Advanced screen technologies crucial to Ultra HD adoption

DetailsEditor | 18 May 2015

As it enters a key period, Ultra UD's chances of success will be driven by high dynamic range (HDR), wider colour gamut, high frame rates and immersive audio, says ABI Research.

In its First Screen Video Devices Market Research, note the analyst says that by 2020, when there will be commercial 4KTV services, as many as nearly 70% of Ultra HD TVs will support some, if not all, of these enhancements. Indeed it observed that this could prove too conservative a figure if a lower tier of Ultra HD TVs does not persist as currently anticipated.

"Display manufacturers are devoting more attention to better pixels as Ultra HD resolution is now expected on all high-end and increasingly mid-tier sets as well," commented ABI principal analyst Michael Inouye. "Displays using quantum dots, for instance, have garnered praise for vibrant and more life-like colours. For early Ultra HD adopters whose TVs don't support the new technologies, these new innovations might come as a sour pill, but in the long run these enhancements will produce the greatest wow factor for new display purchasers who view supported content. It will also serve as a mechanism for device manufacturers to better separate a premium tier of products."

Looking at the market in general, ABI expects advancements within in the Ultra HD market to only start to fully solidify in 2016. It noted that a number of HDR proposals ó from the likes of Dolby, Philips, Technicolor and the BBC ó are in the works, as are Ultra HD standards, while content developers and manufacturers are still establishing early stage alignments around these proposed technologies. The analyst also cited the Blu-ray Disc Association releasing its Ultra HD Blu-ray specifications and work by groups such as the UHD Alliance, SMPTE, ITU, MPEG, DIGITALEUROPE and EBU.

"Higher resolution content is already available through limited releases and more is on the way, but if the market is to reach its full potential the enhancements to Ultra HD will have to play a significant role," added ABI practice director Sam Rosen. "Resolution might be the easiest element to communicate to consumers but the enhancements will provide the most compelling case to seek higher end devices and pay for premium content above and beyond full HD. Upscaling resolution at the client device or display is already common, but the same can't be said for HDR or expanded colour space. Retail displays will also create ideal side-by-side comparisons to better showcase the transformative effects of these enhancements."