4K 'Quickly Becoming the Standard for TV Sales'

OYSTER BAY, N.Y.—Shipments of 4K TVs worldwide this year will exceed 102 million units, representing more than four in 10 flat panel TVs shipped, according to a new forecast from market research firm ABI Research.

By way of comparison, 4K TVs accounted for a third of units shipped in 2017, it said.

“As expected, 4K is quickly becoming the standard for TV sales,” said ABI Research industry analyst Khin Sandi Lynn.

The forecast is part of ABI Research’s new “Media Devices: UltraHD, 4K, HDR, 8K, HEVC” report.

According to the report, flat panel TVs are now found in 85 percent of households worldwide, which has slowed growth in the category. However, the transition from HD to 4K Ultra HDTV is expected to spur heightened growth, especially as 4K content becomes more widely available to viewers.

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“Just like HD before it, hardware technology reached the market far before any content did, placing an impetus on content creators and providers to catch up, while also allowing for a time of transition,” said Lynn.

Netflix and Amazon Prime are streaming 4K content, and pay TV providers, such as Russia’s Tricolor TV, are launching 4K movie channels. In the United States, Verizon and Frontier Communications are testing 4K services.

“Better visual experience and availability of 4K content together with declining price points are driving 4K TV set shipments,” said Lynn.

By region, Asia-Pacific will represent 37 percent of global 4K TV shipments this year. The Chinese market, where several low-cost 4K models are sold, is the main driver in the region.

When combined, the North American and European regions will account for nearly half of all 4K TV shipments in 2018, the research organization predicted.

The compounded annual growth rate for 4K flat panel TVs will achieve 17.3 percent, reaching 194 million unit shipments in 2022, it said.

As 4K TV becomes the norm, questions about HDR and its numerous flavors will become the focus, Lynn added.

More information about the new report is available on the ABI Research website.

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.