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Home Theater Movie Watching at All-Time High

by August 01, 2004

ATLANTA - Aug. 2, 2004 - One of the most successful consumer electronics products ever introduced, DVD players have broken records for the pace in which consumers have adopted them. As a result, DVD discs and players have revolutionized the family viewing experience, especially the living room or home theater, making it a convenient stand-in for the local cinema. Today's home theater equipment and DVDs provide enhanced picture quality and the effect of a full surround sound experience.

While technology has enabled the boom in at-home movie enjoyment, so have overall social and cultural desires to stay in and enjoy the company of friends and family. In order to explore some of these social connections, Philips Electronics commissioned a survey through Harris Interactive® to understand consumers' home entertainment habits in 13 countries. Philips' Global Home Entertainment Survey uncovered a variety of movie-related trends and tid-bits:

Movie Night Phenomena
The survey found that movies are, in fact, the most popular choice when people invite friends and family over to watch TV, regardless of the country. According to U.S. respondents surveyed, comedies, documentaries and romance movies tied as the type of films that are best experienced at home.

In the Netherlands and Italy, where 50 to 53 percent of respondents said they invite friends and family over to watch TV (among the highest percentages in the study), 92 to 94 percent of those people said movies top the list of what's on TV. France registered the highest percentage of "movie lovers" overall with 96 percent of entertainers turning on movies for their group.

Pass the Popcorn and Recline
Contributing to at-home movie enjoyment, the most popular reason globally to watch movies at home is the comfort of the couch (30% of all respondents), followed closely by saving money (27%). Americans (29%) and Germans (32%) were the most motivated by saving money. Respondents also stated control over the viewing experience (i.e., being able to rewind, fast forward etc.) and being able to be themselves at home were key, motivating factors.

Respondents in Spain, Russia, China, India, Mexico and Brazil were most motivated by the comfort of their couch. In Italy, where 90 percent of respondents said they like to "stand out from the crowd" rather than blend in, these boisterous residents selected "I can be myself" as the number one reason to watch movies at home.

Home Theaters are Serious Business
Not only is staying at home to watch movies becoming more popular, but how people are watching the movies and on what home theater equipment is becoming serious business. When asked what they would give up for a month for the chance to get a new home theater system for free, Americans were most willing to give up leisure shopping (47%). Another 45 percent would give up chocolate, 39 percent would give up drinking and 32 percent would give up smoking. Sex was the last choice for Americans - only 21 percent said they'd be willing to give it up - but that was far more than Spain, where 2 percent said they would be willing to choose celibacy. Russians would give up chocolate (52%), drinking (48%) and sex (23%).

Respondents also proved that buying a home theater system is a personal decision and one they wouldn't want their spouse or significant other to make without them. Twenty-eight percent of respondents in the United States said they would have to "be in a coma" before their spouse/partner would be allowed to buy an expensive home entertainment system without them. Forty-four percent say there's no reason good enough to give in. In other countries this rings true, as well. Seventy-four percent of Spaniards found no reason good enough to let their spouse/significant other purchase a piece of expensive home entertainment equipment without them. Mexicans, Brazilians and Germans (33%, 29% and 22%) would allow it if the TV broke while they were away.

Home-spun fun
Philips' Home Entertainment Survey found that anywhere from 68 to 90 percent of respondents globally found the at-home movie experience "as enjoyable" or "more enjoyable" than going to the movie theatre, especially in Mexico (72%), Brazil (61%), India (59%) and the United States (54%).

At least a third of respondents globally, including India, Italy, Mexico, Brazil and the United States, also find watching movies at home is "more sociable" than going to a theatre. In the United States, 43 percent of respondents said the experience is also "more fun" or "much more fun" than the theater, followed by Mexico (42%).

Romance lights the way
Universally, all regions reported that the at-home movie experience is "more or much more intimate" than the theater, with French respondents having the highest level of agreement (88% of respondents), followed by Spain and Belgium (84%), and the United States (81%). This may be due in part to being able to control the lighting to personal preferences.

Whereas residents in most countries prefer watching movies at home with some lights on - as was the case with 67 percent of American respondents - Brazilian and Mexican respondents reported wanting "complete darkness" most often (57% and 46% of respondents, respectively). Interestingly, Russia had the highest percentage of candlelight viewing at nearly 28 percent of respondents - more than 10 percent higher than the next candlelight-loving nation, Germany, with 17 percent of its respondents enjoying "a flick by the flame." Respondents in India were most likely to want all of the lights on (32% of respondents). Those who have some light in the room, versus all the lights or complete darkness, seem to have the right idea, as research has shown that some ambient lighting is easy on the eyes.

Philips recently introduced a revolutionary new FlatTV(TM) with a back-lighting system that adjusts ambient lighting around the television to match the color of the content featured on screen. The new Ambilight(TM) FlatTVs provide consumers a more relaxed and deeper viewing experience.

About Philips Electronics Home Entertainment Products
Philips Electronics is a leader in the development of innovative home entertainment products including its new FlatTV(TM) with Ambilight, a full range of home theatre systems and DVD Recorders that allow consumers to fully immerse themselves in their content. Philips FlatTVs are the first to include ambient lighting providing a more relaxed and deeper viewing experience. Philips offers consumers a full assortment of FlatTVs in both LCD and plasma technologies ranging in size from 15 to 50 inches. Additionally, Philips features a full range of home theatre products including the latest DVD Recorders, DVD players, wireless multimedia devices and all-in-one home theatre systems.

About Philips' Global Home Entertainment Survey
The Philips' Home Entertainment Survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, consisted of men and women ages 20-55 who own a television in the following countries: Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom and United States. More than 6,000 consumers participated in a combination of online, phone and face-to-face surveys.

Survey Methodology
The Philips' Home Entertainment Survey was conducted by Harris Interactive between March and April 2004 in the following countries: Belgium, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. The survey was conducted using an Internet-based survey methodology in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, using both an online and face-to-face survey methodology within India, using a telephone-based survey methodology in Brazil, China, and Mexico, and using a face-to-face survey methodology in Russia. The following numbers of interviews were conducted within each country:

The study was conducted among the population aged 20-55 that own a television in each country. The data were weighted to be representative of that specific population. Figures for age, gender, education, income, and geographic location, when appropriate, were brought into line with their actual proportions in the population of adults aged 20-55 that own televisions. In addition, in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States propensity weighting was used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be in an online panel. In theory, with probability samples of these sizes, one could say with 95 percent certainty that the results for each country have a statistical precision of plus or minus various percentage figures compared with what they would be if the entire adult populations had been polled with complete accuracy. These online samples were not probability samples.

About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG - News ; AEX: PHI) is one of the world's biggest electronics companies and Europe's largest, with sales of $32.8 billion (EUR 29 billion) in 2003. It is a global leader in color television sets, lighting, electric shavers, medical diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring, and one-chip TV products. Its 165,600 employees in more than 60 countries are active in the areas of lighting, consumer electronics, domestic appliances, semiconductors, and medical systems. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter .

Read Our Editorial: Why I Hate Going to the Movies!

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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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