Got HDTV? Get Ready For UHD-TV

While everyone's still trying to replace their DVD players with Blu-ray and their standard def TVs with HDTVs, the industry already is worrying about the market for UHD — Ultra-High Definition.

Apparently, UHD will debut in the next five to 10 years (if that seems like a long time, remember how long HDTV was being talked about and then how it felt when it "suddenly" hit), but is expected to take a long time before it reaches a "critical mass," deemed to be taking up residence in 5 percent of households globally, according to market research firm In-Stat.

UHD will come in two resolution levels: 7680 x 4320 pixels (8K) and 3840 x 2160 pixels (4K) and provide four to 16 times the resolution of Blu-ray or 1080p high-def. And "22.2 multichannel three-dimensional sound."

In-Stat's study concluded that high resolution digital cinema would drive consumers to UHDTVs so they could experience the same quality on their home television sets and that broadcasters would start providing content in the lower-resolution UHD by 2017 and the high-resolution technology by 2022. The market in Europe is expected to hit 5 percent penetration by 2021 and then zip up to more than 28 percent by 2025.  According to the In-Stat survey, UHDTV, aka Super Hi-Vision  will follow a similar track of adoption as HDTV did:

  • 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 expects the total installed base of UHDTVs 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.

Super Hi-Vision UHD Theater - Image courtesy: NHK Japan

Ultra HDTV Requirements: (credit:
  • Ultra HDTV requires 300Mb/second transmissions using a compressed image at 24 FPS, while 60 FPS will require a new compression system to meet with realistic household fiber-optic connections.
  • In addition, Ultra HDTV displays will require new electrode materials to power the 4x high-speed pixel requirements.
  • Processing power is also a major requirement with Ultra HDTV. Current technology is unable to effectively process the Ultra HDTV signal. At 60 FPS, this signal requires processing power at 2400 GOPS.

Image credit:

Globally, the "mass market" for UHD is expected in 2023 or 2024, when about 10 percent of consumers will have sets at home.
Tags:  HDTV, Television, UHD