4K is becoming the new HD, as uptake of TVs, standalone players and content making huge strides
Image/Photo Credit: Samsung
A new report from Futuresource shows that the adoption of 4K Ultra HD TVs and standalone players has reached a tipping point that indicates the format will reach mainstream status soon, if not already.
With average prices for 4K UHD TVs now having dropped to be level with that of standard HDTVs, global shipment of these ultra high resolution TVs is expected to reach over 100 million units in 2018.
The biggest market for UHD TVs in in the Asia Pacific region, led mainly by huge consumer demand in China. North America is also a big market for these TVs, and the European market for UHD TVs will grow by 30% this year.
Adoption of HDR capable 4K UHD TVs are at a slower rate currently, but according to Futuresource market analyst Tristan Veale, HDR capable sets are getting more and more popular.
"The market will continue to grow with double-digit CAGR (compound annual growth rate) throughout our forecasting period to 2022," said Veale. "What’s more, high dynamic range - HDR - is beginning to make its presence felt and will be included in over half of all 4K UHD TVs sold worldwide in 2018, though consumer understanding remains limited."
Standalone UHD Blu-ray players in people's homes will double this year compared to the previous total, led in some way by the Xbox One console. UHD capable media streamers, including the PS4, have risen 85% year-on-year as well.
As for content, streaming remains the most popular way people are getting 4K UHD content.
"When it comes to the content, SVoD remains the primary gateway for consumers to get their UHD fix," said Veale. "Netflix is the key service driving UHD SVoD spend. Depending on the country, around 20 percent to 30 percent of subscribers have opted for the UHD premium tier."
Physical UHD media sales are also growing, tipped to reach $360 million this year, while UHD broadcasts could become more popular, driven by sporting events in 2018 including the Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup, both of which were broadcast in 4K.