Skip to main content

Consumers are flocking to 4K faster than they did to HD, says CTA

4k adopted faster than hd samsung suhd tv 2015 ny event 1
Rich Shibley/Digital Trends
Your dad might still be grumbling about having to buy all his favorite movies on Blu-ray again after buying them on DVD, but the transition to the next format is already on. And it’s happening even faster, according to Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Technology Association.

“4K Ultra HDs make up nearly 50 percent of all TV set sales,” Shapiro announced at a meeting in San Francisco on Monday. “And of course, just about every TV over 50 inches now is 4K Ultra HD.”

4K first migrated from cinemas to consumer living rooms in 2012, but with prices around $25,000 for hardware like Sony’s first 4K TV and few movies to even watch, mainstream adoption seemed a long way off. It arrived quicker than anticipated, says Shapiro.

“Some compare the shift to 4K to the shift to HD, but this transition is actually faster and more robust than the switch to HD.” According to Shapiro, the numbers tell the story: “At year four of the transition to HD, we only sold 2.9 million units. But now, [with 4K], we’re moving 15 million units. More than five times as many units. Our population did not grow that much in the last 15 or 20 years.”

Credit lower prices. According to the CTA, the average 4K TV sold for $1,048 in 2014, compared to $861 in 2016. LG’s majestic G6 will still cost you a cool $8,000, but on the other end, a consumer walking into Best Buy today can walk out with a 43-inch Insignia 4K television for $299.

The content question still looms: What can you watch? But for once, the industry has answers. All of Netflix’s original series are available in 4K, and Amazon Video has followed suit with its own 4K offerings.

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players have finally arrived in force as well, offering high resolution without the compression. According to Amy Jo Smith of the Digital Entertainment Group, a trade group comprised of both TV manufacturers and content producers, the industry has sold more than 700,000 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players in 2016 alone. “We’re not moving away from Blu-ray,” she assured movie buyers of the format, which just turned 10 years old. According to Smith, 63 movies are currently available in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, a third of which are new releases.

While 4K made major progress in the first half of 2016, the real test remains ahead in the fourth quarter, when the CTA expects consumers to sop up 4K TVs for the holidays.

Nick Mokey
As Digital Trends’ Managing Editor, Nick Mokey oversees an editorial team delivering definitive reviews, enlightening…
Samsung prices its entry-level S85D OLED TV starting at $1,700
Samsung S85D 4K OLED TV.

In January, Samsung teased that it would be adding a new line of OLED TVs priced below the S95D and S90D. That new model is the S85D and we now know that it will come in 55-, 65-, and 77-inch sizes, with prices starting at $1,700. This puts Samsung and LG on an even playing field in terms of OLED pricing, at least as it relates to LG's OLED C4 lineup.

Samsung has also confirmed new sizes for its S90D OLED TV, which will now be available in tiny (42-inch) and huge (83-inch) versions in addition to the previously announced 48-, 55-, 65-, and 77-inch models.

Read more
Hisense’s answer to Samsung’s The Frame TV starts at $999
Hisense Canvas mini-LED TV.

During CES, Hisense spent much of its time talking about its massive (and massively bright) mini-LED TVs for 2024. However, it also teased us with its CanvasTV, a model that rivals Samsung's very popular The Frame TV, which lets users display hi-resolution art whenever the TV isn't being used for watching movie or TV content.

I say "teased" because other than a promotional image, we were told almost nothing about the CanvasTV. We still only have the one image (above), but at least there's now more to the CanvasTV story ...

Read more
Hisense’s achingly bright U9N ULED TV is a UX for the masses
Hisense U9N ULED 4K TV.

In late 2023, just ahead of CES 2024, Hisense gave us a taste of just how far its engineers had been able to push the TV brightness envelope in the form of the limited-edition, 85-inch UX TV. With 3,500 nits of peak brightness, it was one of the brightest TVs we'd ever reviewed. And while Hisense's UX series remains the company's flagship (with massive 98- and 110-inch models coming later this year), some of the UX's features have trickled down to the new U9N ULED, a 4K TV that Hisense claims will produce an even brighter 5,000 peak nits.

The U9N ULED will come in 75- and 85-inch models, priced at $3,000 and $4,000, respectively. They're expected to be available from BestBuy.com this summer.

Read more