Unity

Belinda Lanks, Co.Design:

“Just to give you a little background, there were 35 million TVs sold in 2011,” Beauchamp says. “Right now, the catch rate to audio–someone buying an audio system at the exact same time as a TV purchase is only 5%. So when we looked at the market, we found that what people were ultimately looking for is a product that sounds really good, it’s gotta be really, really easy to set up, and have the fewest number of wires possible,” Beauchamp says.

I know of very few people who are in the market for a new TV who are also looking for a new audio system. This is just a guess, but my thinking is the replacement cycle for audio systems is quite a bit longer than for TVs. The reason folks don’t upgrade their audio systems as quickly as they do their TVs is because stuff happens much slowly in audio. What is the latest and greatest when it comes to audio? Without searching online I’m gonna guess THX, Dolby 7.1 surround… and probably something that’s been around for a while. For the average person audio is not something that gets upgraded with a new TV. There are other reasons, too.

A lot of us have entertainment cabinets. Most of the time the size of the TV is limited to those that will fit into the entertainment cabinets we have at home. The Unity looks nice and tidy, but I don’t think it will work for those who have entertainment cabinets and a lot of us do.

The Unity has an integrated Blu-ray player. Sounds nice except for those who already have a Blu-ray player or PlayStation 3. Then there’s the person who’d like to buy the Unity but has decided to stick with DVD and doesn’t want the Blu-ray player. There’s also a large group of TV buyers who are content with the built-in audio capabilities.

The Unity then is really for someone who is buying a TV and an audio system for the first time and want the installation process to be as simple as possible. Todd Beauchamp has developed a beautiful audio system that’s simple to set up, but I feel even with the Unity the catch rate to audio will continue to be only 5%.