Ultra HD uptake still a long way off, warns LG executive

LG Smart TV

LG Smart TV

Despite having “the wow factor” Ultra High Definition take-up faces a number of challenges, including a slow TV replacement cycle among consumers, according to LG Electronics’ director of EU innovation R&D, Stuart Savage.

Speaking at the Digital World Summit in London this week, Savage warned that like HD before it, UHD will take a long time to become a mass-market proposition, and warned that TV buying trends have slipped back into a roughly seven-year cycle.

“Taking a step back to look at how HD developed, arguably it took 15 to 20 years from its initial inception before it became a huge mass-market proposition that it is today. Even today there’s still a lot of SD content around. UHD is probably going to take a similar course, so it’s not going to happen instantly, I think we all accept that,” said Savage.

“We’re not going to get the perfect storm that we had a few years ago when high definition, analogue switch-off, flat panels, all arrived and there were multiple simultaneous reasons why people wanted to move at a single point. We saw at that point an exponential growth in sales of TVs. That’s now steadied off again and we’re now back into the normal lifecycle of TV purchasing.”

Savage added: “UHD certainly has a wow-factor for consumers. Consumers who have seen it love it and say ‘when can I have it, when’s the broadcasting starting?’ Well unfortunately it’s not quite as simple as that.”

He said that currently there are lot of challenges and Ultra HD parameters to be worked out, though predicted that the industry will eventually “arrive at the same place.”