4K UHD Drives Worldwide TV Sales Up 5 Percent in 2018

Consumer demand for TV sets is poised to return to growth in 2018, according to the latest Worldwide TV Market Report from Futuresource Consulting. The recovery of several markets linked with a transition to 4K UHD models will drive trade value up by 5 percent to $85 billion. “We believe 4K UHD TV sets will ship over 100 million units this year, equivalent to two-thirds of the entire large screen market,” comments David Tett, market analyst at Futuresource Consulting. “Consumers increasingly want larger screens, and this is playing nicely into the 4K UHD proposition.”

The world’s two largest markets, China and the US, both saw falls in 2017 but have a positive outlook in 2018, with a significant mix of large screens and 4K UHD sets. “They have been ahead of most other markets in terms of adoption of 4K UHD and large screens generally. Over three quarters of sets that sell in the US and China this year will be over 40,” adds Tett. However, other regions are now catching up and Western Europe is on course to match the 44 percent Chinese household ownership of 4K UHD TVs by 2022.

With a substantial installed base of 4K UHD TV households to target, content is now becoming available across markets. “Our Living with Digital consumer research shows that there has been a significant step-up in the proportion of 4K UHD TV owners who say they have watched this content at home. This is the result not just of an expanding number of SVOD subscribers, but also a growing choice of content via linear TV,” says Tett.

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Inclusion of voice is the latest weapon being deployed by the biggest vendors in the heated battleground of premium TV. The most popular Voice Assistant (VA) platforms, Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, are being incorporated into the latest TVs from LG, Hisense, TCL and Vizio. Samsung, meanwhile, will be utilising its in-house Bixby assistant in its 2018 QLED range. With Smart Home and IoT becoming a focus for many brands, Futuresource expects the inclusion of VAs to grow rapidly in TVs.

Also, in pursuit of better margins, most vendors have introduced either QLED or OLED display technology to larger screens. “The two largest TV vendors are currently on opposing sides; Samsung is the driving force behind QLED and LG is OLED’s primary backer,” adds Tett. Futuresource expects a 41 percent CAGR between 2018 and 2022 of these technologies, resulting in around 8 million sets shipping in 2022.

Amongst other findings, the report shows that HDR is expected to be present in 60 percent of 4K UHD sets this year. HDR 10 is the most commonly found solution currently across vendors but the availability of a range of technologies including HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Advanced HDR and Dolby Vision is leading to some consumer confusion.