Despite still limited availability of pre-recorded 4K Ultra HD TV content, accelerating sales of 4K Ultra HD TVs and growing assortments of cameras and camcorders with built-in 4K Ultra HD video recording capabilities, the TV and camera industries have yet to do much to cross promote the product categories at retail

That was the observation of Scott Peterson, digital imaging market analyst with market research firm Gap Intelligence, who pointed to the potential opportunities marketers may be overlooking by failing to show consumers how 4K Ultra HDTV can deliver discernible benefits in both advanced new pictures and dramatically sharper home-grown video content needed to drive them.

More on the 4K camera and TV merchandising conundrum after the break:

Petersen told HD Guru that “4K UHD camera/4K UHD TV cross promotional activity is an area that is in need of improvement. The main drivers of any 4K cross-promotional activity that is out there seem to be Best Buy, along with Sony and Samsung.”

Sony and Samsung have each partnered with the big box consumer electronics retail chain to install demonstration and sales departments with dedicated and trained sales associates who can talk about the latest features across each company’s home entertainment product categories.

Both the latest TVs and digital imaging products are part of those efforts.

Peterson said that “4K is an area of focus for Best Buy in its TV department, Sony went as far as placing a mock-up of its Handy-cam AX100 within its branded floor section last season, but was mostly there just to start conversations regarding 4K content creation among shoppers. I never saw any deliberate attempts to offer cross-category deals. Sony did however have an instant savings offer with the combined purchase of their full-frame Alpha A7 and a Sony 4K TV this Spring, but this was limited to an in-store 8×10 placard, and not something that was broadcasted very loudly,” Peterson said.

According to the Gap Intelligence market analyst, Sony representatives in Best Buy stores indicated the company saw some success “with similar bundle offers during holiday 2014, but those were found through Sony’s website.”

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Peterson reminded that Sony will not be repeating this promotional effort going forward because the company revealed two weeks ago that it was shutting down its online direct sales services.

As for Samsung, Peterson said that “while not camera related, Samsung ran a promotion during the latter part of July that offered its flagship Galaxy S6 edge 32GB smartphone for free with the purchase of a Samsung 4K SUHD TV. This was meant to spread awareness around the handset’s connectivity features with Samsung TVs.” (See shelf signage pictured in the photo at top).

In addition to 4K Ultra HDTV capture, more advanced features including wide color gamut and (video) high dynamic range (HDR) recording have seen only hints of what is come.

Peterson said: “Sony seems to be the most aggressive with [HDR and wide color gamut capture in cameras], especially with the messaging around its latest Alpha A7R II. The previous A7 models saw some bundle promotion activity with third-party external recorders, but the new A7R II is actively being reviewed by video sites that rave about its wide dynamic range. This camera seems to be the ‘hero’ model that will grow awareness of new wide color gamut TV technologies.”

As for Samsung, Peterson pointed to the mirrorless NX1 as the focal point of its 4K camera portfolio. He said the company “has been fairly active pushing firmware updates that make it even more technologically-rich. However, that item is somewhat scarce in the channel and we have never seen any targeted attempts to sell cameras/TVs together.”

The story is no different with other camera/TV makers venturing into 4K Ultra HD.

Panasonic has been offering 4K Ultra HD in both LED LCD TVs and Lumix mirrorless Micro Four Thirds cameras and select point-and-shoot cameras. But this year, Panasonic has only recently begun the selective rollout of its 2015 4K Ultra HDTVs through A/V specialty stores, and has opted to do most of its merchandising and promotion through its own direct online store.

“Perhaps lack-luster activity is the story to be told,” Peterson observed. “Moving forward, this should be an area of focus for camera brands that have a TV portfolio, but to date, connections between these categories are few and far between.”

When it comes to realizing the benefits a big-screen 4K Ultra HDTV can deliver at home, 4K content produced on new generation camera equipment provides some of the more remarkable demonstrations we have seen.

For anyone interested in buying either a 4K camera or a 4K Ultra HDTV this year it might be valuable to ask a sales associate for a demonstration yourself. It appears you won’t be getting one otherwise.

By Greg Tarr


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