Despite the lack of any content, one research firm expects sales of 8K TVs to rise sharply over the next several years, with the United States and China being the earliest adopters.
In its report, "Ultra High Definition TV Displays: Global Market Forecast 2012-2025," Strategy Analytics predicts that 8K TVs, which provide approximately twice the resolution of the current 4K TVs that dominate the marketplace, will reside in 72 million households worldwide by 2025. This would be a massive jump from the relatively paltry sales of 350,000 globally in 2020.
Strategy Analytics’ forecasting models indicate sales of more than 1 million 8K TVs in 2021 and around 4 million in 2022. North America will be the leading region for 8K TVs by 2025 with close to 25 million households owning at least one 8K TV set. Differences in screen size preference will be a key determining factor in the uptake of 8K TVs in each region with the larger screen markets such as the USA and China seeing the fastest rates of adoption.
The availability of content in 8K worldwide is extremely small. Japan’s NHK launched a satellite-based 8K channel in 2018 in preparation for the 2020 Summer Games and China’s CCTV has tested 8K over 5G, while Spain’s SAPEC is also testing 8K compression. More information on the availability of 8K is available at the 8K Association website.
“8K TV sales did not reach the level that TV vendors may have hoped for in 2020, following a challenging year for the global TV displays market” says Edouard Bouffenie, Senior Analyst, Connected Home Devices. “Major 8K content showcase events such as the Olympic Games were delayed as a result of the global pandemic, removing a key opportunity for TV manufacturers to boost their 8K TV marketing messages. Meanwhile, prices for 8K TVs are still very high, making many consumers think twice about whether now is the right time to upgrade, or hold off until prices inevitably fall over the next few years.”
“Long term 8K TV adoption will ultimately be driven by panel supply and the ongoing shift to ever larger screen sizes.” comments David Watkins, Director, Connected Home Devices. “As we saw with 4K, TV panel manufacturers are likely to switch entire production lines over to 8K as soon as it makes financial sense to do so. This transition will start with the very large screen sizes over 70-inches before trickling down into the 60 to 69-inch and even into some sub 60-inch sizes. By the end of the forecast period anyone looking to buy an ultra-large screen TV will have an increasingly hard time finding one that is not 8K.”
Tom Butts has been the editor in chief of TV Technology since 2001. He started out in this industry reporting for member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters in 1995. He is also former editor of DTV Business for Phillips Publishing (now Access Intelligence) and launched digitalbroadcasting.com for VerticalNet in 1999. He is a graduate of the University of Maine.
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