Visionary Visions: The Supply Journey of a Smart TV
Television transmission began almost 25 years before the end of World War II. Nowadays, there are at least 119.9 million TVs in households around the U.S. This entertainment technology source plays a major role in our lives and has done so for decades now. In fact, the average 65-year-old person sees over 2 million TV commercials during their life and Americans annually watch around 250 billion hours of television. But, how are these highly used and regularly innovated television sets created and shipped to stores across the nation?
As part of the new supply chain journey series by Stimulus, we’ve chosen to break down the entire journey of a standard television set from complicated parts to visual displays the whole family can enjoy in order to show exactly what passion and precision goes into this process. Without further ado, let’s take a closer look and see what makes the modern Smart TV so incredible below.
Pricey Parts and Precision
One of the most involved aspects of the television production process is the creation of the parts and how they work together to create a visually stunning screen experience.
The standard television consists of a myriad of complex parts all working together to form a vibrant visual experience for viewers. A Smart TV consists of the exterior or housing, the audio reception and speaker system, the picture tube, and a complicated mass of electronics including cable and antenna input and output devices, a built-in antenna in most sets, a remote control receiver, computer chips, and access buttons.
This is a major transition from the black and white televisions that were once the status quo years ago. The main difference between a Smart TV and these older models is the fact that smart television sets offer more to viewers than ever before. According to Tech Target, “Typically, smart TVs support Ethernet, Wifi, USB, Bluetooth and flash memory cards from digital cameras, as well as coaxial cable, HDMI and other audio-video connections. Along with the OS and apps, the connectors enable on demand video services and access to pictures, music and video on connected storage devices.”
This is one of the main reasons why the most advanced TV sets are also highly expensive to produce and ship.
The next step in the process of making a Smart TV is assembling each of the parts accordingly. These parts are all assembled on a long and precise factory line. Most of the televisions we have in America are produced in factories in China. Therefore, it takes typically a week for these television sets to arrive in America once they’re ready for export.
The largest television set producer in the world is Samsung, with a revenue of $232.8 billion and a market share of 32.9%. Samsung’s main factories are in China, Vietnam, Indian, Brazil, Indonesia, and South Korea. Their assembly line relies mostly on robotics for the precise parts assembly process before finishing off with that highly important human touch for quality and completion.
After each Smart TV is completely assembled and checked by factory workers, it’s time for the sets to be tested for quality and safety control.
Inspections, laboratory testing, and field testing are performed during the development of prototypes and throughout the manufacturing process. This makes sure each TV is technologically sound and safe for use in homes and businesses. Considering the fact that there are at least 119.9 million TVs in households around the U.S., this step is highly important for the safety of millions of people across the nation.
The next step in the process is selling the television sets in bulk to retailers, companies, suppliers, and vendors around the world. Once the televisions are purchased, each one is carefully packaged and shipped to preserve the screen and other sensitive parts. The packaging process requires a lot of packing materials, and when shipped by Amazon, it adds to the 1,600,000 cardboard packages the company ships daily.
According to Statista, “In 2019, Samsung was the market leader in the manufacture of TVs in terms of its share of global shipments. The South Korean company held approximately 18 percent of worldwide shipments in 2019, almost five percent more than the share of its closest competitor, TCL Electronics.”
Supply and Demand
After the television sets are shipped, they either end up in businesses, retail warehouses, or in the hands of suppliers nationwide. When the Smart TVs are sent to suppliers, these individuals must create connections with other companies to have the televisions sold and not sitting in warehouses too long. The reason for this is that technology is constantly improving and even a year-old TV set may be outdated.
In fact, each year, a 5% depreciation applies to the average TV set. After five years alone, the TV set usually sells for less than a tenth of its original price online. Fortunately, events like Black Friday make up for overstock each and every year. In fact, according to CNBC, Target said that it sells more than 3,200 TVs per minute in the first hour of the store opening on Black Friday each year.
Game Night or Movie Night, You’re Covered!
Once the TVs are on the shelves of stores nationwide, it’s time for consumers to pick up the latest and greatest for all occasions! Currently, there are over 275 million television sets in the United States and even more amazing innovations in the Smart TV industry to come. With such a thriving industry, it’s no wonder why this level of precision and dedication is put into every step of the exciting supply chain process!
Stay tuned for more supply chain journeys to come, and feel free to watch this episode, ‘Inside a HUGE Smart TV Factory!’ below to see some more of this journey in action: