4K TV Adoption Coming Along Slowly


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With 3D TV a bust, the TV industry now set to contract for the second year in a row. With established markets now content with their current HDTV sets, TV manufacturers are looking for 4K TV to be the next set-selling technology.

Unfortunately for those manufacturers, it will take years for 4K TV to become a real player in the market. Research firm ABI Research today released a report predicting that it will take until the year 2017 for just 5% of North American households to adopt 4K technology. After that, though, 4K is expected to take off with the firm estimating that 10% of North American households will have a 4K TV in 2018.

Much of the reason that 4K TV sets are not selling comes down to content and price. There simply isn't enough 4K content for consumers to consider upgrading their TV sets. This is especially true when mixed with the fact that the least expensive branded 4K TV sets sell for several thousand dollars minimum.

The uptick in 4K sales that ABI sees coming in four years will be a factor of these situations changing. Video services such as Sony's Video Unlimited 4K download service are expected to mature in the coming years. Manufacturing costs will also drop quickly, leading to lower, consumer-friendly prices for 4K TV sets. These combined factors are expected to drive 4K TV sales through the end of the decade.

“Unlike 3D, which required awkward glasses, 4K has the legs to become an industry norm," said Sam Rosen, practice director at ABI. "This isn’t a sprint, however, and it will take time for the necessary infrastructure, installed base of devices, and content to come together before 4K becomes an integral part of how the typical TV household consumes video content. We expect this could start to happen as early as 2018 in some regions. In the meantime, many consumers will have 4K panels without 4K content, or 4K game consoles without a 4K display, and will claim a superior 4K experience even though the technical merits are not quantifiable.”

(Image courtesy Samsung)