Audio experience pivotal to holistic immersive experience on Smart TVs
With key OEMs using Dolby audio enhancement technology in their Smart TVs, the experience on audio is far exceeding the expectations.
In the April GAP analysis of expectations versus experience for Smart TVs, display and audio can be seen as the two main attributes of the Smart TV which define a positive experience for users. Smart TV users appreciate holistic immersive experience, which cannot come without an interplay of both display and audio.
Among the display and audio, the gap between expectations and experience for display is narrowing as the OEMs have already been working on the display panel which is today able to deliver millions of colours as well as ultra-high-definition picture quality. Audio on the other hand is being addressed of recently. Smart TV OEMs are now, not only adding a greater number of speakers or the speaker output power, but also enhancing the audio experience through enhancements like Dolby and DTS. As users continue to consume ultra-rich content primarily through OTT applications coupled with CTV or Connected Televisions, the need for an immersive TV is on the rise, which cannot be satiated by a very rich display screen alone. The quality of the screen is to be complemented by an equally rich audio experience.
In recent years, Smart TV OEMs are increasingly focusing on rich and ultra-rich audio experience to make an immersive screen proposition to the users. All the leading Smart TV OEMs are using one or the other audio enhancing technology to fulfil this gap. However, Dolby’s audio technologies are predominantly used by the OEMs in their recent launches.
The Smart TV OEMs need to understand this changing behaviour of the users who are looking for an immersive screen than just a connected screen. Since the gap in experience derived versus the expectations is too wide in audio, it is also positively impacting the overall satisfaction from Smart TVs for users. This means if the Smart TV makers must score very high satisfaction scores from their users, they need to further improve the audio quality along with focusing on making images appear as lively as to a naked eye.
One of the recent trends has been to add a sound bar to TVs as the inbuilt audio systems do not give the desired holistic experience. However, for recent Smart TVs where the inbuilt audio quality has been significantly enhanced through Dolby, DTS and other audio technologies, the perceived need to add a soundbar is gradually declining as the buyers are not asking queries about soundbar integration with the Smart TV they intent to purchase, at the volumes they would do in the past.
It is in the interest of Smart TV OEMs to enhance inbuilt audio quality complementing the screen experience as that would reduce the desire and need to add a soundbar, which is often purchased from a very fragmented market where a check on standardisation and quality control becomes an uphill task. An inferior addition of soundbar to a great quality Smart TV will result in overall dissatisfaction as the user would not be able to make distinction between the standalone Smart TV immersive quality and the overall experience delivered after adding a soundbar.
The TechInsight is prepared by Techarc in association with its ResTech partner, mFilterIt using machine learning algorithms to draw insights from very large data sets covering Smart TV models of leading OEMs.
The data was captured during the month of April 2022, resulting in over 50,000 comments, reviews and questions of people planning to buy a Smart TV or already using one.
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