A television priced at Rs 27 lakh? Yes. Manufacturers like Sony, Samsung and LG believe India is ready to be developed as a market for high-end ultra high definition (UHD) sets with demand for bigger screen sizes expected to grow.
Recently these companies have introduced their range of UHD televisions which are priced between Rs 17 lakh and Rs 27 lakh with screen sizes of 84 inches and 85 inches, hoping that they would be able to create a niche segment and get more margins from these high-end products.
"Now, customer demands for even bigger screen sizes, upwards of 55 inch. For these kinds of large screen sizes, HD is actually not good enough to experience the best picture quality," Sony India General Manager, Marketing Tadato Kimura said.
Therefore, it was inevitable to create a better technology to cater to this kind of demand and to complete the large screen experience (with UHD technology), he added.
The manufacturers are clear that they will be catering to a select set of customers with the UHD products, which have been also launched worldwide only recently.
"Ultra HD TVs are a niche segment....In our opinion, the customer of ultra HD TVs is a pioneer who understands the technology, and seeks the unique experience the product delivers," LG India Marketing Head-Home Entertainment Rishi Tandon said.
Expressing similar sentiments, Samsung India Senior VP-Consumer Electronics Atul Jain said: "It is a new technology which is being introduced in the Indian and the global markets. So in many ways, we are creating the market in India at this moment."
The UHD TVs have better pixel resolution quality, four times than normal HD TVs, with richer and more saturated colors in much bigger screen size, although they are priced at a premium.
At present the biggest screen size that Sony and LG sell in normal HD TVs is 65 inch 3D TVs in the price range of Rs 3.60 lakh to Rs 3.75 lakh. Samsung offers up to 75 inch HD TV for Rs 7.50 lakh.
Apart from catering to a niche segment, the companies are also looking at better margins from these UHD TVs as compared to mass segment products.
"The 4K technology TVs will give us value and better margins while smaller screen will drive volumes for the company," Sony India MD Kenichiro Hibi had said.
For LG, it is yet another step in widening its range of products in the market.
"We are looking to strengthen our product offering by introducing the Ultra HD displays in different screen sizes," Tandon added.
Having introduced the expensive products at a time when the market is down, these companies are also gearing up to spend on advertisements to spread awareness.
"We are currently working on a new Bravia 4K television commercial, which is expected to go on-air from third week of July. Apart from TV, we will also have print and online campaign," said Kimura.
Sony has earmarked Rs 250 crore to promote its Bravia range of TVs, including the 4K series.
Meanwhile, LG will also have a 360 degree campaign to promote its upcoming products. Similarly, Samsung has also planned to target the class with premium marketing activities for promoting Ultra HD sets.
When asked how confident they are selling these ultra expensive televisions, LG said it is targeting to sell 1,000 units in the coming festival period, while Sony and Samsung did not share an exact number saying they have just started exploring the market.