Canadians love HDTV even if they don't fully understand it


    TORONTO, March 13 /CNW/ - Canadians are buying High Definition TVs like
never before, and never have they had more clarity, colour and definition
available. However, according to new poll findings from Nanos Research (and
commissioned by Sharp Electronics of Canada), they have yet to get the picture
on the full array of features available to them. Forty-eight percent of
Canadians confessed they were not at all knowledgeable about such features as
1080p resolution and pixel response times, compared to only 5 percent who
considered themselves very knowledgeable.
    The knowledge gap persists despite a truly healthy market for flat panel
TVs. Overall, the market grew by 72 percent last year, with sales of LCD TVs
growing by 84.4 percent. For 2008, projected sales figures from the Consumer
Electronics Marketers of Canada (CEMC) indicate a market demand of 2.75
million units.
    Yet while the intricacies of the technology may still appear opaque to
most, Canadians are very clear about one thing: when shopping for consumer
electronics, environmental sustainability matters. Forty-eight percent of
Canadians polled also rated concerns such as power consumption and toxins used
in manufacturing as very important when considering which HDTV they will
purchase.
    This consciousness about eco-friendly electronics is good news for Sharp,
whose AQUOS series is one of the best selling lines of LCD TVs in Canada. They
are manufactured in the company's "Super Green" Kameyama factory in Japan,
where the power generation systems help to reduce the plant's CO(2) emissions
by 40%, and where 100% of manufacturing wastewater in the plant is recycled.
    "It is always good to be reaching farther and faster in product
development, and it certainly confirms that Sharp's leadership role in
environmentally sustainable manufacturing is something that Canadians, across
the country, care a great deal about," commented Carmine Cinerari, Vice
President, Consumer Products division for Sharp Electronics of Canada Ltd.
"Clearly, we have more work to do to help educate Canadians about the
technology behind HDTV, but the momentum in the market is undeniable."
    The poll reports Canadians have a basic understanding of the differences
between flat screen technologies - 53 percent prefer LCD to plasma screens -
yet few Canadians feel themselves to be truly knowledgeable about the
technology.
    Women are especially unaware of HDTV features; almost 60 percent said
they were not at all knowledgeable about the latest advancements, compared to
less than 40 percent of men polled across the country. The jargon-laden
language of tech reports may be an issue, with 29 percent of Canadians getting
their information about new models from TV ads and programs, compared to only
20 percent from print media and 16 percent from weblogs and product websites.
    However, the fact that both male and female respondents clearly take an
interest in eco-friendly manufacturing and consider it a factor in their
choice of purchase indicates that consumers are paying attention to the issues
that matter most to them.
    "These results suggest that Canadians are looking for more than just
sophistication and design when purchasing electronic goods," Nik Nanos,
President and CEO of Nanos Research said. "They are also looking at the
environmental record of the companies they are purchasing these goods from,
and weighing up all the models on offer in the greater scheme of things."
    The poll, which surveyed 1000 Canadians in Ontario, Quebec, the West and
Atlantic regions of the country and is accurate within 3.1 percent, 19 times
out of 20, also shows that Quebecers rank the highest in prioritizing
environmental responsibility, followed by Westerners and those in the Atlantic
provinces, respectively. Interestingly, Quebecers also ranked the highest in
terms of being knowledgeable about the latest features and innovations in
HDTVs, suggesting consumers can be tech savvy and environmentally responsible
in equal measure - good news for companies like Sharp, who continue to lead
the way on both fronts.

    About Sharp Electronics of Canada Ltd.
    ---------------------------------------
    Sharp Electronics of Canada Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sharp
Corporation of Osaka, Japan, a worldwide developer of the core technologies
integral to shaping the next generation of home entertainment, appliance and
digital office equipment systems. A world leader in Liquid Crystal Display
(LCD), Sharp is the developer of the SharpVision(R) line of projection
products and the revolutionary AQUOS(R) LCD Televisions and has won numerous
awards for the technology behind the AQUOS(R) line. Sharp continues to
demonstrate its home entertainment leadership by advancing technologies such
as High Definition Television (HDTV) and front projection technology. Sharp
Electronics of Canada Ltd. is located in Mississauga, Ontario. For more
information, visit www.sharp.ca



For further information: John Delacourt, Thornley Fallis Communications
for Sharp Electronics of Canada Ltd., (416) 515-7517 ext. 300,
delacourt@thornleyfallis.com