Research Group Predicts UHD in 10+ Percent of U.S. Homes by 2018

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.—U.S. technology marketing research group, ABI Research, has released a report indicating that ultra high-definition television will begin to make inroads into U.S. homes within the next few years, with 4K sets in five percent penetration by 2017 and growing to more than 10 percent the next year. This information was contained in a press release issued on Nov. 6 by ABI, which observed that even though there was a limited amount of 4K content available for viewing, falling prices of UHD sets would find them replacing HD receivers as part of a normal upgrade/replacement cycle.

“Unlike 3D, which required awkward glasses, 4K has the legs to become an industry norm,” said Sam Rosen, ABI Research’s practice director. “This isn’t a sprint, however, and it will take time for the necessary infrastructure, installed base of devices, and content to come together before 4K becomes an integral part of how the typical TV household consumes video content. We expect this could start to happen as early as 2018 in some regions. In the meantime, many consumers will have 4K panels without 4K content, or 4K game consoles without a 4K display, and will claim a superior 4K experience even though the technical merits are not quantifiable.”

The organization’s report opined that Asia-Pacific nations, notably China, would take the UHD lead, with the U.S. following. According to ABI Research, receiver price will be the primary driving factor in getting 4K sets into the home, but OTT services and upscaling functionality could help bridge the dearth of content gap.

ABI also expects more broadcasters to get on board the 4K express, with expectations for UHD video from the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics and 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil; however, the research organization predicts that telecasting of these events in UHD would probably have a “minimal impact on 4K adoption” as they would be coming too soon in the home receiver upgrade cycle.