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Holidays to Mainstream 4K UHD TV, Blu-ray Disc Players

21 Nov, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel



With Black Friday Nov. 25 marking the traditional start to the winter retail holidays, the 4K Ultra HD TV consumer base is projected to transition from early adopter to mass-market, according to The NPD Group.

In a survey, NPD found that 38% of respondents said they are likely to use a 4K TV in the future, an increase of 5% since the first quarter. With the expanding consumer base comes increased demand for 4K content. As of the third quarter, 87% of installed 4K TVs had active Internet connections, underscoring growing demand for streaming content.

Holiday shipments of 4K UHD televisions in the United States are expected to reach 4.5 million units, driving total 4K UHD sales for 2016 to 10 million units, a healthy 40% increase over 2015, according to the Consumer Technology Association. Sales of 4K UHD TVs continue to increase as more brands and screen sizes are available at lower prices, new technologies such as high dynamic range (HDR) and wide color gamut (WCG) are more widely available, and consumer demand grows.

With the CTA projecting sales of 700,000 4K Blu-ray Disc players this year, a notable newcomer this holiday period is the Xbox One S with a 4K Blu-ray drive. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format sold its 1 millionth disc in October, racking up more then $25 million in consumer spending, according to data from Futuresource cited earlier this year by the Blu-ray Disc Association.

“Strong growth in [4K] display sales, combined with the increasing number of 4K UHD Blu-ray discs and other content … will cement 2016 as a banner year for 4K,” Gary Shapiro, CEO of CTA, said in a statement.

NPD said about 5 million U.S. households currently have both the hardware and broadband speed required to stream 4K. However, the average home also has eight connected devices, which can put a strain on the network’s ability to transmit a 4K video stream. Positively, the number of U.S. households with 25Mbps or greater Internet speeds has been increasing throughout 2016.

Streaming media player ownership is also on the rise, with 4K-capable device launches from Amazon, Roku and Google further signaling the transition to 4K video.

In Q3, 32% of U.S. Internet homes had at least one installed streaming media player, an increase of seven million homes over the past year. While a limited number of streaming media player owners have streamed 4K content, more than 33% are aware of 4K streaming media players — a data point that jumps to 52% of millennials surveyed. Millennials are also the most eager to use these products, with 39% of respondents stating they have interest in future usage.

“While younger consumers are watching more video on their smartphones, they are also driving consumer interest in 4K streaming on TV, as these behaviors are not mutually exclusive,” John Buffone, executive director, industry analyst at NPD, said in a statement. “As consumers make the shift to 4K capable hardware, content providers will be working to distribute 4K content, and in-home broadband speeds will become an important consideration for viewers to ensure a smooth 4K streaming experience.”

 


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