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Ultra HD could be mainstream in a decade

Ultra HD looks to be catching on across many facets of the business, according to several industry reports.

A new report by IHS Electronics & Media states that there will be 1000 4K “Ultra High-Definition” television channels by 2025 and at least one Ultra HD channel in 140 million homes by 2020, says

This means Ultra HD will be mainstream by the end of this decade and will roll out much faster than standard HDTV, Tom Morrod, who wrote the report for IHS, told Advanced Television.

“By 2020, there will be more than 200 Ultra HD channels worldwide, rising to over 1000 by 2025,” Morrod told the publication. “The availability of Ultra HD TVs in the home and Ultra HD services by pay TV operators with advanced set-top boxes will drive the commercial opportunity for channel launches and content production.”

Ultra HD TV will move from a technical standard to the commercial mass market within 12 years, the report said. In comparison, standard HDTV was a technology standard in 1990 and evolved to a commercial mass-market phenomenon in 2006. 

“UltraHD will happen much faster, equivalently having the technology ready and available before 2017 and commercial opportunities for pay TV operators and content makers by 2023,” Morrod said.

Meanwhile, Credit Suisse reported to its clients that broadcasters in the U.S. and Europe would start their roll-out of Ultra HD in 2015 and 2016: “We forecast five Ultra HD (4K) channels in 2013 (estimated) growing to 135 by the end of 2017 (estimated).”

Ultra HD TV panel shipments reached 39 percent growth in September, reported a shipment survey by WitsView.

Jeffy Chen, a research manager at WitsView, told Digitimes, a technology website, that Ultra HD TV panels reached 0.53 million units during the last month. Shipments from the leading panel maker Innolux rose 52 percent in September, and its Ultra HD TV panel shipments accumulated from January-September 2013 topped 1 million—leading its rivals.

Ultra HD TV panels sized 50in and 55in secured the top two places with 25 percent and 22 percent shipment shares, respectively, Chen said. Ultra HD TV panels under 50in, including 39in and 42in, accounted for 40 percent of the market.