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CEA: 2016 a banner year for 4K TV

Q4 shipments of 4K televisions in the US are expected to reach 4.5 million units, driving total 4K sales for 2016 to 10 million units, a healthy 40 per cent increase over 2015, according to US trade body the Consumer Technology Association.

Sales of 4K TVs continue to increase as more brands and screen sizes are available at lower prices, new technologies such as High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Wide Colour Gamut (WCG) are more widely available, and consumer demand grows.

CTA forecasts 4K displays will account for 56 per cent of all TV sales during Q4 as the category steadily moves toward comprising nearly 50 per cent of total annual TV sales. CTA’s annual holiday research shows TVs are among the most desired technology holiday gifts this year, behind notebook computers and tied with smartphones. Even as HDR-compatible sets and displays with other new technologies comprise an increasing share of the product mix, the average wholesale price of 4K UHD TVs has declined 22 per cent since January.

“We’ve been bullish about 4K UHD since day one, and market growth continues to justify our enthusiasm,” said Gary Shaprio, CTA president and CEO. “Manufacturers are introducing an increasing variety of 4K UHD displays at a range of price points. Many of these displays include new innovations like HDR and WCG that make the viewing experience more immersive. Strong growth in display sales, combined with the increasing number of 4K UHD Blu-ray discs and other content, 4K cameras, and additional devices in the market will cement 2016 as a ’banner year’ for 4K UHD.”

The robust 40 per cent increase in sales since last year makes 4K TV one of the industry’s fastest-growing segments, although CTA initially forecast total unit sales for the year to reach 14.5 million units. The updated forecast reflects finalised Q2 data showing a more gradual growth curve as TV makers transitioned to new 4K UHD models, according to Steve Koenig, CTA’s senior director, Market Research. “We also expected to see TV manufacturers move more quickly to a greater mix of 4K in screen sizes above 40 inches, which now appears to be shaping up as a 2017 trend,” said Koenig.

“With 10 million units shipped this year, 4K UHD sales are historically very strong, particularly for the TV category which has overall household penetration of 96 per cent,” Koenig explained. “Growth of the 4K UHD market continues to dwarf the transition to high-definition television. Just three years since introduction, cumulative sales of 4K UHD displays are forecast to hit 18.6 million units, while sales of HDTVs reached 4.2 million units in their first three years on the market.”

In addition, the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format sold its 1 millionth disc in October, racking up more than $25 million in consumer spending, according to data from Futuresource cited by the Blu-ray Disc Association.

4K will be one of the major product trends at the upcoming CES 2017, the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies, with manufacturers unveiling their latest innovations in display, content delivery and capture devices, and related products. Content developers also are expected to announce new 4K programming at CES 2017.

CTA continues to collaborate with its member companies to grow the 4K market, by setting display characteristics and guidelines, developing related logos, conducting consumer education and media engagement campaigns, and leading cross-industry coordination with other key stakeholders in the 4K ecosystem.

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