Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Monday, November 09, 2009

Are you Ready for Ultra-High Definition TV?

While the market for High-Definition TV (HDTV) has apparently reached the mainstream user, the consumer electronics industry has already started speculating about the commercialization of Ultra-High Definition (UHD) television.

Perhaps we'll learn more at the upcoming CES in January. One question that I have, when will there be enough 4k and 8k resolution cameras in the hands of filmmakers and TV producers to create the required UHD video content for this format?

In-Stat believes there will be a lengthy time period before the UHD market reaches a critical mass of 5 percent household penetration.

However, as the initial market debuts over the next five to ten years, there will be ample opportunities for technology companies, manufacturers, service providers and media companies to experiment with business models and strategies to make UHD a strong business in the long term.

"UHD formats provide between four and sixteen times the resolution of Blu-ray or 1080p high definition as well as 22.2 multichannel three-dimensional sound," says Michelle Abraham, In-Stat analyst. "This is a vast improvement over the currently available end user viewing experience in the home."

As originally proposed, UHD is available in two levels of resolution -- 7680 x 4320 pixels (i.e., 8K resolution), and 3840 x 2160 (i.e., 4K resolution).

In-Stat's market study found the following:

- The rising popularity of high resolution digital cinema will expose consumers to high resolution content. Then, early UHDTVs will be made available to provide a digital cinema high resolution viewing experience in the home.

- Ultimately, broadcasters will start offering UHD content to an addressable market of UHDTVs, between 2017 and 2022.

- In-Stat expects the total installed base of UHDTVs Europe to approach 5 percent household penetration until 2021, and increase to over 28.2 percent penetration by 2025.

- Once again, Japan will likely be among the early-adopter countries.