Indians switch off cathode ray TVs

Amit Mitra Hyderabad | Updated on June 19, 2014

Opting for slimmer flat panel LED, LCD and smart TVs

Remember those heavy-weight cathode ray televisions that had a place in most Indian households till a few years ago? Well, you may see the last of these sets being produced for the domestic market within two years, say industry leaders.

India’s television market is clearly parading away from those bulky electronic boxes towards slimmer flat panel LED TVs and now LCD and smarter sets. This was in evidence at the on-going India Gadget Expo 2014, which saw the latest and futuristic electronic products on display.

For the first time, the stylish and slimmer flat TVs elbowed aside the cathode-ray tube televisions, or CRT TVs, in the Indian market in 2013. While CRTs sold about four million sets, the flat TV segment registered sales of six million. Till 2012, it was the other way round. In 2012, about six million Indians brought the older sets, while the off-take for flat TVs was about 4.5 million.

“Our estimate is that the CRTs will have less than two million sales this year, as against about eight million in the flat panel categories. We feel new CRTs will totally fade away from the Indian market by 2015-end,” Rishi Tandan, Marketing Head (Home Entertainment) of LG Electronics, said.

The Indian CRT market is today dominated by home-grown brands such as Onida and Videocon, with the foreign players shutting the box on this segment.

The shrinking price difference between a basic CRT and a flat TV is one factor that is pushing this trend. Today, a 21-inch CRT could cost between ₹6,500 and ₹7,000, while a 20-inch flat set could be purchased at ₹9,500 to ₹10,000.

“More than the narrowing price difference, it is the difficulty in getting the parts for cathode ray televisions that is making manufacturers move away from this category,” Gogi Kapur, Deputy General Manager (Marketing) of LG Electronics, told Business Line.

Even in the flat panel segment, India is stepping away from LCD versions to LED and ultra HD segments.

The market share of LCD TVs in the flat category segment fell from 22 per cent in 2012 to 18 per cent last year, Kapur said.

Most foreign brands such as LG and Samsung have stopped LCD production. “The advantage in LED sets is that these are power efficient and gives manufacturers flexibility to go in for different sizes,” Tandan points out.

Published on June 19, 2014

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