Get ready to throw out your HDTVs —
in a few years.
Those new 4K TVs -- some people call them 4Kx2K because they are roughly 4,000 pixels wide by 2,000 high -- are coming, albeit slowly. NPD DisplaySearch says about a half-million 4K will be in consumers' hands by the end of this year.
And that's just the start. In three years -- 2016 -- it says that number will grow to 7 million.
China will be the big initial consumer market. In 2013, China will have 333,000 TVs, growing to 2.6 million in 2016. North America will be right behind at just over 2 million.
Paul Gray, director of TV electronics research for NPD DisplaySearch, has said: "North American consumers are generally more likely to delay purchases of new technology, like 4K×2K, until prices fall. However, because demand is heavily skewed toward large screens in this market, there is a significant opportunity.”
China, Japan, and Western Europe will move more rapidly. Japan's NHK broadcaster will begin transmitting 4K signals in 2014.
Bur other industry watchers wonder if worldwide consumers will buy in -- especially after the industry let-down in 3DTVs, as a comparison to 1080 pixel-wide HDTVs.
"There was a huge, noticeable leap from standard definition to HD, but the difference between 1080p and 4K is not as marked," researcher Dave Lamb of 3M Laboratories told CNET. "4K is at the point of diminishing returns."
"Watching TV photo from Shutterstock"