TV manufacturers completed the full transition to 4K (or more) resolution displays as their standard production format, streaming services like Netflix are now offering 4K video content and the industry is now shipping the first 4K UHD Blu-Ray players, while consumers are only now getting familiarized with the advantages of High Dynamic Range (HDR) movie viewing. Prices of 4K TVs with HDR support have also dropped much faster than anyone anticipated. This could help explain why the transition to 4K UHD is now three times faster than comparable years during the transition from standard definition services to HDTV, as new report from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) now illustrates.
CTA forecasts 4K UHD displays will account for 56 percent of all TV sales during Q4 2016 as the category steadily moves toward comprising nearly 50 percent of total annual TV sales. CTA’s annual holiday research shows TVs are among the most desired technology holiday gifts this year, behind notebook computers and tied with smartphones. Even as HDR-compatible sets and displays with other new technologies comprise an increasing share of the product mix, the average wholesale price of 4K UHD TVs has declined 22 percent since January.
“We’ve been bullish about 4K UHD since day one, and market growth continues to justify our enthusiasm,” says Gary Shapiro, CTA president and CEO. “Manufacturers are introducing an increasing variety of 4K UHD displays at a range of price points. Many of these displays include new innovations like HDR and WCG that make the viewing experience more immersive. Strong growth in display sales, combined with the increasing number of 4K UHD Blu-ray discs and other content, 4K cameras, and additional devices in the market will cement 2016 as a 'banner year' for 4K UHD.”
The robust 40 percent increase in sales since last year makes 4K UHD TV one of the industry’s fastest-growing segments, although CTA initially forecast total unit sales for the year to reach 14.5 million units. The updated forecast reflects finalized Q2 data showing a more gradual growth curve as TV makers transitioned to new 4K UHD models, according to Steve Koenig, CTA’s senior director, Market Research. “We also expected to see TV manufacturers move more quickly to a greater mix of 4K in screen sizes above 40 inches, which now appears to be shaping up as a 2017 trend,” said Koenig.
“With 10 million units shipped this year, 4K UHD sales are historically very strong, particularly for the TV category which has overall household penetration of 96 percent,” Koenig explained. “Growth of the 4K UHD market continues to dwarf the transition to high-definition television. Just three years since introduction, cumulative sales of 4K UHD displays are forecast to hit 18.6 million units, while sales of HDTVs reached 4.2 million units in their first three years on the market.”
Further, the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format sold its 1 millionth disc in October, racking up more then $25 million in consumer spending, according to data from Futuresource cited by the Blu-ray Disc Association.
4K UHD is the next generation of high-definition display technology for the home, offering consumers an incredibly immersive viewing experience with superior picture quality compared to current HD displays. 4K UHD will be one of the major product trends at the upcoming CES 2017, the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies, with manufacturers unveiling their latest innovations in display, content delivery and capture devices, and related products. Content developers also are expected to announce new 4K programming at CES 2017.
For more on CTA’s holiday outlook, visit CTA.tech/holiday.