All Aboard the Smart TV Train in India

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Aggressive smart TV deals this summer, come from relatively unknown Indian brands. Will customers perceive these as ‘paisa vasool’?

This summer, things are heating up in the TV industry. The last two months have seen an onslaught of fairly new TV brands making their way into India. Electronics For You explores this trend, and it makes us wonder if it is India’s increased over-the-top (OTT) entertainment consumption that is making consumers buy smart TVs, or is it simply because of the cricket season. Whatever the reason, the market dynamics are swiftly changing.

There used to be a rough thumb rule till last year that a 30-inch TV cost Rs 30,000, a 40 inch TV Rs 40,000 etc.These aggressive new brands have disrupted the business with their pricing.

The entry of aggressive brands

Noble Skiodo has launched a 39 inch smart HD TV ‘NB39INT01’ for Rs 16,999 in India. The near-theatre experience with 10 watt x 10 Watt speakers is controlled by two remotes, one for TV functions and the other with keyboard and motion sensor for easy wave- and-navigate function. The same company offers a 24-inch smart TV ‘NB24YT01’ for Rs 6,999 and a 32-inch ‘NB32YT01’ for Rs 8,999 through the Flipkart portal.

Daiwa offers a 32 inch smart HD LED TV ‘D32C4S’ for Rs 12,490 along with other models from 42-inch ‘D42E505’ for Rs 18,999 all the way to 65-inch smart TVs. The last is a 4K ultra HD 65 inch set with AI powered voice command running Android 7.0. It costs Rs 66,990.

Competing in the large TV segment is Shinco India, which has launched a 65 inch voice-controllable 4K smart TV for Rs 59,990. The company has been launching 4K TVs in the 49 and 43-inch segment since 2018.

With plants in Noida, Jammu and Himachal Pradesh ( another planned in South India), Super Plastronics Pvt Ltd (SPPL) is an interesting example of an Indian company manufacturing multiple global TV brands like Thomson and Kodak under licence in the country. This has given the consumer the choice of international brands at aggressive prices.

Motivations to go smart

Most of these brands are tapping the upwardly mobile market of consumers who are moving up the value chain from older CRT sets or non-smart LCD TVs. For them the IPL season plus the increasingly attractive packages offered by OTT channels like Hotstar, NetFlix, etc is the motivation to “go smart”. They don’t waste time on costly showrooms and sell mostly by the online route or through multibrand retailers.

Time will tell if any of these new-gen TV brands will creep into the big league and compete with larger, more established brands. For now, they are teasing their offerings in a fairly diverse market.

This story is written by Anand Parthasarathy. His rich experience, reporting ACE (Appliances and Consumer Electronics) stories encompasses working 15 years with The Hindu as its IT Consulting Editor. He is a qualified instrumentation systems engineer who has worked for 20 years as a scientist on numerous defence R&D projects, and as a project manager for surface-to-air missiles at DRDO.

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