Nearly one in ten homes in the United States are forecast to have a 4K UHD television in 2016. By 2019 A third of households in the United States and a quarter of homes in the European Union will have 4K televisions. The cost of display panels is falling. Most larger screens will soon be 4K capable, although the availability of programming is limited and standards are still emerging.

Industry research company IHS says that by the end of 2017, most televisions sold with screens of 50 inches or larger will be 4K capable.

In the United States, with its comparatively strong economy and consumer partiality for large-screen televisions, 4K TV household penetration will reach 34% in 2019.

In the European Union 4K TV will be in 25% of households, reaching over 30% in the United Kingdom. In France the figure will be around 28%, with about 25% in Germany.

In Japan only 14% of households are expected to have a 4K TV in 2019. “With the Japanese consumer preference for smaller TV screens, it will be more difficult for 4K TV to expand its household penetration in the country, even though UHD broadcasts are set to begin in 2018, in the run up to the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020,” said Hisakazu Torii, senior director of consumer device research for IHS Technology.

In China, 12% of homes are expected to have a 4K television in 2017, rising to 24% in 2019, representing a vast market for Chinese manufacturers.

Penetration is expected to be lower in other emerging economies, at 11% in Russia, 8% in Brazil and 2% in India.

4K Household penetration forecast 2014-2019. Source; IHS.

UHD holds the promise not only of improved resolution but also higher frame rates, high dynamic range and wider colour gamut.

However, although the frame format was established by the ITU in 2012, other standards have yet to be set. The DVB project has only just approved the requirements for UHD-1 Phase 2 and expects that it will take a further 12 months for these to be formalised in technical specifications.

The IHS TV Sets Intelligence Service provides data on shipments, revenues, prices, screen size by manufacturer, display type and resolution.