Want Ultra HD but worried about it being too soon? A report today says that in the next six years, about a third of us will have UHD TVs in our homes. The study came from research company Strategy Analytics. It reports falling prices, improved upscaling capabilities, and consumer awareness will drive Ultra HD (UHD, aka 4K) into a third of homes by the year 2020. That year, the firm predicts that UHD TV shipments will account for 41 percent of global flat panel TV units up from 4 percent this year. Additionally, the US is poised to overtake China as the leading country in terms of UHD household penetration. By region, UHD household penetration will reach 32 per cent in North America, 22 percent in Western Europe and 18 percent in Asia Pacific by 2020. A large part of the popularity increase will depend on entry-level prices for UHD TVs to drop below $2K before the end of 2014 from one or more of the major global brands like Samsung, LG, Sony, and Panasonic (are you listening fellas?)
While six years might seem like a long time to for the technology to be fractionally adopted, it’s not unlike the growth that HDTV experienced in its infancy. David Watkins, Service Director, Connected Home Devices commented:
“Demand for UHD TVs is exceeding previous expectations and current adoption rates are similar to those of 1080p TVs back in the mid-2000s when sales penetration hit around 5 percent of total flat panel demand by the end of year 3 of 1080p sales. By the end of the decade, UHD will become standard in screen sizes larger than 40-inches although sub 40-inch sets will remain mostly within the realm of 1080p.”
Upscaling is a huge selling point for those currently in the market for a big, beautiful 4K image. What upscaling does is it takes existing content from say, a Blu-ray disc, and upscales it to look “nearly” as good as UHD. The study by Strategy Analytics says that TV manufacturers are working to perfect these upscalers “until the dam breaks for UHD content and broadcast services begin.”
So the takeaway from this is look for dropping prices by the years end. We also predict that while manufacturers have been touting upscaling up until now, an ever greater emphasis will be placed on it in next year’s models to capture those interested but not totally sold.