Lengthy wait ahead for Ultra HD

While the market for high-definition TV has hit the mainstream worldwide, the industry has already started speculating about the future of ultra high-definition (UHD), with market research firm In-Stat predicting that there will be a lengthy wait before the UHD market reaches a critical mass of 5% household penetration.

However, as the initial market debuts over the next five to ten years, there will be "ample opportunities" for technology companies, manufacturers, service providers and media companies to experiment with business models and strategies to make UHD a strong business in the long term.

“UHD formats provide between four and sixteen times the resolution of Blu-ray or 1080p high definition as well as 22.2 multichannel three-dimensional sound,” said Michelle Abraham, analyst at In-Stat. “This is a vast improvement over the currently available end-user viewing experience in the home.”

Recent research by In-Stat found that the total installed base of UHDTVs in Europe will approach 5% household penetration by 2021, and increase to over 28.2% by 2025. In the Asia-Pacific region, Japan is expected to among the early adopter countries. The rising popularity of high-resolution digital cinema will expose consumers to high-resolution content, according to the market research firm, with early UHDTVs to then be made available to provide a digital cinema high-resolution viewing experience in the home.

Ultimately, broadcasters will start offering UHD content to addressable market of UHDTVs between 2017 and 2022, according to the report. UHD comes in two levels of resolution: 7680 x 4320 pixels (i.e. 8K resolution), and 3840 x 2160 (i.e. 4K resolution).