IHS says 4K TVs are “transitional products” until AMOLED is widespread

Oct 4, 2012
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If you're a fan of the ultra-gigantic and super-high-definition television environment that exists amongst the super-rich, then you'll be glad to know that more 4G resolution televisions are on the way! While shipments of 4K LCD-TVs across the planet are only up to 4,000 units throughout 2012, they'll ramp up to 2.1 million units in 2017 - that accounting for less than 1 percent of all LCD shipments in both cases. All of this information and analysis comes from IHS iSuppli (now just IHS after iSuppli joined the team fully) and leads into the most important point here: the 4k television may only be a passing fad.

A 4K television is one that has approximately 4,000 pixel resolution horizontally. A common panel being used right now is 60-inches and works with 3,840 by 2,160 resolution. As IHS notes, this size panel is fabulous if you've got video that makes use of it - but not a whole lot of media out there today is capable of working at such a resolution. With only "about 1.5 percent of the total television shipments of 2012" accounting for any television at 60-inches or larger, there's simply not a demand to allow such video to exist.

"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.” - IHS

Furthermore, it would appear that the next big wave for giant televisions will be AMOLED - or again, so IHS analyzes - and the 4K television may just be a placeholder for companies until AMOLED becomes the technology everyone wants.

"Japanese brands are offering 4K product because they need to have a competitive alternative to the AMOLED TVs being sold by their rivals in South Korea, Samsung and LG Electronics. Meanwhile, the South Korean companies are having difficulties producing AMOLED panels, saying they will need two more years to achieve competitive volume and pricing. Therefore, the Korean brands are offering 4K sets as a transitional step until their AMOLED televisions are more widely available.” - IHS

So keep your chin up, giant television lovers, you've got several years left before the next tech revolution occurs - buy a 4K television now! How else are you going to watch all that media that doesn't get that sharp anyway?

[via IHS]


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