Sales of 4K displays to reach 100m units in 3 years

Sales of 4K displays sets are expected to reach 11.6 million units in 2014, up 699 per cent year on year, with China accounting for over 70% of worldwide demand, according to a new 4K report by Futuresource Consulting. By 2018 100 million sets are forecast to ship per annum, when ownership will exceed 20 per cent in leading markets.

With the 4K industry gathering pace, a sustained flow of 4K content will be critical to the long term success of 4K. While disc playback of 4K content will not be a possibility until late 2015, OTT (Over the Top) video services are driving early roll-out of 4K video services with several now available in the market. Several further propositions are set for launch in 2015/6 from both standalone providers and traditional Pay-TV platforms.

As with HD and more recently 3D, 4K consumer technology is ahead of the rest of the content chain and the consumer electronics industry is marketing 4K capable TVs and creating an audience.

Falling premiums and 4K in smaller screen sizes will drive 4K adoption, while consumers will want to future-proof for 4K content when it becomes available, upscaling will help consumers justify their purchasing decision in the short term.

"We are seeing several 4K video services now available in the market, driven by over-the-top (OTT) video services, and we are beginning to see signs that broadcasters support will be forthcoming," commented Sarah Carroll, director of sales and marketing, Futuresource Consulting. "However, with 8K on the horizon, there is speculation as to whether the window for 4K will be short-lived."

With the backing of the consumer electronics, television and motion picture industries, Futuresource believes that there is a positive commercial scenario for consumer 4K, although realistically this is likely to take at least 3-4 years to develop.

This latest report will uncover the roadmap for 4K broadcast and the barriers and challenges to 4K delivery via broadcast and IP. It will look at the players leading the charge for 4K delivery online, as well as outlining the regions, which are driving 4K shipments. It will also look at the current and future outlook for Blu-ray players and the key 4K developments in digital cinema. The report will also review the issues surrounding UHD and its role in the future prospects for 4K and consider whether 8K will surpass 4K.

The Futuresource 4K report will also cover global statistics and five-year forecasts for 4K products and content, as well as household penetration and anticipated market value. It is being compiled following a programme of dedicated research amongst TV and display vendors, CE retailers, broadcasters, online service providers, technology groups and other stakeholders.