Now that the 3D TV movement is essentially dead, manufacturers are pushing 4K TV as the next big reason for consumers to buy a new TV. With 4K content almost nonexistent and 4K TV sets priced far higher than similar-sized HDTV units, those manufacturers haven't had much luck yet.
Next year could be the tipping point, though, if a new DigiTimes report can be believed. The report predicts that 4K TV panel shipments will hit 26 million by the end of 2014 - nearly ten times as many as are expected to ship this year.
The report's unnamed "industry sources" state that prices for 4K TV panels are already expected to fall next year as manufacturers begin to truly expand their 4K TV offerings. Most 4K TV sales are expected to come from China, though most of those will be what DigiTimes is classifying as "entry level" sets (39- to 50-inch displays). However, the report's sources state that Samsung and Sony are expecting to see "significant increases in shipments" for high-end 4K TVs (those with 55- to 85-inch displays) to established markets in the west.
Though the fast growth of the industry will be good news for manufacturers, it is also tempered by the realization that content and low prices will have to lead the market. Last week market research firm ABI Research predicted that it will take until 2018 for just 10% of North American households to have a 4K TV. That is when, according to ABI, we can expect 4K content to catch up and 4K TV prices to drop along with manufacturing costs.
(Image courtesy Samsung)