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August 29, 2021

DSCC Forecasts 8K TVs Shipments

Market research firm Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) issued their Quarterly Advanced TV Shipment and Forecast Report which covers TV technologies such as WOLED, QD Display, QDEF, Dual Cell LCD, and miniLED with 4K and 8K resolution. In their most recent information summarizing findings of the report, they include an 8K TV forecast.

The various technologies covered in the report are shown below (plus White OLED).  Note that 8K TVs can be created from any of these TV technologies.

  • QDEF TV: TV using a Quantum Dot Enhancement Film; these TVs are sold as “QLED” by Samsung, TCL and others;
  • MiniLED: LCD TVs with a MiniLED backlight, as sold by TCL starting in 2019. Note that all MiniLED TVs are expected to also have QDEF, but not all QDEF will have MiniLED;
  • Dual Cell: LCD TVs employing dual-cell technology, as introduced by Hisense in 2019. Note that all Dual Cell TVs should also have QDEF, but not all QDEF will be Dual Cell;
  • QD Display: Samsung’s term for its Quantum Dot OLED (QD OLED) technology, but the forecast also uses this term for potential successor technologies, such as QNED and EL-QD. The QD Display category excludes QDEF TVs;
  • MicroLED: Samsung will introduce direct-view MicroLED TVs starting this year with sizes from 88”-110”, marketed as TVs for wealthy consumers. The report excludes larger MicroLED products such as the 146” and 292” “The Wall” products sold by Samsung, as these are primarily business displays.

DSCC says that the coming years will include dramatic growth in 8K TV sets. 8K TV shipments will be driven primarily by LCD technology since the cost and performance disadvantages in LCD are relatively modest but will also include some WOLED and QD Displays. Unlike the flat-panel technologies, DSCC does not expect 8K to be introduced for MicroLED TV during this forecast time frame, as the cost penalty for 4x higher resolution in MicroLED technology would be prohibitive.

The DSCC forecast for 8K TV by screen size is shown in the chart below. “Because of the huge volumes in 65” supplied by Gen 10.5 fabs, we expect that 65” will be the largest volume for 8K, but that 75” and >75” will represent bigger growth and revenue opportunities as the 8K market increases,” commented Bob O’Brien, the TV analyst at DSCC.

DSCC’s conclusion that 65” will dominate based on the efficiency of 10.5G fabs makes sense but the marketing of 8K TV has tended to focus on the 75” screen size. We also note that Changhong has told us that they saw very good sales of their 55” 8K TVs in the China market simply because they were the lowest priced 8K TVs available.

As has been noted by many analysts, the volume TV market starts with equivalent TV pricing of below $1,000. We still have a ways to go to reach that level with 8K TVs, but the DSCC forecast suggests we will see steady progress toward that price point in the coming years.

Their press release on the latest report does not provide the total advanced TV forecast, but a rough summary of existing and anticipated 2021 data suggests a total unit shipment volume of around 19.4 million with a value of $26.8B. While the unit shipments are a small fraction of the total TV market (200M+), it represents a key profit segment that the top brands count on to boost their earnings.

By 2026, DSCC says the unit volume will more than double to 43.1M with revenues advancing to $52.4B.

The report also includes a revenue breakdown by region. A bit surprising is that North America, not China, is the leading region in 2026.  China has only about 50% of the North American revenue in 2026 with Western Europe at about 80% of the NA revenue.

Looking at the big display supply chain picture, TV panel pricing has seen historic increases in pricing over the last year, but this phase now appears to be over with pricing moderating. Tight supplies of other components continue to put pressure on overall TV pricing, however.

The high prices have encouraged panel fabs to accelerate capacity ramp-ups after delays caused by COVID 19. This will eventually help lower prices as more capacity comes online and we return to the more historic march to ever lower pricing.