Television manufacturers are betting big on Ultra HD TV sets, pushing the technology hard to customers that are largely satisfied with their large-screen HDTVs. This year's Consumer Electronics Show was packed with Ultra HD displays from nearly every manufacturer, with Sharp going so far as to show off what it has branded an "8K" display.
The good news for manufacturers is that prices on Ultra HD devices are soon set to drop to consumer-friendly levels, giving 4K a much better chance than the failed 3DTV movement. HDTV shipment are already predicted to skyrocket in 2014, and now component manufacturers are gearing up for this year's flood of orders.
DigiTimes today reported that shipments for Ultra HD panels hit 3.1 million during 2013. According to the report's unnamed "market observers" a large portion of those shipments (1.34 million) came during the fourth quarter of 2014, showing just how quickly production on Ultra HD displays is being ramped up.
Taiwanese manufacturer Innolux currently leads the Ultra HD panel industry. The DigiTimes report estimates that Innolux accounted for 60% of the Ultra HD panels shipped during 2013.
DigiTimes' sources have predicted that Ultra HD panel shipments should reach 20 million units during 2014. This would represent an over 500% increase in shipments from last year, and is in line with earlier predictions. The increased supply is expected to help prices drop in the coming years as more 4K content is produced, which could lead to a viable consumer market for the devices.