All aboard the Smart TV train

18th April 2019
All aboard the  Smart TV train

 Aggressive smart TV deals this summer,  come from relatively unknown Indian brands. Will customers perceive these as  value for money?
By Anand Parthasarathy
April 18 2019: 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. We explore 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. Consider:
Noble Skiodo has  launched  a 39 inch smart HD TV -- NB39INT01 --  for Rs 16,999.  The near-theatre experience with10 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  6999  and a 32 inch -- NB32YT01 -- for Rs 8999 through Flipkart starting April 1 2019.
Daiwa  offers a 32 inch smart HD  LED TV -- D32C4S--  for Rs 12490 along with other models from 42 inch  ( D42E505) for Rs 18999 all the way  to 65 inch.  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.
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.