Ultra High-Definition Television Due in 2017 – 2022 Timeframe, Say Analysts

UHDTV with 7680x4320 Resolution Coming in the Next Decade

by Anton Shilov
11/03/2009 | 11:28 AM

While the market for high-definition TV (HDTV) has hit the mainstream, the industry has already started speculating about the commercialization of ultra-high definition (UHD) resolutions and appropriate TV-sets (UHDTVs). The incoming of higher resolution standard will create a new ecosystem of consumer electronics as well as new challenges for developers.


As originally proposed, UHD comes in two levels of resolution: 7680x4320 pixels (33.1MP), and 3840x2160 (8.2MP), which is considerably higher than full-HD resolution (1920x1080 or 2MP) today. In addition, UHD may improve audio dramatically and enable 22.2 multi-channel three-dimensional sound.

“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. This is a vast improvement over the currently available end user viewing experience in the home,” said Michelle Abraham, an analyst with In-Stat market research firm.

Just like high-definition did several years ago, UHD will require a brand new infrastructure consisting of new TV-sets and monitors, video players and projectors, audio receivers and speaker systems and, perhaps, even a new optical format to distribute UHD content. Still, it will take a lot of time between HD will be challenged by UHD: the timeframe for the emergence of the latter is believed to be between 2017 and 2022.

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 believes there will be a lengthy time period before the UHD market reaches a critical mass of 5% 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.

In-Stat expects the total installed base of UHDTVs in Europe to approach 5% household penetration until 2021, and increase to over 28.2% penetration by 2025.  In Asia-Pacific, Japan will be among the early adopter countries.