Circana: Household TV Model Replacement Set to Increase

U.S. households are set to begin replacing aging televisions in greater numbers — the first market increase since the pandemic began three years ago. Despite the pandemic-driven surge in TV purchases, a new report from Circana (formerly IRI and The NPD Group), reveals the age of installed TVs is beginning to rise, an early indication of an upcoming TV purchase refresh cycle.

The average household TV is 6.6 years old when it is replaced. While the average age of installed TVs in the U.S. dropped to five years during the pandemic, the average is now 5.2 years, a slight uptick. In fact, 25.5% of installed TVs are now seven years or older, the highest percentage reported since February 2020.

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“The aging installed TV base is a positive indicator for TV manufacturers and retailers because consumers who purchased TVs earlier in the pandemic will soon be ready to replace them,” John Buffone, VP and industry advisor with Circana, said in a statement.

According to the forecast, from 2023 through 2025, TV unit sales are expected to experience annual gains. Despite a decline in 2022, unit sales will return to their pre-pandemic baseline by 2024, as the replacement cycle will drive demand, according to Circana.

“The demand cycle was disrupted by the pandemic, but we expect to return to the typical refresh rate by 2024,” added Circana’s Paul Gagnon. “Once economic conditions improve, there is potential for 2 to 3 million additional TV unit sales based on 1 to 2 million new households in the U.S. each year and assuming the replacement frequency remains at 6.6 years.”

LG Offering New LG 4K Smart-TV Owners Free Priority Membership to Nvidia Cloud Gaming Service

LG Electronics is offering new LG 2021 4K Smart TV owners in select markets free priority membership to cloud gaming service Nvidia GeForce Now for six months.

The promotion kicks off as GeForce Now moves out of beta on LG TVs in 80 markets, providing users worldwide with Nvidia’s cloud gaming service.

GeForce Now allows users to stream free-to-play games purchased from online stores such as Steam, Epic Games Store, Ubisoft Connect and Origin. Priority membership provides faster access to Nvidia’s servers, extended session times, ray-traced graphics with RTX On and high-res gameplay at up to 60 frames per second.

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GeForce Now priority membership is open to all customers who purchase an applicable LG 2021 4K Smart TV model during the promotion period in participating markets. The limited-time offer will run in the United States from Feb. 1 to March 20 and will require LG TV customers to download and install GeForce Now on their new LG TVs.

With no additional hardware requirement outside of a compatible controller, LG TV users can play supported games they already own or free-to-play titles available on GeForce Now, including Rocket League and Destiny 2, as well as titles such as Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Crysis Remastered Trilogy

UHD Alliance Expanding Consumer Education About Filmmaker Mode

Filmmaker Mode — an Ultra HD TV setting designed to reproduce movie and TV content the way the creator intended — will get a new consumer education push in 2022, according to UHD Alliance president Michael Zink.

Introduced by the UHD Alliance in August 2019, Filmmaker Mode allows viewers to enjoy a more cinematic experience on their UHD TVs when watching content by disabling all post-processing (e.g. motion smoothing, etc.) so a movie or television show is displayed as it was intended by the filmmaker, preserving the correct aspect ratios, colors and frame rates. Among its supporters are Hisense (which highlighted the feature at CES), Panasonic (which also highlighted the feature on its flagship OLED TV), Samsung, LG, Skyworth, BenQ, Kaleidescape, Philips/TP Vision, and Amazon Prime Video, which was the first streaming service to announce support for Filmmaker Mode in 2020 and was the first streaming service to implement automatic switching to the Mode on all LG Smart TVs.

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Filmmaker Mode is also supported by the Director’s Guild of America, the American Society of Cinematographers, the International Cinematographers Guild, the Film Foundation, and several top Hollywood directors, including Martin Scorsese.

“We are in this unique position of having a relatively comprehensive ecosystem,” Zink said.

The concurrent theatrical and streaming release of many films during the pandemic has increased creative support for Filmmaker Mode, he noted.

As part of the new focus on education, the UHD Alliance recently got a video assist from Dune director Denis Villeneuve, who discussed Filmmaker Mode as the best way to view the film in the home. Due to the pandemic, Dune was released concurrently in late October in theaters and on HBO Max, where a large audience would see the film for the first time streamed at home. The Alliance pushed the filmmaker’s video on social media in October in concert with the WarnerMedia, HBO Max and Dune promotional teams.

In another online education move, the Alliance enlisted professional TV calibration expert Vincent Teoh to release a YouTube video called “5 TV Settings That Should Be Illegal,” explaining the downsides of TV settings that harm picture quality and emphasizing the benefits of Filmmaker Mode. The YouTube video was viewed more than 800,000 times in two weeks, Zink said.


Meanwhile, the UHD Alliance continues to enlist more companies to adopt Filmmaker Mode. In recent developments, MediaTek will support Filmmaker Mode auto-switching (which employs the setting automatically on applicable content) on its chipsets. This makes it easier for manufacturers using the chipsets to implement the feature, so they “don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” Zink said.

Also, the new specification from APEX (the Airline Passenger Entertainment eXperience Association) was approved in 2021 with Filmmaker Mode as a mandatory requirement for in flight entertainment systems, meaning new systems on planes will offer flyers the setting on movies and TV shows viewed on flights. American Airlines in December 2021 announced implementation of the new system on transcontinental and international flights in 2023.

The UHD Alliance is continuing to work on expanding the Filmmaker Mode ecosystem.

“We’re talking to a number of other OTT services [to enlist support],” Zink said.

Also on the Alliance’s plate for the future are further interoperability testing and ambient light recommendations for Filmmaker Mode to offer the best picture in different viewing situations.

Vizio Official HDTV and Sound Bar Partner for ‘Marvel’s Avengers’ Game

Vizio announced the launch of a partnership with Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics as the official HDTV and sound bar partner for the Marvel’s Avengers video game.

From the new line of IQ 4K HDR processors to Vizio’s ProGaming Engine, every new Vizio 4K TV is designed to optimize the gaming experience, according to Vizio.

The Vizio 2021 collection has started hitting retail shelves over the past four weeks and will continue to roll out through the fall.

“Today’s gamers want to enhance their playing experience,” Bill Baxter, chief technology officer at Vizio, said in a statement. “When they combine a new Vizio 4K TV and new 5.1 sound bar they increase their ability to win and raise their gaming position. We have created an entirely new lineup of 4K TVs with a dedicated gaming engine and immersive 5.1 sound bars that offer a best-in-class gaming experience. We’re excited to be the official HDTV and Sound Bar partner for the new Marvel’s Avengers game and to give gamers every advantage as they play the highly anticipated game upon its release.”

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“Video games are our passion,” Karl Stewart, head of worldwide strategic partnerships at Square Enix, said in a statement. “Now more than ever they are essential to bringing friends and family together. That’s why we are truly excited to work with Vizio and give gamers the perfect way to experience our game with Vizio as the official HDTV and sound bar for Marvel’s Avengers when it launches on Sept. 4.”

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Vizio delivers Quantum Color, Full Array LED with up to 3,000 nits of peak brightness, according to the company. The company is further enhancing its 4K TVs with next-gen gaming performance. Vizio V-Series 4K TVs include the new V-Gaming Engine, which utilizes Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Auto Game Mode to optimize performance upon identifying the game signal. Step-up models such as the M-Series, P-Series Quantum, P-Series Quantum X, and all new OLED include a ProGaming Engine, which offers support for variable refresh rate (VRR) and support for 4K at 120fps. Utilizing 64-bit image processing and offering HDMI 2.1 connectivity along with eARC passthrough, utilizing Vizio’s IQ Ultra and IQ Active processors adjust contrast at the level of individual pixels. The 1GHz CPU smooths contours and gradients in real time for more natural-looking graphics while accurately upscaling HD content to 4K resolution, according to Vizio. The Elevate Sound Bar features DTS:X and rotating speakers that blast sound overhead.

“We want Marvel’s Avengers to be a completely immersive gaming experience and VIZIO’s high performance takes everything to an entirely different level,” Crystal Dynamics creative director Shaun Escayg said in a statement. “The all-new Vizio ProGaming Engine in their TVs will make you feel like you’re a superhero.”

Marvel’s Avengers is a third-person action-adventure game combining a single-player campaign with online co-op action. Players must reassemble, rebuild, and customize their heroes’ roster to play an original Avengers single-player campaign, then enter the Avengers Initiative to battle solo or online alongside friends and continue the expanding story around the globe. They can also customize Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and master their unique powers to defend the world from escalating threats for years to come.

Marvel’s Avengers will bow for the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, Stadia, and PC on Sept. 4, and will be available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X when the consoles launch in holiday 2020. The game is currently rated ‘T’ (Teen) by the ESRB.

Samsung Launches New QLED 4K and 8K TVs

Samsung March 5 announced that its new and expanded line of 2020 QLED 4K and 8K televisions are available for purchase or pre-order on and at select retailers nationwide.

The new line features an expanded 8K Series, larger screen sizes for 4K and 8K models and improved AI capabilities. The QLED line offers consumers instant access to streaming entertainment with Samsung TV Plus. With over 100 channels of content, consumers have access to genres such as news, sports, gaming and lifestyle. Samsung TV Plus is ad-supported without the need for additional devices or subscriptions.

The televisions also include Samsung Health — a fitness and wellness app that can integrate into people’s daily schedules. Users can track their physical activities and share fitness goals. The software also offers free content from partners, including Calm, Fitplan, Jillian Michaels, Echelon, obé Fitness, and barre3, among others.

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“Whether it’s the new ‘infinity screen’ that virtually eliminates bezels, the new Quantum Processors, or our Smart TV Powered by Tizen, our 2020 QLED line is perfectly positioned to deliver the personalized experiences our consumers care about the most,” James Fishler, SVP, consumer electronics, Samsung Electronics America.

The 2020 QLED 8K line has expanded to three series — Q950TS, Q900TS and Q800T — which are available in four sizes ranging from 65 to 85 inches. They are joined by the 2020 QLED 4K line, which spans four series — Q90T, Q80T, Q70T and Q60T — that range in eight sizes from 43 to 85 inches.

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In addition to Samsung Bixby, the 2020 QLED line will feature Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant – all built into the TV with added capabilities.

Samsung’s full 2020 TV screen sizes include:
Q950TS: 65”, 75”, 85”
Q900TS: 65”, 75”, 85”
Q800T: 65”, 75”, 82”
Q90T: 55”, 65”, 75”, 85”
Q80T: 49”, 55”, 65”, 75”, 85”
Q70T: 55”, 65”, 75”, 82”, 85”
Q60T: 43”, 50”, 55”, 58”, 65”, 75”, 85”

2020 4K televisions include:
Adaptive Sound (Q60) / Adaptive Sound+ (Q70 and up)
Real Game Enhancer+ (Q70 and up)
Active Voice Amplifier (Q70 and up)
Ambient Mode+ (Q70 and up)
Adaptive Picture (Q70 and up)
Samsung Symphony soundbar functionality
Object Tracking Sound aka OTS (Q80 and Q90)

2020 8K TVs include:
Object Tracking Sound+ aka OTS+ (All 8K models)
Local Power Distribution (All 8K models)
Infinity Screen (Q950 8K only)