Research specialist Futuresource Consulting has published its latest 4K report, reviewing the progress in the broadcast, video, and display industries, which notes that although TV set sales are expected to rise close to 700 per cent, the window for 4K may be short lived.
According to Futuresource, with the 4K industry gathering pace, a sustained flow of 4K content will be critical to the long term success of 4K. While disc playback of 4K content will not be a possibility until late 2015, OTT video services are driving early roll-out of 4K video services with several now available in the market. Several further propositions are set for launch in 2015/6 from both standalone providers and traditional pay-TV platforms.
As with HD and more recently 3D, 4K consumer technology is ahead of the rest of the content chain and the consumer electronics industry is marketing 4K capable TVs and creating an audience.
4K sets are expected to ship 11.6 million units in 2014, up 699 per cent year on year, with China accounting for over 70 per cent of worldwide demand (versus 84 per cent in 2013). By 2018 100 million sets are forecast to ship per annum, when ownership will exceed 20 per cent 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.”
With the backing of the consumer electronics, television and motion picture industries, Futuresource believes that there is a positive commercial scenario for consumer 4K, although realistically this is likely to take at least three to four years to develop.