The world’s largest electronics chain has teamed up with Samsung and Sony to open in-store showrooms staffed with Blue Shirts trained to tout the merits of ultra-high-definition, or 4K, technology, which generates a picture four times sharper than existing HDTVs. The question for Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly is whether the pricey innovation will jump-start a wave of home-theater upgrades the way flat-panel TVs did last decade — or wind up a flop like 3D sets.
Samsung and Sony are escalating their fight for the attention — and dollars — of TV buyers. Both electronics giants will open up special areas in Best Buy stores to showcase 4K TVs and other home entertainment products. Sony arguably has home-field advantage, given its long legacy as a premium TV manufacturer. Samsung, however, is the No. 1 TV vendor in the world, and this new partnership can only help cement that position.
Following its Super Bowl debut last year, the electronics retailer has once again purchased a 30-second spot in this year’s game, with plans to focus on a new launch.
The Roku XD player — an $80 set-top that lets users stream video from Netflix and other services over broadband pipes — is now available for purchase at Best Buy stores nationwide and at BestBuy.com. The unit is a 5-by-5-by-1-inch box that provides support for up to 1080p HD streaming support and includes 802.11n Wi-Fi.
The electronics has bought one 30-second spot, projected to run during the third quarter of the 2011 event. It’s the first time the retailer has advertised during the game, despite having a significant presence in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, as it promotes its home-entertainment systems.