UK Ultra HD market to grow fivefold to 1MN sets by end of 2015

DetailsEditor | 12 February 2015

The UK's Ultra HD market is about to enter a rapid and significant growth phase according to research from GfK.

samsung SUHDSpeaking at the SES Ultra HD conference in London, Nigel Catlow, the company's consumer electronics business group director revealed that by the end of 2014 the UK's Ultra HD market comprised 200,000 pieces, roughly 3% of the TV set market's total volume cumulatively made up of around 68.9 million screens.

Yet Ultra HD's contribution to the TV market is set to explode, with Catlow calculating that by the end of 2015 there will be 995,000 pieces growing to 1680 million by 2016. This would mean that Ultra HD's portion of the overall TV market account for 15% of the total by December 2015 and 26% a year later.

Catlow also revealed a number of key commercial development parameters, among these was the sheer desire of the UK's consumer base to demand new, bigger and better technology. Also a key factor was the huge decline in average selling price of 4KTVs which GfK calculated £1,479 for the 200,000 sets from 75 models available in the market, around £1,200 less that the average for 2013. For December 2014 alone this average was £1,104; £200 less than in the previous month.

In all, Ultra HD sets of all sizes accounted for 23% of the total value of the UK's TV market by December 2014. Around of quarter of all Ultra HD units were sized from 43-49", the segment making up just over a third (36%) of the value for all TVs of that size. The 50-59" segment had the same volume but 45% of the value with 60"+ sets accounting for 36% of shipments and 62% of the total value.

Speaking of the larger-size market, Catlow noted the marked price premium, as sets got bigger though looking as to what will drive the market, he cautioned that heavy price erosion was inevitable. Speaking from the floor at the SES Ultra HD conference, BBC R&D lead research engineer Richard Salmon pointed out to Catlow that market development may actually be hampered by the fact that given the average viewing distance in UK homes was around 2.5 metres, only screens sized above 60 inches, and thus more expensive, would be capable of showing 4K Ultra HD content in its full glory, when indeed such material was actually on offer. A leading content firm also remarked that there was a danger of obsolescence in current Ultra HD sets due to possible new standards that may emerge.