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Cable/Samsung alliance bodes well for HDTV

Tue, 03/16/2004 - 7:00pm
Staff

Copyright 2004 VNU Business Media, Inc.

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retail-merchandiser.com

March 16, 2004

From LexisNexis

New York — At a press event in Manhattan yesterday (Monday) Samsung Electronics and the Marketers Council of the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) jointly announced a strategic partnership to educate consumers about HDTV and to help demystify the shopping experience for consumers.

CTAM, representing eight cable companies comprising 95% of cable subscribers in the U.S.—Adelphia Cable Communications, Bright House Networks, Charter Communications, Comcast Cable Communications, Cox Communications, Insight Communications, Mediacom Communications and Time Warner Cable—along with Samsung Electronics, hosted a "Coming of Age Party for HDTV" at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in the new Time Warner Center off Manhattans Columbus Circle.

The alliance could prove advantageous for retailers as Samsung and CTAM promote and market HDTV to make consumers aware of what differentiates HDTV from traditional analog TV. A $100 money-back offer for cable gift certificates is an added incentive.

"The transition to digital TV is well under way," said Peter Weedfald, svp strategic marketing and communications for Samsung. He projects that by 2007, 16 million HDTV sets will be in the market. Right now, 70 million homes are equipped to receive HD via cable.

The HDTV format reportedly displays five times the quality of analog TVs for sharper, more lifelike images. HDTV also provides high quality audio with 5.1 channel Dolby Digital Surround Sound.

Samsung has created an interactive guide, to make it simple for consumers to come in and understand the value proposition, said Weedfald. The site will also serve as a depot for Samsungs retail partners.

The push is aimed not only at educating consumers to the quality of HDTV, but to choosing cable, as opposed to satellite, as the means of delivery. While the DISH Network is currently promoting its HDTV satellite service with an offer to come to the home and install a HDTV, a set-top box and satellite antenna for $999, speakers at the Samsung/CTAM event pointed out that consumers choice is limited to only two TV models with that deal.

"This promotion is great news for retailers," Jim Sanduski, vp of marketing, visual display products group for Samsung, told RM. He said that retailers are faced with a challenge owing to consumer lack of awareness about HDTV. "This offering gives retailers a tangible tool to convince customers that theres a lot of content out there," he said.

In his presentation, Weedfald said, "Samsung had the vision to begin the transition to digital television several years ago. As an industry leader, Samsung believes it is our responsibility to educate consumers about the visual benefits and unparalleled quality of HDTV. Samsungs work with the cable industry is an example of how we can work together to provide consumers with digital technology solutions and HD programming that deliver a movie theater experience in the home."

All retailers have been briefed about the campaign, he added.

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