Ultra HD surges as World Cup adds big kicks to global TV shipments in 2018 | 4K/UltraHD | News | Rapid TV News
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Research from IHS Markit has revealed that the global TV market enjoyed a strong 2018 benefitting from added demand for new screens for the 2018 football World Cup, growing 2.9% annually to total 221 million units at the end of the year.
IHS TVsets2018 8March2019
The sales surge in the first half of the year which saw many consumers upgrade their TVs for richly featured sets continued to grow throughout the year and the study also showed that in the fourth quarter of 2018, and for the first time, more than half of all shipments were Ultra HD TVs and screen sizes also continued to increase.

Indeed, the study showed that Ultra HD TV shipments reached 99 million units, propelled by these larger screen sizes. China led the global market with 30.1 million TVs shipped in 2018, followed by North America with 24.7 million. Nearly two-thirds of TV sets in Western Europe shipped with Ultra HD resolution in the fourth quarter of 2018, the largest share of any global region.

Interestingly, IHS found that smart TVs that support Ultra HD through streaming services continued to rise in volume shipped in 2018. More than three-quarters of TVs shipped in the fourth quarter of 2018 were smart TVs. In North America more than 85% of all TVs were smart TVs, 10 percentage points higher than the previous year.

“Average new TV screen sizes are still growing at least one inch per year,” said Paul Gray, research director, IHS Markit. “Western Europe and Latin America, in particular, exceed this benchmark in 2018. With falling LCD panel prices, consumers clearly care more about trading-up in size than about spending less money. Even in Japan, where consumers have been resistant to buying large TVs, the average screen size increased year over year.”

Looking to new technologies that may fuel further growth, the survey found that led by record shipments to Japan and Western Europe, just under a million (900,000) OLED TVs shipped in the fourth quarter of 2018, rising 20 percent over the prior year. Thanks to increasing competition, large-screen 55-inch OLED TVs hit new levels of affordability in Western Europe. Meanwhile, OLED TV shipments to North America fell 26%, year over year, due in part to aggressive price declines in very large LCD TV sizes.

The next predicted big thing, 8KTV, was not so big in 2018 with the analysis revealing that just 18,600 8KTVs shipped globally in 2018. However, striking a more optimistic note, Gray added: “The launch of an 8K channel by Japan’s broadcasting corporation, NHK, was an important landmark last year, which led to an acceleration in 8K TV shipments in Japan during the fourth quarter of 2018.”