Ultra HD 4K is Progressing Much Faster than Full HD 1080p did

by on October 3, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – October 3, 2014

According to a study by the group IHS-Consumer Electronics & Video Technology, the Ultra HD technology format has really hit the ground running in terms of the speed at which it’s being adopted by the public and media.

In fact, the organization claimed that the roughly 2 year old Ultra HD is actually 10 years ahead of where HD was only 2 years after it became ratified as a standard.

Ultra HD content is much more available than HD content was two years after initial ratification and the format itself is far more prevalent with a much more stable technology base underpinning it in a way that helps rapid distribution. These technologies include 4K filming equipment, adequate web connectivity and overall electronics/media/internet industry capacity for switching over in terms of technological infrastructure.

Furthermore, the amount of content available for 4K Ultra HD displays of all types is much broader than the kind of content selection HD 1080p had just two years after it first became a public resolution standard.

However, the HIS also warns that Pay-TV broadcasters might not actually own the opportunity that revolves around 4K in the same way they owned content distribution opportunities when HD came out.

Instead, in today’s world, streaming content providers like Netflix and Amazon Prime are the major front runners for 4K entertainment options, having already filmed a number of their own shows or movies and already having a distribution network set up.

In the case of Netflix, its 4K streaming broadcasts are already available and have been since April of 2014, while Amazon Prime’s service is “imminently” due for delivery to select brands of Ultra HD TVs.

Furthermore, companies such as Samsung and Sony are also creating (at least in Sony’s case thanks to its media arm Sony Studios) or delivering their own 4K selections to their TVs as part of the overall package these entertainment sets come with. This was also not the case with Full HD upon its arrival on the market back in the late 90’s.

LG and Samsung are just two of the major players pushing the Ultra HD market forward

LG and Samsung are just two of the major players pushing the Ultra HD market forward

In fact, IHS’s main conclusion from its own study seems to be that VoD and streaming suppliers might in fact be the best way to distribute 4K across the board, instead of waiting for pay-TV broadcasters to catch up at the pace they’re moving at currently.

According to Tom Morrod, the senior director of UHS-Consumer Electronics, while the transition from Standard Definition ( SD) to High Definition (HD) took better than 20 years to complete to a degree where 74% or more of Western households had at least one HD TV, the current progress of 4K Ultra HD is moving along much faster.

Specifically, “Household penetration is steadily climbing up” according to Morrod, and is expected to be commercially viable for broadcasters as of 2015 to 2016 at the latest.

However, Morrod also claimed a 2016 penetration rate of 3% and a 2019 penetration rate onto the market of at least 15%. Both of these figures are likely to be much higher given that 4K has already penetrated more than 6% of the overall TV market.

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