Sales of Ultra-High Definition 4K TVs are Growing Explosively

by on June 29, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – June 29th, 2014

The market for 4K HD TVs may be a tiny fraction of the conventional HDTV market but it is certainly growing at an incredible pace. And when you realize that this is happening despite the assorted problems 4K distribution still faces, it looks all the more impressive.

It seems that many people do love their ultra-high resolution and are willing to spend the money on it, despite the fact that 4K TVs are still considerably more expensive than their 1080p HD counterparts.

Since they were first brought onto the market at the end of 2012, 4K TVs have been selling steadily better each successive month. This growth, while slow at first is now expanding at an ever faster rate.

In march of this year, worldwide sales of UHD TVs, mainly from the industries three biggest manufacturers: LG, Samsung and the lesser known but hard selling Innolux from Taiwan, which largely serves the Asian market for lower cost 4K TVs, had finally surpassed sales of more than more than 1 million units, 1.1 million to be exact. And to underscore just how dramatic the rate of growth has been, sales for the previous month, February, were just 384,300 units worldwide. The sales curve expanded almost three fold in just the space of a single month.

Furthermore, sales for March of 2014 look even more impressive when compared with sales in March of 2013, which totaled less than 150,000 TVs sold all over the world.

What’s driving the explosive growth in sales, according to certain technology analysts, is aggressive marketing on the part of manufacturers and pervasive media attention being given to the 4K TV phenomenon worldwide.

Other factors that contributed heavily to fast growing sales in the first half of 2014 were holiday purchases of 4K TVs on the gigantic Chinese market and expectations of the FIFA World Cup being filmed at least partially in 4K resolution.

4K TVs, which boast 4 times the resolution of regular 1080p HD and much larger contrast ratios, create far more lifelike imagery on their screens and this applies particularly to high action content such as sportscasts and Hollywood movies.

In March alone, four of the 6 major 4K TV manufacturers managed to see sales growth rates that were more than 100% higher than they had been in just the previous month. These were Tiawanese Innolux –which sold more than 420,000 UHD TVs, mostly on the Asian market, Samsung –which sold 160% more 55 inch TVs in March than in February, and Korean firm LG –whose February to March sales of 4K TVs grew by a a whopping 395%.

Most of the 4K TV sales seem to revolve around smaller and more affordable 50” to 65” inch panels and the prices for these models are steadily dropping worldwide. Already, even a 65” inch 4K TV such as JVC’s DM65USR can be bought for less than $2000 USD and many 55” inch panels from even more expensive brands such as Sony or Samsung are falling to prices well below the $2000 mark.

Problems with 4K content scarcity and distribution still exist but many analysts are expecting sales of UHD TVs to grow much faster than those of regular HD TVs year to year over the next few years. Expected total sales for the end of 2014 might top 15 million units and some analysts are claiming that by 2018, we’ll be seeing at least 68 million 4K UHD TVs sold to consumers for that year alone.

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