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HDR TV Sales to Surpass 4K TV Sales by 2020?

by on May 30, 2017

Stephan Jukic – May 29, 2017

According to recent research forecasts by market analysis firm ABI Research, televisions with high dynamic range will become far more pervasive in the coming couple of years, with the technology infiltrating the Full HD TV market and resulting in boosted sales of TVs with this resolution. 4K HDR TV sales will also be enlarged but the big winner will be HDR as a technology by itself, with a predicted sales growth rate of 41% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) into 2022, for a total of over 245 million units sold in that year.

Early signs of this this future dominance for HDR instead of 4K resolution itself are already appearing according to ABI, with one clear recent demonstration of such a trend being Sony’s 2017 announcement that all of its new TV releases regardless of resolution will come with HDR integration. Previously –up until very recently in fact—high dynamic range was only found in TVs with 4K ultra HD resolution, with Sony’s HDR 2017 models being the first consumer market models to break with this tendency.

As Sandi Lynn, an Industry Analyst at ABI stated recently,

“While some less expensive sets will not yet support the technology, high-end TV manufacturers recognize the value that HDR functionality brings to the viewing experience.”

Sony and other major brands like Samsung, LG, and others are all already implementing full HDR as a standard feature of all their premium 4K TV models but infiltration of the technology into the market, helped by inter-brand competition, has let to all of these brands and others also implementing some forms of high dynamic range support into virtually all of their newer 4K televisions of all price and size ranges, particularly among the 2016 models and 2017 TV releases.

Samsung MU8000 4K HDR TV

Even mid-range 2017 4K TVs like Samsung’s MU8000 offer HDR in some form with HDR10 support

HDR10 is the most common standard in all such TVs but competing formats for dynamic range such as HLG and Dolby Vision are increasingly being included as well, particularly in premium 4K TV models. One continuing problem with these HDR standards is their ongoing competition and changeability. HDR10, the most popular version of HDR for content and TV displays, is already being updated into a new version called HDR10+, which is being developed by Amazon and Samsung in partnership in an effort to better compete against Dolby Vision HDR, which is both proprietary (thus more expensive to use by all entertainment content and device parties) and widely considered to deliver a superior dynamic range with better future-proofing for peak brightness, black levels and color support in displays and content sources. As a managing director and VP at ABI Research notes about HDR10+ though,

“At this point, this standard does not have a robust industry coalition to foster adoption and serves to further confuse the market.”

This is indeed also part of the reason why HDR in broadcast content is virtually nonexistent and even in 4K video sources (especially from broadcast market creators) HDR 4K video is much less common than normal 4K content sources.

Moving back to the issue of HDR outstripping 4K in TV sales: so far, only Sony is actually producing HDR TVs that don’t also come with 4K resolution but we can very likely expect the other major brands to follow suit with this trend. However, in our humble opinion here at, the researcher’s division between the two is almost a moot point. TV makers have few reasons to not include both 4K resolution and HDR in the majority of their new TV releases and while 4K TVs are still a minority of all televisions sold worldwide, this is rapidly on its way towards changing, with some brands now even placing 4K resolution in all or almost all of their new TV releases. In other words, 4K will soon be as widespread a format as 1080p now is and this is where HDR will reside most of all as it too becomes more common. Thus, while total numbers of HDR TVs sold will sooner or later outnumber total numbers of 4K TVs sold, the difference between the two will shrink to near insignificance over time.

The people at ABI Research also made mention of the potential for major growth in the 8K TV market but predicted that permeation of the home entertainment market by 8K TVs is still years away, even with hype about the plans for the 2020 Olympics in Japan to be delivered in this enormous resolution.

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  • Troy
    May 30, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Umm, this article doesn’t really make any sense because the two technologies are hand in hand…meaning you can’t have one without the other, capiche? HDR is a complimentary technology introduced in 4K TVs sooo


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