4K TV Market Penetration Passes 6% as Consumers Warm to Ultra HD

by on September 9, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – September 9th, 2014

2014 is still four months away from finishing up and the total shipments of UHD 4K TVs worldwide have already passed the 14 million mark. This represents some 7% of the total world market for TVs of any kind and is a major sign of the technology’s increasing popularity among people.

These findings come from WitsView, a subsidiary of Taiwanese market intelligence firm TrendForce.

Furthermore, according to WitsView, Chinese vendors, including such companies as Hisense, Skyworth, Konka and TCL will already be reaching a market penetration percentage of over 15% by the end of this year inside the Chinese market.

4K Ultra HD TVs, which have a total resolution profile of 3,840 x 2,160 or more pixels are expected by many to be the replacement technology to Full HD 1080p, whose resolution sits at 1920 x 1080 pixels. So far, the still elevated cost of 4K TVs and the technological difficulties of transmitting broadband 4K content have kept 4K on the lower end of the market in terms of sales volume but both problems are being resolved as sales of the technology continue to grow steadily.

Furthermore, there is also the issue of few 4K content options being available to most consumers but even this is changing due to increased use of 4K cameras for new movies and shows among film studios and the remastering of older movies and shows in full 4K digitization.

In fact, given that 4K camera technology is much more developed than 4K display, many movie studios worldwide have actually been filming in 4K since as early as 2004 and only now are they able to display these videos in their full film resolution.

Additionally, all major brands of 4K TVs offer an “upscaling” feature that allows them to take the conventional HD and even 720p content that is widely available to audiences everywhere and improve its picture clarity notably.

Part of the reason for the elevated market penetration seen in China is the extremely competitive internal market for 4K TVs that exists among the enormous country’s six major brands. While their TVs are not on par with the quality of Sony, LG and Samsung 4K systems, they are catching up in terms of specs, features and quality despite their low prices.

4K  TV sales in China exploding

China represents the World’s largest 4K UHD TV market

That competition inside the Chinese market is spurring some truly serious price drops. Currently, the average price difference between a conventional HD TV and a 4K UHD set on the Chinese market is going to as low as 32%. This is a considerably smaller gap between HD and UHD pricing than that seen on the wider world market among the really big major electronics brands.

The price drops and wider popularity seen with 4K TVs are also filtering down to computer monitors as of recently. Currently, several brands offer 4K PC monitors for sale and some of them cost as little as $600 USD, which is a 30% decrease in price from just a few months ago. Samsung, to name one example, is already expected to launch an even cheaper high end 4K PC display screen soon.

Overall, the growth of 4K sales indicates that this technology is definitely not going the way of Plasma or 3DTV. If trends continue as they have been doing for the last 2 years, 4 will become the de facto gold standard TV resolution within 5 to 6 years.

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