Report: 100M 4K UHD Sets to Be Sold Worldwide in 2018

HERTFORDSHIRE, U.K.—New research from Futuresource Consulting projects more than 100 million 4K UHD televisions will be sold worldwide this year, returning consumer demand for TVs to positive growth.

According to the consultancy’s latest “Worldwide TV Market Report,” the recovery of several markets is linked to 4K UHD models, which are expected to lift trade value by 5 percent, or $85 billion. “Consumers increasingly want larger screens, and this is playing nicely into the 4K UHD proposition,” said David Tett, market analyst at Futuresource Consulting.

Last year, China and the United States saw fall offs in TV sales, but a significant mix of large screens and 4K UHD sets will turn around the declines in 2018. More than 75 percent of sets sold in the two markets this year will be over 40 inches, said Tett. Interest in 4K UHD is growing in Western Europe as well. The consultancy projects that by 2022, 44 percent of households in Western Europe will own 4K UHD sets.

High dynamic range is also becoming a factor on the 4K UHD landscape. Some 60 percent of 4K UHD sets sold this year will include HDR. While HDR10 is the most commonly found solution, HDR10+, HLG, Advanced HDR and Dolby Vision are also available and creating some confusion among consumer, said the report.

[Read: 2018 To Mark Starting Point For 8K Displays: IHS Markit]

With the installed base of 4K UHD sets growing, viewers are tuning into 4K content. There has been “a significant step up in the proportion of 4K UHD TV owners who say they have watched this content at home,” said Tett. The growth is not solely stemming from an increasing number of SVOD subscribers accessing 4K content, but also from the “growing choice of content” on linear TV, he said.

The growing appetite for 4K UHD sets and content isn’t the only trend Futuresource noted. Large vendors vying for premium TV sales are incorporating voice assistant technology into their sets. Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa technology is being built into sets from LG, Hisense, TCL and Vizio, and Samsung will use its own Bixby assistant in 2018 QLED sets.

Another trend is the use of QLED or OLED display tech in larger screen sets. “The two largest TV vendors are currently on opposing sides. Samsung is the driving force behind QLED, and LG is OLED’s primary backer,” said Tett. The consultancy forecasts 41 percent CAGR between 2018 and 2022 for these display technologies, which translates into about 8 million sets shipping with OLED or QLED in 2022.

More information is available on the Futuresource Consulting website.

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.