Just 13% of American consumers who haven't purchased a TV set in the past quarter plan to do so within the next 12 months, according to a survey by research firm IHS iSuppli.
That's down sharply from 32% in the first quarter of 2011. The 83% of respondents who said they do not intend to buy a new TV set within the next 12 months compares with 66% who said the same during Q1 2011.
"The latest survey indicates a tremendous shift in preferences among an increasingly cautious buying public, unnerved by the continuing gloom of the economy," IHS iSuppli analyst Riddhi Patel said. "The findings suggest a growing willingness among U.S. consumers to suspend -- if not totally abandon -- their ongoing love affair with the television."
About 4% of consumers in the most recent IHS iSuppli study said they received televisions as a gift, up from 2% in the first quarter of 2011.
Overall, HDTVs featuring liquid crystal display (LCD) technology continued to dominate TV purchases during the second quarter, at 86%. Plasma TVs accounted for the remainder.
In terms of screen size, IHS iSuppli found a slight increase in buyers opting for 50-inch and larger sets. However, 38% bought TVs in the under-30-inch range, mainly for reasons of price, an unusually high percentage, the research firm found.
The use of Netflix among households was 66% for new TVs connected to the Internet.
Among U.S. consumers who recently bought TVs, the most important criteria for purchasing in Q2 2011 were picture quality, price and screen size. Brand name has become a less important factor in the purchasing decision "because of the diminishing price differential between different makes," IHS iSuppli said. Also deemed not critical were newly emergent advanced TV features such as Internet connectivity and light-emitting diode (LED) backlighting, the survey found.
The survey by El Segundo, Calif.-based IHS iSuppli polled more than 45,000 randomly polled U.S. households with a margin of error of 1.6%.