More than 11 million North American homes will own an Ultra HD TV by the end of 2016 as prices drop to increasingly affordable levels and 1080p models start to disappear entirely from large screen product line ups.
By 2020, all 40-inch or larger TVs being sold in North America will be Ultra HD models by which stage nearly one in two homes in the region will own at least one Ultra HD TV, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics.
North American appetite for very large screen TVs has been a key factor in the rapid uptake of Ultra HD TVs across the region. Over 80% of all Ultra HD TV shipments in 2015 were 50-inch or larger displays and although that share is set to fall as the feature filters down into smaller screen size segments, the 50-inch and larger segment will still account for more than 50% of Ultra HD TV demand by 2020.
Although Ultra HD TV ownership levels are highest in North America, China easily leads the way in terms of units shipped with as much as 25% of annual domestic shipments from the likes of Hisense, TCL and Skyworth being Ultra HD in 2015. The Western European UHD TV market also grew strongly in 2015, accelerating beyond 5 million unit shipments as Germany and The UK became the only countries beyond China and the USA to break the one million units per year mark.
David Watkins, Director of Strategy Analytics’ Connected Home Devices service, noted, “2160p resolution has almost become a given in the large screen TV market and attention is now turning to other attributes that fall under the Ultra HD umbrella such as high dynamic range, wide color gamut and high frame rates. A high proportion of mid to high-end Ultra HD TVs sold this year will support HDR which in combination with higher resolution and enhanced color representation will deliver a significant step change improvement to the TV viewing experience beyond resolution alone.”
Chirag Upadhyay, Connected Home Devices Analyst, added, “The uptake of Ultra HD bears many of the same hallmarks as the early days of “basic” HD in that TV manufacturers have been very quick to seed the market with the necessary displays but there is very little in the way of content in order to take advantage of the full potential of the technology. In the case of Ultra HD, streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon are offering some Ultra HD programming but with less than 10 full time Ultra HD channels operating globally today, most consumers have to make do with generally less than impressive up-converted content.”