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Study: Sound Quality Key to Home Theater Appeal

3 Aug, 2004 By: Erik Gruenwedel

With the DVD format being the first to offer digital surround sound, about 31 percent of DVD households currently own a home-theater-in-a-box (HTIB) system, according to a new study by Jupiter Research.

With 63 percent of U.S. households owning a stand-alone DVD player, 33 percent owning a big-screen TV, and 11 percent owning a high-definition-capable TV, market forces continue to push the price of some HTIB systems below $100.

However, 53 percent of consumers looking to acquire surround sound systems in the next 12 months plan to spend more than $1,000 — with speakers driving wholesale markups of some systems up 40 percent, according to the report.

Why? Sound quality.

Respondents looking to acquire an HTIB system rated as primary features of importance as being sound quality (58 percent) and room acoustics (36 percent) as compared to content format (21 percent) and cable quality (15 percent).

The study concluded that U.S. consumers traditionally favor North American and European brands for speakers, and Asian brands for associated electronics.

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