067) when they hit the market here on Wednesday, down from W6.4 million for flat UHD TVs of the same size in June last year.

"More and more big TVs in the 50-inch-plus range now cost less than W2 million," an industry insider said. "The most popular models cost between W1 million and W2 million, so TVs will probably just keep getting bigger."

englishnews@chosun.com / Mar. 11, 2014 13:37 KST