BERLIN - A leading display market researcher has predicted difficult times are in store for the TV market, emphasizing the importance of the roles Korean TV makers play in overcoming the obstacles that lie ahead.
"The TV industry has hit a barrier for growth, the rules of the game are changing," said Paul Gray, a director of European TV search at Display Search, in an interview with The Korea Herald last week.
"TV makers have chosen a better resolution as a solution to the challenges ahead. However, Chinese firms which now have access to the 4K technology are sacrificing the quality of consumer experience," said Gray, hinting that the compromise of picture quality by Chinese firms could be accelerating the demise of the TV business.
Mistakes made with 3-D TV technology exemplify the case.
"Bad content, poor displays, and so on. And that is what went wrong with 3-D," the director said.
Likening Chinese UHD TVs to fake red Ferraris with a big exhaust pipe, he emphasised the roles of leading TV makers such as Samsung and LG.
"Samsung and LG as leaders, which define where the battle goes, have to demonstrate and show people the difference between their true 4K TVs and the pseudo ones."
He admitted that it would not be easy for the Seoul-based TV makers to survive for the next couple of years due to the lack of broadcast, content and clear standards for UHD TV, even though the first models are already out on the market.
The market expert praised Samsung and LG for their patience and foresight, which he said Chinese companies were lacking.
"What Samsung is trying to say to the industry is 'wait, let us not destroy another opportunity,'" he said.
"Now the question is whether they can make the industry keep the brakes on for the whole industry, especially when the Chinese are now at the gates."
Even though the Chinese firms have mastered a lot of technology including integrating mobile phones and TVs, they have to learn more about understanding consumer needs, marketing, and brand-building, he explained.
"Take Europe which has 40 countries, 113 languages. While traveling across the region, food changes, drink changes, language changes, and you just have to understand this is why people live their lives differently. You cannot have one size fits all strategy for Europe and North America."
The youthful and energetic image that Samsung has built up over more than a decade was also pinpointed as a contributing factor to the firm's success in Europe.