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August 30, 2022

CTA Bullish on 8K TV Market Growth in the US

The US Consumer Technology Association (CTA) recently published its updated report on the US TV market and in the forecast said that it expects 8K TV sales to be up 70% in 2022, one of the few segments showing growth. The organization, which canvasses data and opinions from brand owners and TV sales channels, also said that it expects the 8K TV market to grow by almost 200% percent in 2023 to 479K sets. The CTA also has a board of members that it consults on video-related topics. We were interested to get a bit more of an understanding so we spoke to Rick Kowalski who is CTA Director of Industry Intelligence and was the lead researcher for the forecast.

Data: CTA Chart:8KA

8K Growth Factors

There are several key factors in the growth of the 8K TV market. First, the premium market seems to have been less affected by the current global macroeconomic conditions. The CTA doesn’t track by brand, but that means Samsung, LG and Sony in particular are continuing to do well.

OLED Shipments have kept rising as the US premium segment is fairly stable. Making 8K OLEDs is very difficult so most 8K sets are based on LCD

Second, the long term trend to bigger sizes is continuing. US consumers have always liked big TVs, but in the past quality wasn’t always great. However, these days with 8K available, big sets can still look really good even when you are closer to the screen, for example when gaming. In the past, analysts used to talk about TV as a ‘lean back’ experience whereas interactive experiences tend to encourage viewers to be closer to the display. As you get in closer, the advantage of four times more pixels becomes clearer.

Another factor, Kowalski said, is that makers do not just provide 8K divorced from other features. As well as large size, 8K tends to come with other premium features such as Quantum Dots in LCD sets as well as miniLED backlights, great sound and other features that have become popular such as HDMI 2.1 VRR which he sees as a really popular feature.

There is also plenty of potential for existing set owners to trade up. The CTA’s data suggest that 50% of US households still don’t have 4K, so we are still early in the eventual move to 8K. Kowalski sees applications such as virtual reality, with the need for high resolution over wide fields of view, driving the push to 8K.

The Overall Market

After two great years, the CTA sees a ‘return to normality’ this year in the US TV market. Despite the overall volume drop, 8K sales are rising.

There are, of course, some risks to the forecast, but after two really great years for the US TV business, a ‘return to normality’ was expected and a level of caution was built into the projection. The supply side of the industry went through a big boost to demand as well as restriction of supply that meant prices for TVs went up a lot, but prices have been coming down now for a while and Kowalski has seen a lot more promotions in retail as brands and their channels have been adjusting their inventory levels. He’s expecting a return to more Black Friday promotions this year – the number was down significantly in 2021.

The great products now available, reasonable supply and falling prices for sets have combined to create a good market, Kowalski said. Despite the arrival of smartphones, TVs remain a ‘can’t live without’ category for US consumers. If a set fails, you just go and get another. The same is true for smartphones, and he told us that the CTA estimates the penetration rates of TV.

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