Optimistic predictions for 4K: 10% of all homes in the U.S will have ultra HD by 2016

by on March 11, 2015

Stephan Jukic – March 11, 2015

The number of 4K TVs owned by Americans in 2014 amounted to just 1% of all TV ownership in the United States in 2014. This makes the U.S lag behind a number of countries with better ownership figures but it is still a significant improvement over the ownership numbers for 2013.

However, as of 2015 and into 2016, these numbers are expected to jump considerably and from there grow exponentially as 4K TVs become the dominant standard for High Definition display technology. In other words, researchers working for the company Strategy Analytics claims that 10% of U.S households will have ultra HD TVs in 2016 and that this figure will jump to a massive 50% by 2020.

Furthermore, the researchers also claim that the U.S will emerge as the world’s leading market for 4K ultra HD televisions in terms of household market penetration by 2020. The runners up to this will be the major European markets, Australia, South Korea and finally China.

How true accurate these expectations turn out to be is debatable but we can say that at least for now, the Asian markets and particularly China completely outpace the U.S in terms of 4K ownership as a percentage of total TVs owned. In China, that percentage is already sitting at an estimated 10%.


In 2014, global shipments of 4K TVs reached between 11.5 and 12.1 million units sold (nobody seems to agree on an exact figure) and while this alone represents a 633% increase over 2013 sales, the growth figures for 2015 are expected to be even larger.

Most of the 4K TVs sold in 2015 and 2016 will be smaller sets of 55 inches or less due to their much more affordable pricing structures.

What Strategy Analytics also claims is that Ultra HD will become the standard resolution for almost all large screen TVs sold worldwide within the next 3 or 4 years and this penetration will draw deeper into smaller TV screen sizes and even into PC and mobile device screens as the technology becomes cheaper to manufacture.

Furthermore, as the 4K ecosystem of content, connectivity devices and UHD-friendly broadcast or streaming services evolves, consumer familiarity with and need for 4K resolution will only grow stronger.

People won’t want to feel excluded from a rapidly growing world of 4K entertainment and will thus feel external pressures to buy a 4K TV, something that’s still lacking and thus not spurring demand to grow faster for the time being.

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