4K to steady global TV market

tv58The worldwide TV market is showing signs that it will return to growth this year after a 2012 shipment shortfall.

FutureSource consulting forecasts that the TV market will grow six percent this year, and continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate of four percent through to 2017 – when it is expected annual shipments will be above 270 million units, with emerging markets accounting for 67 percent of those.

Ultra high definition 4K TV sets are beginning to emerge, and it’s predicted that worldwide shipments for these will grow from 62,000 in 2012 to 780,000 in 2013. They should reach 22 million units in 2017, according to FutureSource, bolstered by an increase in native 4K content and broader consumer appeal around 2015.

Cheaper sets from big Chinese domestic brands are pushing China to the front of the 4K rollout. But most major brands worldwide are expected to begin launching their own 4K TVs this year. North America is tipped to be a big market because of strong demand for enormous screens.

While 3D was an attempt to tackle the glut in flat panels, it didn’t really manage it by itself. 4K sets, according to FutureSource, indicate a natural progression instead, but it will have its own set of challenges.

Producing 4K panels at high yield rates could prove difficult, as well as challenges in delivering content that requires serious bandwidth. Compression improvements from the HEVC codec should help with broadcast.