UltraHD penetration faster than expected
Michelle Clancy
| 13 May 2014
UltraHD TV ownership is slated to reach penetration of almost a third of US homes by 2020, according to research from Strategy Analytics.

The survey found that UltraHD TV penetration will grow from less than 10% of homes in the US for the next four years to 33%. Shipments will account for 41% of global flat panel TV units in 2020, up from just 4% this year.

"Demand for UltraHD TVs is exceeding previous expectations and current adoption rates are similar to those of 1080p TVs back in the mid-2000s when sales penetration hit around 5% of total flat panel demand by the end of year three of 1080p sales," said David Watkins, service director of connected home devices at the firm. "By the end of the decade, UltraHD will become standard in screen sizes larger than 40" although sub 40" sets will remain mostly within the realm of 1080p."

The US will overtake China in 2020 to become the leading country in terms of UltraHD TV household penetration. By region, UltraHD household penetration will reach 32% in North America, 22% in Western Europe and 18% in Asia Pacific by 2020.

Contributing to this is the fact that entry level prices for UltraHD TVs will drop below $2,000 before the end of 2014 from one or more of the major global TV brands (Samsung, LG, Sony, and Panasonic), the firm said. So, brand share rankings for UltraHD TV will begin to mirror those of the overall flat panel TV market with Samsung, LG, and Sony dominating global sales volumes outside of China.

"Despite the limited availability of UltraHD content, early adopters of UltraHD TVs are being attracted by vendor promises of improved picture quality," said Eric Smith, analyst for connected home devices. "TV manufacturers are working to perfect the upscaling engines of their sets, and will look to put a strong marketing focus on the merits of upconverting1080p to UltraHD content until the dam breaks on UltraHD content and broadcast services begin."