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Report: Price, Awareness Undermine 4KTV Demand

21 Jul, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Consumer awareness and high cost are thwarting demand for Ultra-HD 4K television units, with 80% of adult broadband users having never heard of, or are unfamiliar with, the format, according to new data from The Diffusion Group (TDG).

4K is considered the next stage in the evolution of TVs, with reported four-times higher resolution than 1080p — the current frontrunner in video resolution.

Just 6% of 1,500 online respondents said they were moderately to highly likely to purchase an UHD TV priced at $1,500, while only 3% were equally amenable to purchasing UHS units priced at $2,000. The percentage of possible consumers increased to 12% at UHD TVs priced around $1,000.

“This explicitly quantifies just how poor the demand for 4K/UHD televisions actually is and clearly demonstrates that current prices are too high to stimulate new sales,” Michael Greeson, president of TDG, said in a statement.

In addition to price, 26% of respondents said they were satisfied with their current HDTV, adding that a lack of 4K content and general familiarity with the format stifled interest.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has released The Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man, Battle: Los Angeles, Total Recall, Men in Black and Ghostbusters, among others, in 4K Blu-ray Disc. The Criterion Collection released Roman Polanski’s Tess in the format earlier this year.

Netflix has begun streaming Emmy-winning series “House of Cards” and “Breaking Bad” in 4K, the first subscription streaming service to do so. Internet access to 4K video is considered the format’s most viable distribution channel going forward. Still, the format remains primarily vogue among early adopters.

“There is no doubt that poor demand for televisions in general has impacted demand for 4K/UHD sets in particular,” Greeson said. “It would seem that 4K/UHD is falling far short of being the panacea the industry expected and needed.”

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