Thinking About Buying 8K TV Sets? No, You're Not

New technology TV sets continue to amaze -- but consumers may be exhausted by the marketing, especially when it comes to competition from other media devices.

Currently, 4KTVs are staples in the U.S. TV marketplace --- even with limited 4K quality programming being distributed. Around 50% of U.S TV homes have at least one 4KTV set -- but only around 55% have actually viewed 4K content.

So what’s the prospect for 8KTV sets?

Seems IHS Markit’s October forecast for 430,000 worldwide of 8KTV shipments in 2019 has now been revamped: 138,500 will ship this year. And that is not the worst of it. This is the second major reduction in this projection, whereas in 2015 it was estimated to be 911,000 this year.

Maybe consumers are asking: What am I really getting here?

For 4KTV, it's all about price. Consumers don’t mind buying the latest technology -- even if they can’t see all the benefits -- as long as that price tag is comparable (or less) than they would expect without it. High-quality 4KTV sets -- big screens -- can easily go for less than $1,500. So why not buy in?



Back to 8KTVs. One analyst says a key indicator comes from China, where those TV sets have yet to spark major interest. This is a country where TV sets are viewed more as a status symbol than anywhere else in the world.

At the same time, there is competition among all screens, no matter what the size, according to analysis. Consumers are interested in having the best smaller screens, as with smartphones. This also includes smaller TV screens, which is a problem for manufacturers where there is little to no profit margin.

In Japan, there is a different mindset. Its big NHK broadcast network is ready to air the Summer Tokyo 2020 Olympics in 8K -- something it started during the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Technology always leads. Many analysts have pointed out that TV, media and other screen technology has always been the lead instigator for content/platforms developers to then adopt to new devices. 

But at some point, can we assume there will be a growing consumer media product glut? Should we take a clue from iPhone sales, which are way down compared to previous options" It may be why Apple has pushed into consumer services, not just devices.

We constantly hear it’s all about content, or features of devices/products, or new platform services. What happens if that glut of innovation means consumers are taking more time to make big changes in all areas of media consumption?

3 comments about "Thinking About Buying 8K TV Sets? No, You're Not".
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  1. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, May 8, 2019 at 3:20 p.m.

    What if?

    Last Sunday, I went to Costco with the intention of purchasing a new TV set ...
    the first in 25 years.

    I had done an adequate amount of research to determine what I was looking for. 
    Alas, Costco did not have what I wanted, but for those interested, it has a full stock
    of TCL's ... named Official Smart Television Partner Of "The Ellen Degeneres Show."
    Costco is smart!

    Being a researcher by nature and training, I decided to observe others explore
    their TV set options before I departed.  It was a sight to behold.  
    Chaos and confusion abounded.  Not to mention the fact, it's "impossible" to find a set smaller than a JumboTron!  And what's a Sound Bar anyway?  It was Cinco de Mayo,
    but no Coronas were being served n the Electronics Department?

    When the moment was right, I approached a lovely couple of a certain age  I asked if they were shopping for a television set.  "YES!"  The woman confided that although she was a teacher, TV sets were "not part of her curriculum."  Her husband sounded technically adept,
    but pixels were not "his thing."

    I proceeded to simplify the choice for them and even provided a viewing distance and screen size formula.  They were overjoyed.  As I walked away, I experienced the painful recognition that I  could have been arrested for invasion of privacy, interfering with a sales transaction or simple insanity.  Fortunately, I was not.

    But alas, no good deed goes unpunished.   In the time it took me to differentiate OLED from QLED for that couple in need of help, my spouse had become sufficiently mortified and angered enough to leave me alone, at Costco, without a car, on a Sunday afternoon.  
    So, I had to call an Uber to get home.  So it goes.

    Based on my experience, 4K and 8K will remain terms only to be used to describe distances in Olympic Track & Field or Speed Skating.

    There's nothing like a little ethnography to make your day, I say, I say.

    PS: Nice job, Wayne!

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited replied, May 8, 2019 at 7:25 p.m.

    The answer I received from a tech guy at a Digital Hollywood conference when I wanted to know what TV to buy was asking me if I could read a schematic. Of course not. He told me all of the brands have components made by manufacturers you never heard of and can be in any of them at any time. Then I was told by "__" to buy the largest and cheapest one I could afford/need. Besides, unless you are buying a very large screen, you do not need 4K, let alone 8K. You can see them side by side at the CES. BTW, Target sells TLC and has some great opportunies.

  3. John Grono from GAP Research, May 8, 2019 at 8:35 p.m.

    Wayne, you have reminded me to try to find where I put the 3D glasses for my (now ancient) Samsung TV.   Not.

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