HDR Sets Will Become THE Standard as We Predicted 2 Years Ago

Image source: Dolby Labs

Over 18 months ago we predicted that HDR-capable TV sets (all are 4K sets) would soon become as popular as 4K sets are now and as popular as 1080p HD sets were two years ago. We tracked their declining prices because of the impact that 4K videos is having on the demand for bandwidth.

HDR TV shipments will reach more than 4 million units in 2016 and increase to more than 30 million units by 2020, according to IHS Markit. It predicted that by 2020, nearly all of the 112 million 4K TVs shipped worldwide will be HDR-capable but only 30% will have what it called “true HDR.” IHS also said the market for 4K TVs continues to grow quickly – from 55 million units in 2016 to more than 100 million units by 2019 – and reach, as we predicted three years ago, 100% market share of 50-inch and larger TV shipments by 2019.

Total worldwide demand for TVs will decline slightly in 2016, it said, but global demand for 4K TVs will continue to grow. It warned that continuous price erosion of 4K TVs is a worry for TV makers and retailers – but it did not say that lower prices are a bonus for consumers, a booster of sales and an increaser of demand for bandwidth.

Paul Gagnon, director of TV sets research for IHS Technology, said, “As with many new technologies in the TV market, the ability to introduce them to consumers in a way that communicates the value is crucial to achieving lasting premiums and profits. In the case of HDR, only some sets have enhanced display performance that can allow the consumer to see the benefit, while the rest will have little discernible difference to consumers, who may become confused about the value of HDR as a result.”

It’s not clear what HDR sets Gagnon is looking at but all the ones we have seen have a far superior picture quality compared to either 1080p sets or 4K sets that don’t have HDR.

IHS said sales of standard dynamic range (SDR) TVs will shrink rapidly but remain the only choice for HD and 1080p resolution TVs. So far we have seen no 1080p TV sets that have HDR.

HDR is currently found mainly in larger 4K sets, many of which but not all sell at premium prices above $2,000. IHS said more than 80% of HDR TV shipments will come from 50-inch and larger screen sizes.

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