4k HDR TV sales to hit 47.9m by 2021, but image quality alone isn’t driving sales

posted on Wednesday, 8th November 2017 by Steve May

4K  HDR  Trade  home cinema 

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Sales forecasts for 4K HDR TVs continue to escalate, but display technology alone is not driving sales, say industry insiders.

UHD HDR TVs shipments will hit 47.9 million globally by 2021 according to a forecast from IHS Markit. The biggest markets are predicted to be North America, where 14.6 million HDR sets will be shipped, with China following at 11.8 million sets.

However, Paul Hide, COO of TechUK, says display specification alone is no longer a key driver of sales. “UHD is pretty much the standard specification now on all TVs in the UK over 40-inches, so I'd say it’s not so much driving sales as maintaining current volumes and softening the rate of price decline in what remains an incredibly tough sector in which to get decent marginal returns. Picture quality, design and connectability are all required on a TV nowadays to ensure that it will sell well and provide a margin.

He adds: Customers want a complete package; bigger screen sizes are a key reason to upgrade and modern designs and super thin bezel and edge designs help minimise the footprint and impact in small rooms,. With bigger screens, picture enhancement technologies are required to maintain sharp pictures in SD and HD, especially as people do not sit further away from their set if it is bigger. Content streaming is on a continual growth path, particularly subscription services of the type from Netflix and Amazon so wireless connectivity and direct access via the TV user interface makes life easier for the viewer.”

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Amit Rullay, UK Market Manager TP Vision, manufacturer of Philips TVs, comments: “The trend is towards consumers adopting 4K TVs at a faster rate than ever before, mainly due to better understanding of the benefits and wider availability of 4K sets at a broader range of prices. The move towards larger screen sizes 50-inch plus TVs continues, especially in the 4K segment where very few large Full HD models are still available.”

When asked if it was image quality, product design or Smart connectivity that’s the biggest motivator to upgrade, LG Head of consumer Marketing UK, Carolyn Anderson, told Inside CI: “It’s really a combination of all three. LG prides itself on the award-winning webOS smart TV platform; knowing that your new TV is easy to navigate and that you can start watching at the push of a button certainly makes the decision to upgrade a lot easier for customers.”

Anderson agrees that the growth of HDR and 4K content has helped to drive consumer awareness of the need to upgrade, “but looking good on the inside is only half the story. LG has also taken strides over the past few years to improve the aesthetic design of its televisions. We know that if you hang a television on your wall, and give it pride of place in the living room, you expect it to look good. For those consumers looking for the very best in cutting edge design we believe we have been able to create something new and innovative with our LG Signature OLED TV.”

Steve May

Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics industry, having covered it for
various media outlets for more than 20 years.

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