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North American Households with 4K TVs to Pass 10% by End of 2018

November 14, 2013

The Asia-Pacific region—and China in particular—is expected to lead ultra-HD (4K) TV unit shipments, according to a recent report from ABI Research. However, the North American market is anticipated to be the first region to eclipse 5% (in 2017) and 10% (by end of 2018) of TV households. Despite limited 4K content, declining 4K TV prices will facilitate the expansion of the installed base through normal upgrade cycles.

“Despite a very limited installed base, there have already been a number of 4K trials from broadcasters, pay TV operators and satellite operators,” said Michael Inouye, senior analyst. “While many point to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and Sochi Winter Olympics as highlights for 4K, these events will have a minimal impact on 4K adoption—it’s simply too early.”

Price reportedly remains the most critical factor for 4K TV adoption, but over-the-top (OTT) services like Sony’s Video Unlimited 4K service and display features such as upscaling are expected to help early adopters bridge the content gap and raise consumers’ valuation of 4K as a TV feature. Consumers are conditioned from the mobile market to perceive value in higher resolution screens, with marketing such as Apple’s Retina Display branding the experience. This halo should carry over to 4K TVs.  

In addition, as new products that support 4K hit the market, like the upcoming next generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony or select Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 based mobile devices, consumer awareness will continue to expand.

For more information, visit www.abiresearch.com.  

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