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Report: 4KTV Shipments Up 700% in 2014

7 Jan, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

With 4K Ultra-HD resolution all the buzz at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, global shipments of 4K-compatible televisions mushroomed 700% in 2014, according to data from Futuresource Consulting.

4KTVs are expected to ship 11.6 million units in 2014, with China accounting for more than 70% of worldwide demand. In Western Europe and North America, share of 4KTV demand represented 10% and 8% respectively, with demand expected to grow at 72% annually through 2018.

"4K adoption is forecast to grow quickly from 2015 onwards with over 100 million shipments projected in 2018, representing 38% of the total TV market," David Tett, research analyst at Futuresource, said in a statement. "An indication that 4K is quickly becoming mainstream was the availability of many sets at discounted prices during [the] Black Friday [post-Thanksgiving retail event]."

Sales of 4KTVs are expected to be concentrated on the larger screen sizes, generally 50 inches and up, but screens below 40 inches will become more widely available with 4K in the coming years.

While availability of 4K content remains scarce, Futuresource said consumers are buying TVs on the basis that they can upscale HD content and will be future-proof, in preparation for when native 4K content is more widely available.

With the Blu-ray Disc Association revealing the official name — Ultra-HD Blu-ray — for future packaged-media releases in the format, and Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video and Roku expanding and launching 4K streaming, respectively, the wait shouldn’t be long. 

Meanwhile, the worldwide television market grew by 234 million units in 2014, representing a 3% growth from 2013. However, the year also saw a 4% fall in TV sales revenue to $97 billion, reflecting a decline in average retail prices from $652 to $608. It is anticipated that the global TV market will grow at 3% annually until 2018, when shipments will exceed 260 million units.

"The anticipated boost from the World Cup in the first half of the year has been followed by a better-than-expected Q3. Europe is forecast to exceed 57 million units in 2014, with Western Europe enjoying 2% year-on-year growth, while Eastern Europe remains flat," Jack Wetherill, senior market analyst at Futuresource, said in a statement.

The North American market is anticipated to be stable at 40 million units, with Latin America on track to achieve 17% growth this year to 32 million units. Most countries in this region have yet to complete their analog switch-offs.

"Asia Pacific is forecast to see 88 million shipments in 2014. This region is forecast to grow at 4% annually until 2018, when it will exceed 100 million units. This market has yet to reach saturation and the digital switchover in some countries is still to be completed,” Wetherill said.

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