4KTV set to break through as TV market returns to growth

Joseph O'Halloran | 19-07-2013

After a 6% fall in shipments in 2012, the global TV market is set for growth in 2013, continuing until 2017, according to a new report from Futuresource Consulting.

Interestingly, the analyst noted that even though it believes 4KTV still has a two to three year incubation period, it is making its presence known and is on track to become a significant technology segment. Futuresource predicts that global 4KTV shipments will grow from just 62,000 units last year to 780,000 in 2013 and 22 million units in 2017. It adds that the arrival of native 4K content and increased consumer awareness will help boost sales from 2015 onwards.
Futuresource also expects most global TV brands to launch a range of 4KTVs by the end of this year, with North America tipped to be a key market due to strong consumer appetite for large screens.
"Our forecasts show emerging markets will grow by 6% this year, accounting for over 60% of worldwide TV volumes," says Simon Bryant, head of consumer electronics at Futuresource Consulting. "Meanwhile, developed markets continue to shrink as flat panels approach saturation point and market stimuli such as analogue switch off and government incentive schemes come to an end. However, the global picture remains encouraging, with 4% CAGR expected to 2017, when annual shipments will exceed 270 million units and emerging markets will account for 67%.
"LCD TV panel manufacturers and premium TV brands have been looking for the next hot trigger to accelerate flat panel replacement. 3D in the home was an attempt to achieve this and it has yet to become the solid success that many had hoped for … 4K represents a more natural progression for the industry, but one that brings its own challenges, not least the intricacies of producing 4K panels at high yield rates and the complexities of delivering the bandwidth-hungry content.”
Futuresource also believes that substantial compression improvements provided by the HEVC codec will smooth the way for broadcast, and although the real-time encoding required for live transmission is still embryonic, solutions are being trialled and evaluated.