Figure 2.12 Percentage of TV sets sold, by screen size: 2001 – Q1 2012

Over a third of TV sets sold are ‘super-large’ (33” to 42”) ‘jumbo-sized’ (43”+)

Advances in hardware features, such as increased screen size, are likely to have contributed to the lasting appeal of the TV set.

In the early 2000s plasma and LED screens launched onto the mass market, followed by the arrival of HD-ready sets. HD TV sets have proved popular, and have led to a rapid increase in the number of HD channels - from the BBC launch in 2006,of the first channel to be broadcast in HD, to the 65 channels available in 2011. In 2010, 3D TV sets came onto the market, and while penetration is still relatively low, take-up in the UK is expected to build on the 700,000 sets already sold in 2011[1].

It can be argued that significant price drops in new and large-screen models, as well as increased capabilities and features, have encouraged the purchase of  new TV sets, with the DSO process also acting as a catalyst (providing a ‘need’ to upgrade). The end result has been strong sales performances of new TV sets in the UK. For example, 9.3 million flatscreen TVs were bought in 2011 alone – equivalent to one in every three households[2] - according to data from TV Licensing. In addition, sales estimates from GfK show that in Q1 2012, over a third (35%) of sales were for ‘super-large’ (33” to 42”) or ‘jumbo’ screens (43” and over).  In comparison, in 2001 the equivalent figures for super-large and jumbo TV screens was just 1%.