Half of TV sets shipped in Western Europe and more than this in North America and China are now 4K, according to IHS Markit stats presented at MIPTV this morning.
IHS Markit research director, Paul Gray, said that developed regions are closing the gap on China with 55-inch screens driving 4K growth in the medium term as demand for 65-inch screens grows steadily.
China is investing heavily in 65-inch and larger LCD panel screens, which will help see large screens fall in price, MIPTV delegates heard.
“In China they are investing vast amounts of money in LCD panel fabs. Probably US$20-US$30 billion depending on how many of the projects you believe will come to fruition,” said Gray.
“Screens are getting very big and very cheap,” he added, pointing out that consumers in China can now buy a 65-inch TV from respected manufacturer Konka for just CNY3,799 (€500).
IHS predicts that home size will eventually limit the size growth of TVs but noted that 55-inch TVs started out-shipping 32-inch TVs in Western Europe from the fourth quarter of last year.
“Essentially 55-inch and up is where the growth is – everything else is either flat or losing share,” said Gray. “Consumers really get the idea of bigger screens, retailers don’t want to sell you anything smaller than 55-inch.”
Looking ahead, IHS expects 55-inch TVs sales will start to plateau by 2021-2022 with growth then coming from 65-inch sets.
“We’re in a second wave of supply push now,” said Gray. “UHD was the first wave, the second wave now is just being bigger sizes or indeed huge sizes.”
However, Gray said that he is “pretty pessimistic” about the European market for 65-inch TVs because of space constraints in homes and the need to rearrange furniture.
He also raised a note of caution about 75-inch sets, claiming that the costs of shipping, packaging and delivering these larger and heavier TVs will add an inevitable price premium.
“That [the 75-inch TV] to me look like a different business,” said Gray. “It’s like furniture or white goods and my worry is that 75-inch, independent of whether you’ve actually got space in your house for it, will remain a lot more expensive than people expect.”