Ultra HD TV shipment growth to average 160% per annum

Global shipments of Ultra HD (4K resolution) TVs will increase from 1.5 million units in 2013 to 68.2 million TVs in 2017, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 160%, according to the latest Digitimes Research Special Report. The report, titled “The transition to 4K TV – UHD TV market forecast, 2014-2017,” forecasts that 26.6% of all TVs shipped in 2017 will be UHD TVs, while in the 55-inch segment, more than 90% of the LCD TVs to be shipped in 2017 will deliver UHD or higher resolutions.

As with other new types of video services, UHD adoption will rely on compatible content and TVs to drive the market. While the current video industry environment in not ideal for UHD TV, Digitimes Research argues that the expected support of Blu-ray Disc (BD) for UHD content and increased user-created content will help demand take off in 2015. However, it will be active engagement from TV manufacturers that will ultimately be the primary driving force of UHD TV growth.

Traditionally, new TV technologies, such as 3D and OLED have been driven from the top end of the market, in terms of both vendor support and price points. UHD technology, on the other hand, is being driven by panel makers in mainstream markets by a multitude of vendors, with the China market taking the lead. Based on this, leading global vendors such as Samsung and Sony may be forced to engage in UHD TV price competition earlier than they would like, meaning there is a chance for UHD TV to quickly become widespread in the overall TV market. Digitimes Research forecasts that in 2015 the penetration rate of UHD TVs in terms of the overall TV market will exceed 10% for the first time, with shipments reaching 30 million units.

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