At the start of the year, there wasn't much danger of people thinking that 4K displays would quickly spread, but recent weeks saw enough things happening that some people are no longer sure what to believe.
That does not apply to market analyst firm IHS iSuppli. They are quite certain that ultra-high definition 4K resolution display sales (3840 x 2160 pixels / 8.3 megapixels) will stay negligible for years.
This just goes to show how far ahead the companies that continue to operate on the display industry are thinking.
Not only have several 4K TVs been introduced this year, but even an insane 145-inch 8K resolution model appeared just days ago.
Coupled with how the first 4K ultra high definition TV broadcast was initialized early last month, this all appears to suggest that 4K will become “common” in even less time than it took Full HD (1,920 x 1080 pixels) to replace HD (1366 x 768 pixels) as mainstream display resolution.
Not so, iSuppli says. Though Sony, LG and Toshiba all revealed such panels, there is no chance for sales to be in any way noticeable for the next five years at least. 1% share will only be reached in 2017.
“If you have a television that is 60-inches or larger and are watching video that has a 3,840 by 2,160 resolution, then a 4K television makes sense,” said Tom Morrod, director, TV systems and technology research for IHS.
“However, a very limited amount of content is available at the 4K resolution. Meanwhile, because of high prices and other issues, the market for super-sized, 60-inch and larger sets is very small—at only about 1.5 percent of total television shipments in 2012. Furthermore, for most people, the 1,080p resolution is good enough. Because of these factors, combined with the massive price tags, the market for 4K sets during the next few years will be limited to very wealthy consumers or to commercial uses.”
In other words, though 4K does have a place at the top of the high-end market, it is a very small place indeed.