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Sears Talks TV Trends for 2011

Sears Holdings announced what the company identifies and is promoting as the top three trends in televisions for 2011.

Unedited press release follows:

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Sears Shares Three TV Trends in 2011

One of the nation’s leading television retailers provides insight into TV trends and the latest television models in time for college basketball tournaments

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., March 10, 2011 — With the college basketball tournaments quickly approaching, many sports enthusiasts are searching for the latest TVs to ensure their homes are ready for game day viewing parties. However, with so much technology to choose from, the question remains for many shoppers and basketball fans: “What should I look for when purchasing a new television?” That’s why Sears is helping customers find this year’s sought-after sets by unveiling its list of the top three TV trends for 2011:

* Increased access to content with Internet connectable TVs;
* Expanded viewing experience with larger screens; and
* Rethinking 3D-capable TVs.

“As anticipation mounts for the upcoming March basketball tournament, Sears wants to share its point of view and help customers navigate the selection of 2011 TVs to find their perfect sets in time for game day,” said Karen Austin, president of Consumer Electronics for Sears Holdings. “This year, Sears shoppers will see more Internet connectable, 3D-capable and larger-screen TVs than ever before.”

So, whether purchasing a TV for hosting basketball viewing parties or updating the home entertainment system for the family, here are some essential insights as to what shoppers should expect and know when purchasing a new TV.

TREND ONE – Increased Access to Content with Internet Connectable TVs
In a world where most people now are familiar with smart phones, this year’s biggest trend is Internet connectable TVs that provide instant access and constant connectivity for customers. In fact, roughly 85 percent of TVs carried at Sears this year will be Internet connectable TVs.

If you are among the masses that utilize handheld and mobile devices as a hub for information on the go, an Internet connectable TV may be right for you, as its customization capabilities can allow for a personalized experience in the home. When thinking about an Internet connectable TV, investigate the extent of its features and applications. Ask if it enables you to stream movies, instantly communicate via instant messaging and social networking sites, check news headlines and surf the Web without ever leaving the couch. For example, customers can utilize the Sears Alphaline Entertainment digital service on their Internet connectable TV to instantly purchase or rent thousands of movies and TV shows.

With such a broad selection of TVs and features available, customers can choose between a variety of brands and models at affordable prices, including:

* Panasonic 50-inch Plasma with Easy IPTV (model TC-P50X3; Sears item 57-75541)

* Samsung 46-inch LED TV with Full Web Browsing (model UN46D6300; Sears item 57-71173)

TREND TWO – Expanded Viewing Experience with Larger Screens
As the popularity of big-screen TVs increases, customers can expect to see larger screen-size offerings for LED, LCD and plasma TVs. However, while TVs 50-inches and larger become more common, customers should continue to consider the following when shopping for a TV:

* Bezel Size: Apart from cosmetic value and seamless display, choosing a TV with a slim bezel (the frame bordering the screen) will often translate to a bigger picture and overall screen size.

* Screen Resolution: When considering screen resolution, which is a measure of how many lines of video images are on a screen, both 720p and 1080p are among the commonly recommended screen resolutions. However, for larger screens and higher-quality TVs, a 1080p screen resolution is likely to be the preferred format among most viewers.

* Mounting: With improvements in technology and components, larger-screen TVs have become lighter than ever, making it easier for customers to transport the TVs home and providing extra versatility with setup and mounting.

Examples of these larger-screen TVs that Sears now carries are:

* Samsung Plasma+ Series 51-inch Plasma TV (model PN51D450; Sears item 57-75141)
* Sharp 70-inch Internet Connectable LED TV (model LC70LE732U; Sears item  57-71303) arriving in stores in early April.

TREND THREE – Rethinking 3D-Capable TVs
This year 3D-capable TVs will be more affordable, allowing many more families to enjoy the experience. Customers can look forward to the price points of 3D-capable TVs dropping to those of many 2010 2D-only models. However, as is the case with many new technologies, it’s important to understand what 3D functionality is and when it makes sense to purchase a 3D TV. With more content becoming available, such as sporting event broadcasts and new video game introductions, 3D-capable TVs are especially suited to fit the needs of sports and gaming enthusiasts seeking a new level in entertainment. Some things to consider when contemplating whether to buy a 3D TV, include:

* 3D-Capable TVs Still Play 2D Content: With a 3D-capable TV, consumers are readying themselves for the future while investing in the best 2D technology available. 3D TVs have the ability to view both 2D and 3D content.

* 2D-to-3D Up-Convert: As an added benefit on most new 3D-capable TVs in 2011, a functionality called 2D up-convert will provide customers the ability to choose and watch a normally 2D broadcast in 3D instead. To achieve this 3D viewing experience for 2D content, customers can simply select the conversion option on their 3D-capable TV and watch the upcoming college basketball games in 3D with friends and family.

* Passive-3D versus Active-3D Technology: Passive-3D TV technology is an alternate 3D viewing experience to the more common active-3D TVs. The difference between these technologies is that active-3D glasses utilize an electronic shutter technology that allows your eyes to view alternating sequential images in full resolution, while passive-3D glasses use a polarization film on the glasses lenses that lets you see partial imaging with each eye creating the 3D experience. Since passive-3D technology glasses do not use electronic components compared to their active counterparts, they are significantly more affordable and more appropriate for large viewing groups.

With the increased adoption of 3D TVs, Sears is amplifying its assortment of 3D-capable TVs this year and bringing in new models including:

* Samsung 55-inch 240 Hz LED 3D TV with Full Web Browsing (model UN55D7000; Sears item 57-71182)

* Samsung Plasma+ Series 51-inch 3D Plasma TV (model PN51D550; Sears item 57-75151)

About Sears Holdings Corporation
Sears Holdings Corporation is the nation’s fourth largest broadline retailer with over 4,000 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada. Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, consumer electronics and automotive repair and maintenance. Sears Holdings is the 2010 ENERGY STAR® Retail Partner of the Year. Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, and a broad apparel offering, including such well-known labels as Lands’ End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as the Apostrophe and Covington brands. It also has the Country Living collection, which is offered by Sears and Kmart. We are the nation’s largest provider of home services, with more than 11 million service calls made annually. Sears Holdings Corporation operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation.