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UltraHD TV still slow to take off, report shows

Ultra high definition televisions are too expensive and not yet gaining popularity, a new report has found.

Analysis by IHS Technology suggests that UltraHD TV pricing remains too high to gain meaningful share, with sets constituting only five per cent of the top 13 brands of LCD TVs shipped worldwide.

The report, quoted by, adds that while UltraHD TV share has expanded, growth has not change much since September 2013 when the market was already at the two per cent level. 

The report says UltraHD TV shipments for 2014 are projected to grow to 14.5 million units, up from just two million in 2013, as global brands deploy aggressive marketing efforts and roll out new models.

Mr Jusy Hong, principal analyst for consumer devices at IHS, says: “Growth in this year’s global UltraHD TV market is a reflection of plans among TV makers, especially the Chinese, to increase sales. And expansion in UltraHD TV volume is mostly scheduled for the second half of this year.”

But the report warns that nothing will radically shift in the market unless those volumes bring lower prices.

“In China, for instance, the share of UltraHD TVs continues to stay below 10 per cent despite vigorous promotion by brands, because high UltraHD TV pricing acts as a barrier for wider acceptance,” Mr Hong says. 

China is the world’s biggest single TV market and analysts think the same pricing constraints could hold true for elsewhere in the world.

South Korea produces the greatest number of UltraHD TV sets, due mainly to the power of its two principal manufacturers – Samsung and LG – which are also the world’s largest TV makers. They accounted for 46 per cent of total UltraHD TV shipments in May. 

The IHS report says flat-panel televisions overall amounted to 18.1 million units in May, down 6.4 per cent from April but up 7 per cent from the same time last year.