A sustained flow of 4k content, driven by OTT services, is expected to lead to shipments of 11.6 million 4k sets when 2014 data is released.

Futuresource Consulting says that several further propositions are set for launch in 2015/6 from both standalone providers and traditional pay-TV platforms, though at last week’s SES-organised 4k conference in London the prospects appeared limited.

In a new report Futuresource anticipates that China will account for 70% of worldwide demand in 2014. By 2018 100 million sets are forecast to ship per annum, when ownership will exceed 20% in leading markets. Falling premiums and 4k in smaller screen sizes will drive 4k adoption, while consumers will want to future-proof for 4k content when it becomes available, upscaling will help consumers justify their purchasing decision in the short-term.

“We are seeing several 4K video services now available in the market, driven by over-the-top (OTT) video services, and we are beginning to see signs that broadcasters support will be forthcoming,” commented Sarah Carroll, Director of Sales & Marketing, Futuresource Consulting. “However, with 8k on the horizon, there is speculation as to whether the window for 4k will be short-lived.”

It’s anticipated that with the backing of the consumer electronics, television and motion picture industries, a positive commercial scenario will develop for consumers, though this will take between three and four years to develop.