Vendor View: JVC Weighs in on UHD
Technology Integrator: As you look at the current HD market, what are the main features consumers looking for in a high performance model?
Drew Pragliola: End-users are accustomed to accessing their favorite content when they want it, no matter if it’s on a big screen TV or a small smartphone. The concept of “binge watching” has made it even more attractive for our customers to dig into a show like “Breaking Bad” in one big swoop. It’s one of the reasons why we’re bundling our recent Emerald Series models with the Roku Streaming Stick. The appeal of accessing over 1,500 channels on a high performance TV with exceptional sound is making this one of our most successful series to date.
TI: Overall performance will still be what separates brands like JVC and other top players from pure commodity products. Consumers who invest in, say, a 55” or larger model expects more than simple TV viewing—they want a true theater experience, with audio that’s better than the typical tinny speakers found on most TVs. Since developing our proprietary XinemaSound 3D technology, we’re getting great feedback from end-users who now see an outboard audio system as an option rather than a necessity.
DP: And don’t forget reliability. At the end of the day, consumers may eventually want to upgrade, but they shouldn’t be forced into it with products that don’t last very long. JVC and others at our level are focused on making TVs that satisfy customers for the long haul.
TI: What tactics do you rely on to reach end-users and support your dealers? Are you involved in any programs with third party organizations or companies?
DP: We are committed to supporting our dealers on many levels, with programs that promote our products to their customers in clear and certain terms. For example, our new Emerald models with Roku Streaming Stick are now merchandised with in-store displays that spell out the benefits of the bundle. Also, we’re currently working with one of our longtime dealers, Paul’s TV, on a promotion that has them donating 10 percent of JVC TV sales to the National Football Alumni Association’s charitable efforts in select markets on specific dates. We expect to raise a lot of money for several worthwhile causes while promoting both Paul’s TV and JVC in these markets, and we’re looking into similar efforts with other dealers.
TI: Screen size matters. Are smaller, sub-42” models still relevant in a market where sizes seem to grow every day?
DP: The excitement may be in the bigger models, but yes, smaller screens still matter. Think of a limited space environment like a den, dorm or bedroom. Gamers in particular are drawn to our new 32” model because it brings their favorite games to life, and with audio that puts them in the middle of the action. Many recent grads who are moving into their first apartments or small homes veer toward sub-55” models.
TI: Looking ahead to UHD, about how much of the market will it comprise this year?
DP: UHD will comprise 8—10%, maybe 12% if the industry really pushes hard. This will hold true for individual brands like JVC as well as the overall market.
For our part, our introductory selection of UHD models are designed to be future-proof in that they feature upscaling technology that boosts the image of a standard HD picture to near-4K quality. The difference is striking, and it’s demonstrable to the most casual viewer. Place our Ultra HD and a standard HD TV side by side, running the exact same content, and the viewer will be convinced that the UHD model is running true 4K video.
TI: What will it take for UHD to really
DP: Content is key. When ESPN, the majors and the movie channels start broadcasting in UHD, we’ll see a surge across the board.
TI: What is JVC doing to help educate consumers to the benefits of UHD?
DP: When it comes to UHD, we in the industry can talk all we want, but consumers have to see it to believe it. Our website, for example, will spell out exactly what makes a JVC Ultra HD TV stand out from the pack, with a layperson’s presentation on the technology itself. And, some of our retail displays will be designed to communicate the benefits of Ultra HD and our upscaling technology. •